I think an evaluation by a child / adolescent psychiatrist is a good idea - I wouldn't take her to an adult one.
A good evaluation is over a course of several visits - with you alone, your daughter alone, then with you together, plus, a ton of paperwork to fill out. After all that, a psychiatrist will give a recommendation for treatment (if any is warranted).
You need some strict boundaries set up and fast. You and your husband need to sit down together with your sister and have a set of rules already drawn up (that you and your husband agree to), that your sister must follow. She must sign the agreement, and adhere to it.
The "rules" should be clear and simple, like:
# 1 - Room must be clear of dirty laundry and trash. # 2 - No eating in bedroom # 3 - Must attend school everyday unless ill # 4 - Must be home by 11pm every night.
Something along those lines...... And if and when the rules are not followed (like 3-strikes you're out) - then you tell her she must find a different place to live - period. No going back and forth, no saying "sorry" and try again. You must be firm and stead fast on your new set of house rules. You could also add (which I think would be healthy for her) to see a therapist once a week. Find a good (preferably female) therapist that works with teens and understands their struggles, especially since she has had such loss in her life.
You need your homelife under control and strong for YOUR 2 small children, they ultimately come first, but I totally understand your love and commitment for your sister, so giving her 1-fair, good shot at staying in your home is loving of you.
I believe that a child who consistently lies, has some mental health issues that a professional needs to evaluate.
Obviously what you as parents are doing is not changing her behavior, there needs to be a new strategy. She is only 10, and that's great you are reaching out for ideas, because with help, she can get better.
I will pass along some links for you to explore....
From a mother's perspective, I am sure you are NOT a burden you your parents, and while they may not understand your inner feelings, I bet they would listen, care and want to help you.
My daughters situation was a bit different. My middle daughter had a shift of mood at about 14. She became more irritable, withdrawn and I just felt something wasn't right. I found a female psychologist and she started therapy. My youngest had behavioral issues at age 6, and she began to get worse and worse. I took her to a Child Psychologist. My other 2-daughters have no mental health issues, but are compassionate with their sisters.
How about writing your parents a letter? You could put down your concerns (like you mentioned your journal writings), your worries and ask that they please take you seriously because you feel this is unhealthy thinking, and you want to feel better.
A second option could be to re-visit the school counselor as someone to listen to you.
I don't want you to think you are a burden or causing trouble for your parents. I am sure they would want to know how you are feeling Ella, so think about writing a letter, ok??
Let me know how it goes!!! Take care sweetie and write back any time! -KathleenView Thread
I am a mom who has 4-daughters. 2-of my daughters have depression, so I believe I understand a bit of your feelings. My girls have a hard time expressing their thoughts to me too - I am not a professional, but their mom (well, sometimes I like to think I'm a "Professional Mom"...LOL)
Anyway, I think talking to someone outside your family might be a good start. What about a school counselor, or someone from your church? or a close family friend ? Do you have a friend who's parent you connect with, or an Aunt or Uncle?
There are some good people who do care and will listen to you. I'm sure your parents love you, but don't quite know how to connect on the level you need right now.
If there is no one you can think of to talk to, then please call the crisis / suicide hotline link I pasted. Some there will help and give you a starting point.
I'm glad you wrote sweetie, write back anytime, ok? (((((Hugs)))) -KathleenView Thread
I think you are right to be concerned, and good for you for being such an attentive mom!
Between the ages of 10 and 14, it is not unusual for depressive symptoms to begin to show in those pre-disposed to depression/mental health issues. This happened to my daughter at age 11. I was not as wise as I am today - because I should have sought out help sooner rather than later.
The Counselor's comment didn't sit well with me, because IMHO, a good Child Psychologist teaches a child how to implement coping tools when they become overwhelmed and stressed. Obviously your daughter is needing some tools now because of how you describe her acting.
Sleep is huge - for everyone, but especially teens. Is your daughter going to bed at a decent hour, but just can't sleep? Does she have a fairly "typical" bedtime routine? If she truly just-can't-sleep, then I would bring this up to the Psychologist. And yes, I think it would be a really good idea to find a smart, qualified Child Psychologist (preferably female) to see your daughter. I would talk to her pedi, and do some research and find a Dr. you like and feel comfortable with.
I always found it helpful to first go in myself "interview" to prospective Dr. and tell them about the changes / difficulties your daughter is having...........then, if all goes well, bring in your daughter for a visit.
I hope this helps some? I know how painful it is to watch your child suffer. Take care!!! -KathleenView Thread
Has your son had this frank of a conversation with his Dad yet? Maybe his father could shed some insight on sexual feelings and curiosity from a Male's perspective?
I know this age is tricky and there are a lot of sexual ideas, fantasy's and curiosity regardless if your son is gay or not.
I would monitor his computer though, there are a lot of inappropriate sites and material out there that fuels (not in a good way) a young person's ideas and thoughts. - Just an idea, maybe you do this already !