OT- My daughter/parenting/concerns

myfampgOctober 28, 2011

This is the wrong forum but every time I've posted in the other forums, I don't get the responses I hope to and/or I look like a newbie and no one knows my history. I trust you guys and always get great help: I think of you all as my dearest friends lol I know you'll tell me the truth:)

Dd is 10 1/2. 5th grade. Always a straight A student. Well mannered, polite. She's a bit smaller than her peers and a lot quieter. She is never a problem for us or for her teachers. Very good kiddo.

I'm worried about her. My Dh thinks I need to relax and that she is 'FINE' and that I'm probably over reacting and I probably am.. It's not like I'm flipping out and freaking out or losing sleep but I'm a mom and this is my first Time to be a mom of a tween... I've never been to this rodeo so I have concerns and I think they are valid.

Dd seems... Like a loner. I've always wonderEd why she doesn't seem to have a lot of friends or why she doesn't get invited to birthday parties or why no one invites her to spend the night etc. Tonight she had a little 'dance' fundraiser thing at school and she took a friend with her that goes to a different school. But I noticed that none of the girls that she is in class with even talk to her. They walk in little cliques and she isn't in one at all. Not even with the nerds. (sorry I was a nerd so I can say this) I asked Dd if she has friends. Yes she likes everyone in class. I asked if any of them talk to her, yes she has lots of friends. But then why don't they talk to her at a dance? I noticed that Dd is not on the same 'level' as her peers. For example: the girls are wearing clothes that I personally do not like. Off the shoulder shirts, tight pants, knee high boots, bangle bracelets, hoop ear rings, hair styles that their mothers or 30 year olds have... Am I a prude? I don't think I am... But they are 10 not 30... Hoop ear rings? Big hoops? I don't even wear that. I do let Dd wear ear rings but they are what I believe to be age appropriate. Maybe not. ?? Maybe I am in denial? Do you think I am? My Dd wears blue jeans mostly to school or shorts. They aren't super tight - just fitting... She has seven pairs of shoes. Tennis shoes, flat black shoes for skirts/dresses, flip flops, white sandals, jazz shoes, tap shoes and ballet slippers. Does she really need knee high boots? Or snow boots in Texas to wear over her jeans to look like my 17 yr old niece?? She wears shirts that I feel are age appropriate. I can't describe everything that she wears but I don't think I'm dressing her like the other girls in her class but I don't think I'm dressing her too young either. My point is, I don't want her to never have friends because of me. I can't imagine sending her to school looking the way these other girls look. WoW! Ya know?

My second concern is that I saw her tonight with a group of kids and I would say she is 'socially awkward'. I think I've always seen this but I've been in denial saying she is fine, she doesn't have to be like everyone else, she is sweet, she is polite. I saw her stop in the hallway and help a younger kid that was struggling with the water fountain. I thought to myself 'now that is amazing! How selfless and thoughtful of her!' I love this kid. I must have done something right. But when I see her with these 'cool' kids and they seem mature and relaxed, hanging out and Dd is giggling like a nervous mess and being a bit obnoxious out of anxiety, and then I see these kids look at her like she is 'weird' my heart crumbles. Then I internalize it of course: it's my fault. I've protected her for so long from everything. Maybe she is sheltered which could be a very bad thing. I don't mean to shelter her, I have no 'plan'. I take parenting and life one day At a time and take each hurdle as it comes. I never set out saying, this is how I'm going to do things because this is how I want my kid to turn out. But when I realize something isn't working, I research, read books, talk to other mom's and then adjust where I need to. Does that make sense? I think I'm a pretty laid back parent but now I'm wondering if being laid back has backfired on me because my daughter lacks motivation and she lacks the drive to be # 1. She is not aggressive by any means of the word. She probably is a follower on most days and falls into the shadows but I never paid attention until recently.

Any ideas? Any advice? Criticism is welcome. I don't know what to do but I'm thinking a change is necessary. She isn't a little girl anymore is she? She is growing up. She needs to hold her head up high and be strong and I want her to be Happy and have friends but I see a kid that thinks she has friends but yet not a one sees her when she walks through the door. It's almost like she is invisible. Maybe that's how I feel. I mean afreralll I don't have any friends at her school. I feel like a loner at the very same place I send her every day but I know it's a good school so who cares if I'm ms popular in the PTA. Ya know what I'm saying? I don't care what people think but At the same time I'm trying to talk myself into teaching my daughter how to fit in with girls that probably do not deserve her friendship any way because they seem like they will just be 'mean girls' in jr high any way ... But maybe not. Any suggestions? Mom needs to call the therapist for mom apparently. I'm feeling so down tonight because of this ...

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I don't think you're a prude for not letting her dress like that. If you let her dress that way, just so others accept her, it's like teaching her that she needs to be someone she's not in order for people to like her. If she's socially awkward, then perhaps that's something to address, but it doesn't sound like it bothers her. Perhaps it's just her personality. I was terribly shy, I still am. I will never be outgoing or the life of the party... it's not me. My mom & sisters are the opposite. I would let it go unless she is upset that nobody is talking to her.

Of course, if she cares about it, you could talk to her about the trends & what she'd like to wear & maybe do a mini makeover with her, but keep the clothes standard you have. There are lots of cute things out there that aren't revealing or suggestive. I agree, it's getting harder to find them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 2:18AM
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I agree, I don't think you're a prude (though I'm not sure about the knee high boots, I got some for my 10th birthday 40 years ago and they weren't considered back then to be "too mature"). Too tight or revealing clothes, no. I also hate black on young girls. Even as a teenager I hated the message of "Grease" the musical, that if you are good and kind it's not enough to make you popular, you have to dress like a s[ut and smoke to be the centre of attention. No thanks, I thought even back then. Still bothers me.
Does your DD bring friends home/go to their homes sometimes? At that age mean girls tend to hunt in packs and the not-mean girls tend to fall in line behind them so as not to be the target themselves. So the trick is to isolate the not-mean girls and get them into a smaller group away from the mean girls' influence. That way they get to practice their social skills on each other with less social "risk".
Does your DD belong to a group like Brownies? I guess from the shoes she plays tennis and does dance classes but they're not as social a group as Brownies/Girl Scouts or similar. Perhaps your DD would enjoy something like that.
I also suspect that in a few years with a little encouragement your DD will have caught up maturity wise with her peers and it will be less of an issue. They often are a little out of sync with each other at early to mid teenhood.
Whatever you do don't give your DD the message that there's something wrong with her if she's not the life of the party if she isn't bothered by this.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 4:50AM
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I'm not sure a dance class group is a true representive of Little Myfam's regular classroom at school. just because this particular set of girls did not socialize with her does not necessarily mean she has no friends. I'd be more concerned if she was the total outcast at school Monday through Friday 8 to 3 (or whatever).

Does she sit alone at lunchroom? ignored and stand around alone at recess? When the classroom does partner projects is she the one no one wants to partner with? Asking her teacher at conference how she is doing both grade and socially might help let you know how her teachers feel. They observe all day in a variety of social settings.

She took a friend with her from another school. I'll assume this other child and her are friends, get along well and like each other...perhaps Little Myfam is happy having some friends but is a bit selective as to who will be her friend. Kinda like rather have a few good friends than sell who I am out to have bunches of friends and/or get into the 'in' crowd.

Clothing is more a personal thing. Does Little MyFam whine about the clothing you select for her? Does she go along shopping and give any input on what her wardrobe will be? in other words, is she asking to dress differently than what you allow her to? If not, I'd say she is quite happy having this particular style over what everyone else aka the girls from last evening are wearing. If she is not whining or fighting you at the clothing store with her wanting this and you buying something else she hated...I'd say she is comfortable in her own style and does not feel a need to be a clone to some of the other kids.

Here right now the boots are everywhere. My DD has more shoes than any child has a need for. She likes shoes. Clogs, fashion boots, sport shoes, sandals, she considers her footwear part of her outfit accessory. For her, changing footwear from day to day to go with whatever outfit is like changing the earrings. Last year it began with purses to a bit and the purses have picked up a bit more this year. The kid likes her accessories, but I can't say it's because she is following someone else or trying to fit in or look like a little clone of such and such a set of girls. She'll come out in the afternoon after school with a few other girls and not a one of them is dressed alike. Each one of her little 'group' different style. Some days she is quite happy wearing faded jeans and a sport team sweatshirt...she selects from closet what she wants the last couple years. I use to lay her clothing out each morning. So far DD has not asked to buy anything I would say I disapprove of. If that day comes it will be her father taking her to store and flat out saying 'not with my money you don't and if you think your mother is going to let you out the door in that even if I did buy it you can just forget that thought'.

But back to your daughter. Again, if she is not whining or fighting you on her wardrobe, I'd say she is quite comfortable and happy in what she's wearing. I never had a ton of GFs in school. I had my chosen friends some who did not even go to my school that I knew from other settings and I was happy as a lark...i never felt a need to be the 'it' girl everybody was buzzing about.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 8:01AM
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Wait, what's wrong?

Sounds like your dd is doing great. My DD9.5 also wears jeans, skirts, t-shirts with animals, etc. She has small stud earrings. She has a similar shoe collection. She does have boots. She has what I'd call "motorcycle" black boots (low heel, midcalf no bling) and purple scrunched midcalf suede boots. I don't think there's anything wrong with casual boots.

She is not in fashion at all but she's perfect for her age. And I wouldn't have it any other way (unless she was absolutely miserable of course). Kids should be kids.

But she's not a little kid. The change is for sure happening.

It's hard, isn't it? It sounds like you're doing fine.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Thank you all -- Dd has actually never complained about her clothes, not once. The only thing she has asked for that kind of made me cringe were the boots with the fur around the top. I am actually considering buying her a pair for Christmas. The only reason I have ever opposed snow boots is because it doesn't snow here... But apparently it's a fashion thing and not so much a snow thing...
Dd is not all that in to fashion. She doesn't really go shopping with me. I took her school clothes shopping and she honestly was an easy breeze. Picked things that I liked and was happy with the things I suggested. She Loves to wear silly socks that don't match but im ok with that actually.
At school she has to wear athletic shoes for PE so if she wears anything else she would have to change. She doesn't like the hassle of having to change shoes so she only wears the athletic shoes to school. This is her choice. If it were me I would do the switch every day lol

As far as friends at school, there isn't anyone that she talks about. She eats lunch with the girls bc there are only 8 girls in her class and the girls have to sit together at the 8 chair table. No one left out, no one picking and choosing. They have basically assigned seating so no one gets to pick. At recess the teachers say she reads or opts to go to study hall. She doesn't walk around in the cliques and groups of girls. The teachers praise her for this to me. They think it's wonderful. I'm wondering when she will want to be a girl and hang out with friends. The friend from another school is my Best Friends daughter. They have been BFFs since they were two so they do a lot of things together. The friend is very outgoing so when they are together she tends to follow along and she participates by feeling comfortable having someone as a guide. It took this friend coming over and going outside with her for her to finally meet some neighbor girls. The neighbor girls are nice but Dd won't go play with them alone. And when she does go she says she doesn't like playing with them bc they just chat about boys or music or tv and Dd wants to actually play, like dolls and games. Speaking of, Dd Loves to play barbies, dolls, she has a doll house she is currently playing with. I've tried to get rid of the house and she cries bc she loves it. She got that doll house when she was 4 and has yet to stop playing with it. I was not playing dolls or barbies at 10. Is she too old?? My Dh says she is too old. I say she will decide when she is too old. She likes dressing them. She doesn't really feed them or anything like that. She just likes changing their clothes and getting them 'ready for bed'. And fixing their hair.

So maybe I'm just being silly. She is going through a lot of phases right now. Lots of changes. She is going to be starting her period soon. She is already developed so much that a 'real' bra is in our very near future. She is breaking out and her body is moving and reshaping etc. So my little girl won't be so little much longer.
She'll be starting jr high next year and with that will bring many more opportunities to meet new friends.

I think maybe she is stuck in the middle of little girl/ big girl and momma is making a big deal about it in my head!! I am terrified she will be bullied or that she will be that kid that is awkward and has no friends. There are plenty of girls at her school that are just like her and us mom's agree we dont want our girls being like these other girls that walk around school like they own it... But Dd isn't in class with any of the sweet girls and there doesn't seem to be much opportunity for her to be around the sweet girls, this year I think she got stuck with the girls that are a year older and are just more mature than her. She is just 10 where some of these girls are already 11 almost 12... There seems to be a huge difference between a 10 yr old and an almost 12 yr old and if I hada choice I would keep her away from the older girls but I can't.

Thanks for the comments. I'm sure I'm being silly.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 9:36PM
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My heart melted reading your thoughts myfampg!
It reminded me of myself thirty years ago :)

Thinking back to my daughters 11th birthday party, I'm reminded of this story... I'd sent invitations to her girl classmates for a Saturday roller skating party (quite the rage "in the day" lol)
As the party progresses, Sis skates over to the sidelines where I'm setting the cake out and I ask her if she's having fun? She says "yeah" in that non committed tone. I asked her what's going on?..."Oh the girls are making fun of me because I won't hold hands and skate with those boys. Mom, I don't want to hold hands"! And that's when I knew for sure my daughter was immature for her age and that if she was good with it, I REALLY was :) And as time passed, I was never more glad of her immaturity than during her teen years.

So, most times the kids know better than we what suits them. And if your daughter doesn't seem bothered you needn't be bothered for her. I do understand your concerns, as no mother wants her child to be an outsider and just by what you wrote, I'd want you to be my mom...your daughter must feel safe and more than loved :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 1:19AM
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Myfampg, I don't think you're being silly to be concerned about your daughter.

As long as your daughter is happy I don't think you should be too worried about her social life. My eldest daughter is 13 and she still watches SpongeBob and other cartoons. I still enjoy playing Barbie's with my girls.

She has her own "style" which is sort of rocker chic, and while she does keep up with the latest fashion trends, at the same time she gives it her own individual spin. I think other kids respect kids who aren't afraid to be different and not just follow the herd. If you are afraid of her being bullied you can talk to her about what to do in that situation, plus they have all kinds of classes now in schools about bullying and why it's not cool.

I would encourage your daughter to be her own individual and tell her how special she is. Just keep being a source of encouragement and I think with you in her corner she'll be fine.

"there are plenty of girls at her school that are just like her and us mom's agree we dont want our girls being like these other girls that walk around school like they own it"
Maybe you can try and set up play dates with the daughters of these moms. You are a good mom who is just concerned about her daughter, but I wouldn't be too worried about a girl who doesn't want to grow up so fast.

PS-My D13 wants a pair of those fur trimmed boots as well and we live in South Carolina, there's no snow here either, LOL! I got her a pair for Christmas.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 10:35AM
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You ladies are so funny. DD and I both have trimmed fur boots. We live in S. California. They're great. Don't worry about them being snow boots.

Let her keep her dollhouse till she's done. Every child is different. Bless her little heart. The shyest most immature girl in my high school is a boat captain. And she's still WAY classy, even in her bikini. :)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Thank you silver -- it would break her heart to even mention it right now lol she loves that thing and it drives me nuts because it's so big and always in 'my' way. It was possibly the best purchase I've ever made.

The reason my friends Dd and her are such good friends is bc they can play barbies and doll house for HOURS and they love it. I think my problem is wanting to be 'in control' and I should just let Dd take the lead. She is a good kid and has so much to deal with as it is.

I know I wasnt playing with dolls and barbies at her age but I also know what I was doing at 13 that I shouldn't have been... Maybe if I was playing with dolls longer, I wouldn't have been out getting into trouble .... :(

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 10:07PM
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Maybe she's a little less mature than some of her peers. That's ok! Probably preferable to the opposite! LOL

I think you should thank your lucky stars your daughter isn't one of the "cool kids" and doesn't seem to want to be. I spent some time as a "cool kid" in high school, and there is a lot more pressure to drink, try drugs, and have sex in that crowd than in the nerdy crowd. It's awesome that she doesn't even care (as evidenced by not asking for the clothes that are "in"), and that she's just doing her own thing.

I would worry if she had NO friends. But she obviously has the ability to make friends and maintain friendships, even if it's with one close friend. As she gets older, she'll find her own group to run with (probably high school). Believe me, she'll mature soon enough and you'll be begging for the Barbie playing days again, haha!

And you're a great mom for worrying about her! Just let her do her thing. She seems like a happy little girl!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 4:24PM
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Myfam...all of that is so much more normal than you could ever imagine. She is at a really awkward age where every kid develops at a different rate....mentally, emotionally, and physically. They don't really even start to even out until about 15 or 16. She is just fine and completely normal for her age!!

When my DS was your DD's age, he had a birthday party and one of the kids kept talking about how hot this girl was and blah, blah, blah. I remember he was way oversexed for 11. Well now none of those same boys are friends with that other boy, but they are still friends with eachother. DS told me that kid is a real jerk and treats girls badly.

I guess I'm thankful for my son's "immaturity" or else I'd be apologizing to some girl's dad once a week. LOL!

Your DD is going to figure out how to be social by going to events like this and trying it out. It's awkward and painful, but it's a necessary pain...kind of like a growing pain. Sure, she may be embarassed a time or two, but that's what it will take for her to develop her own style.

She seems a lot like my neice, and my neice has the most heart-warming and endearing personality of anyone I've ever met!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Thank you both. You know how it feels to be a mom and you don't want your kids to feel that pain of embarrassment. Her shyness hurts me physically. I mean I watch her be so shy around people and I just wish she were more outgoing but this is who she is and I am going to accept it. I don't want to change her at all, I just want to guide her properly.

I started reading a good book this weekend about Tweens and I'm finding that I definitly should be thankful and maybe even patting myself on the back that she is where she is rather than where some girls (a lot) are at her age. I just worry that she'll be this really awkward kid but I'm finding that even if she is... She will most likely be a very well rounded adult :)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:25PM
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She sounds like a great kid, as others have said. If I were you, I'd schedule a conference with her teachers and ask for their feedback. Let them know discreetly in advance that it's about her social skills, so they'll be prepared and can give that a little bit of extra attention ahead of time. I have always found teachers to be a terrific resource, and usually their feedback is dead on target. The good teachers are aware of their students' social skills as well as their academic ones.

The great thing about teachers is that they see so many students year after year. If your daughter is just not a good fit with the other girls in the class, the teachers will know. Whenever I had concerns about my kids, I always asked their teachers.

My kids are ages 19 and 22 now, and over the years I have watched many, many sweet, shy little girls grow up to have lots of wonderful, close friends by the time they graduate high school. I find as kids grow into older teens, they value those girls who are kind, thoughtful and nice. Many of those nerdy, decidedly uncool middle school girls grow up to have close friendships with a lot of other nice girls and guys, too, for that matter.

The nerdy, shy, quiet middle school girls I knew who developed lots of friendships with nice kids in high school all had one thing in common. They all found something interesting at high school to do. Maybe band, cross country, swimming, academic bowl, theater or dance group, etc. It's great your daughter has dance. Teenagers gain a lot of self confidence by being good at something.

I wouldn't worry about my daughter playing dolls too long. I also wouldn't encourage her to wear makeup or more mature clothes, either. But, I would let her pick out clothes that are like the other girls' (if that's what she wanted) unless the clothes are revealing or have provocative words written on them, etc. So I'd let my daughter wear boots if she wanted, but not pants with "bootylicious" written across the seat, and nothing low cut with her bra hanging out everywhere.

It is a gut-wrenching feeling to see those little girls or little boys who just don't quite fit with the rest of the class.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:59PM
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Thank you! I really value everything you mentioned. I do have a conference next week so I'll bring it up.

My Dh just pointed out to me that I am pushing my insecurities onto my Dd. What??
We are renting right now and live in a town home. Dd goes to school with children that are more priveledged. We are talking kids that live in close to million $ homes ... And their dad's are surgeons or judge's/lawyers etc. I'm self conscious about our finances but I want Dd to have a good education and this school was the starting point. At dinner tonight, DD told me that the girls asked her at lunch if she lives in X community. And she said no. I got all nervous and said what did you say? What did they say? What was their reaction? Omg omg and she said 'I told them no and that was it.

Ugh I hate that I feel so poor right now and that I even care! I'm not poor and even debt free I would never be living in X community... My Dh said that if I don't act like it bothers me, it won't bother her. We are finally moving, after 2 years here. We Are moving in April into a home. Finally! So I'm hoping my insecurity on that level will go away... I have to keep reminding myself, I'm doing this for a reason and it's for Dd and her education. I didn't care about the $ when we decided to move here so I need to suck it up and get over it!!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:58PM
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Oh Myfam. Big hugs!!

I know what you mean. When people ask me in "that" way where we live, or about DD's school, or or or... I get that gut-clench feeling too.

But we live in a good neighborhood. I often don't even lock my doors. We have good neighbors, DD goes to a sweet little school, we are close to the freeways which DH and I wanted (I love the country, but not the commute).

We have assets that people can't see. But it is so hard when I feel inferior...gotta channel Eleanor Roosevelt on this one....


I wish I could hold your hand. It's gonna be ok. Your dd has a good mama who loves her so much. A big house in the "right" neighborhood wouldn't fix that if it weren't true.

With enough money you can buy whatever house you want, but you can't buy a Myfam at the Mama Store.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 8:39PM
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We live in a relatively affluent community and our home is not in one of the "rich" neighborhoods. My kids' friends normally live in nicer homes, nicer neighborhoods, have nicer cars, etc. Our income is more than some, less than others, but we probably appear from the outside to have less.

I also grew up with much less financial advantages and privileges than my friends.

I don't necessarily agree with your husband that if it doesn't bother you, it won't bother her. At some point it may bother her no matter what you do. But if it bothers you, then it probably will bother her. This is just my opinion, others may differ, but as a parent I think it is YOUR job to model concern for things that are important and disregard the things that aren't. The things that are important are goodness, kindness, discipline, hard work, education, etc. Million dollar homes and Mercedes cars are not. As parents we HAVE to stay grounded and on message, even if our kids are sidetracked.

Having been in a position somewhat similar to yours, I can say that it gave us a lot of teachable moments with our kids. Our situation opened up a lot of discussion about saving, wealth, education, etc. If your daughter turns out to notice and the difference bothers her, then use that to your advantage and point out the education and sacrifice those doctors went through, the good grades they had to get and the studying they had to do. Recommend that she volunteer in areas that would look good on an application to a prestigious college, etc. Help her channel her energies into high level biology, chemistry, calculus classes, etc. If she is bothered by the income difference, then knowing she has the power to change that for herself will help. I think if she follows that path, then just general life experience as she grows up (along with having grounded, sensible parents) will help her learn that "stuff" is not that important. By then, hopefully she'll be in a good position with her education and grades that she can choose a career that pays "enough" and gives her satisfaction.

If the income difference doesn't bother her, then it shouldn't bother you. Let it go. As your daughter moves through her teen years and you know more people in the community, you'll find that some of those kids from those million dollar homes deal drugs, go to rehab, their parents don't know where they are and don't care. And some of those kids in those million dollar homes have warm, lovely, wonderful families who go on fabulous, educational trips and can afford the best tutoring, etc. for their kids. If your daughter is as smart as I'll bet she is, she'll see life for what it is - some people have it better, some people have it worse. Money is not the determinant, love is.

Many of the people I know counteract the general affluence by making sure their middle school aged and older kids go on mission trips or volunteer to help those less fortunate. That way their kids learn that not everyone gets a brand new car when they turn 16; some kids live in shelters or live in fear that mom's boyfriend will beat them in a drug-induced haze. We can tell them about that till our lips turn blue, but seeing it for themselves makes all the difference in the world.

You need the confidence as a mom to see that you are thoughtful, kind, hard-working, responsible, pay your bills and contribute to society. If you are all those things, then you can hold your head up in any company, rich or poor. Model that confidence for your daughter, and you will be giving her an enormous gift of great worth. She may not see it for the gift it is while she's young, but she will see it when she's older.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:22PM
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So what if you live in a town house and not a million dollar mansion! Self esteem should not be predicated on "stuff" which can be here today and gone tomorrow. Self esteem should be based on the *person* you are. "Stuff" does not mean someone is "better" or even "happier".
When my DD was little, she would ask, "Are we rich?" I would tell her that compared to 99% of the world's population we were insanely wealthy. We had our own home, with a room for each one of us and other rooms too. We had food every day, as much as we wanted. We had clothes and toys and other stuff, more than the average third-world village. She could go to school and didn't have to work from age 3 just to survive. Billions of people would give anything to be like us. We are the 1%, quite literally.
There will always be someone else richer, or smarter, or better at (insert anything you like here). But by the same token, there will always be a whole raft of people less well endowed. Just remember, even Eddie the Eagle was at the Olympics, 5 billion other people weren't! :-)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:35PM
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--"At dinner tonight, DD told me that the girls asked her at lunch if she lives in X community. And she said no. I got all nervous and said what did you say? What did they say? What was their reaction? Omg omg and she said 'I told them no and that was it."--

Stop that! Stop being so suspicious of every little thing another kid asks your daughter. Unless you KNOW there was a 'dark' motive behind the question/conversation don't automatically assume the worst. There is nothing wrong about where she does live and the question may have been nothing more than curiosity on a subject the girls where chattering about. Little MyFam openly talk to you...you will know if and when there is something bothering her. As she appears to have thought little of the question yet saw YOU react like 'OMG', your DH is partly correct. Daughter does not have a problem with her home but she may pick up real fast from your reactions that YOU do aka feeding her your insecurities.

If the lunchroom conversation DID have devious undertone meaning by the question asker...reacting in sheer panic when told about it just reenforces the idea that YOU feel inferior and ashamed. She saw it on your face (unless you're one heck of a poker player) even if your mouth may have said nothing. MyFam, there is nothing wrong with living in your townhome. Daughter seems happy enough about it. She seems happy enough with her clothing. Seems happy enough about her number of friends. She seems secure and OK with her home/life (except for the SM part) and don't take that sense of 'it is ok to be who I am' away from her by making her think YOU are not OK with who she is.

Money is not everything. And even when there is money, one does not necessarily chose to 'flaunt' it. I live in a home that I absolutely love. Been in the same home for 25 yrs. I love my little corner of the world. I don't have to live here, I like living here. I could afford to buy a big ol house that screams 'look at me', I have chosen not to...it is not important to me. My home every well describes exactly who I am inside. My garden, DH's workshop, the cozy little rooms full of love. My GS does live in a huge home on the bluff looking over his city...it looks like a frickin' castle...he clearly enjoys coming to Gma's house where he feels love and security and a true sense of warmth. He spent most of his first 5 years in my home while his parents worked. He lived in an apartment for a couple years until his parents divorced. Now BM lives in the big house, DS (his dad) has a house smaller than mine in a quiet little neighborhood, and I still live where I have for years.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:32AM
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"At dinner tonight, DD told me that the girls asked her at lunch if she lives in X community. And she said no. I got all nervous and said what did you say? What did they say? What was their reaction? Omg omg and she said 'I told them no and that was it."

Myfampg - If my daughter said that I would be so proud of her! That tells me she doesn't CARE what other people think and that is a quality hard to develop. She is strong enough to realize she doesn't need to impress others with where she lives or how "rich" her parents are.

Colleenoz is so right. We may feel poor, but compared to the rest of the world, we are quite rich. We don't go to bed hungry, we have TVs, refrigerators, running water, etc. Just watching the movie Slum dog Millionaire made me realize how good we have it here in America.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 8:52AM
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Myfam - your DD could be my DS! He is also 10.5, straight A's, ubber kind and polite, not at all aggressive, not really in to being 'cool' and a little socially 'off' at times. He often thinks and sees things on a deeper level, and often kids don't 'get' him or his humor. Honestly, sometimes he's even too deep for my simple mind! ;) He has friends, but isn't the popular kid who gets invited to every party. None of this really seems to phase him, and sometimes I worry that it should. . . what happens when he hits middle school where fitting in is so much more important and kids are so much meaner? He is playing football this year (LOVES the sport, totally not cut out for it) and I watch him with the 'cool' 6th grade boys and wonder if he'll be able to 'hang' next year. I just try to remind myself he is who he is - an amazing, intelligent, giving, warm-hearted boy I'm blessed to call mine. He will be who he will be, and we'll work through life as it hits us. Even the cool kids have a hard time behind the scenes, I'm sure. Embrace your DD's unique personality. She will be who she will be. . . . and she'll be amazing.

PS - if it makes you feel better, I was the president of the PTA and have MANY great friends in the school. My DS is still who he is. :)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Thank you everyone I know I am being a bit sensitive and probably a bit insecure and worrying when I should be grateful.

Our living situation makes me insecure. I blame my mother lol it's something I deal with in therapy but I still have made any headway on it. I have lived the 'with money' life with my ex and even when I say, id rather have love than money any day, since I've had both, I still wish I owned my own home, in a neighborhood full of kid with my own flowerbed to dig in and my own walls to paint. It's a goal. We are close but it's been a long two years. Mostly because I have legal fees out the you know what... And I married a man that never planned to marry or have a family and so he never planned for the future. At our ages we are just starting and we have two kids to raise... One is half way out the door ... My son will be settled and in a home in a neighborhood before he starts school and he probably won't remember that if it weren't for hand me down clothes, he might have not have been dressed the last two years. Thank goodness for our blessings because we have always been able to pay the bills, afford extras for the kids and cover the little things that come up in life. I come from a home where we never moved. My mom still lives in the home she bought 42 years ago when she married my biodad. Our lives were always very settled and we all went to the same schools, had the same teachers etc. Grew up with the same neighbors and friends. Dd has moved 3 times in her life, has been to 2 schools and I'm just feeling guilty that we aren't as settled as we should be. I know people move all the time but for someone that came from such a settled background, it's hard to justify to myself my unsettled feelings. I know my Dd doesn't care, I'm sure she doesn't. She is too worried about what books she is going to read and what performance she will do at the talent show.

With that said, she hears a lot from her dad about how crappy we live. I know he and sm are just trying to upset me and maybe even make her think the grass is greener over there. I would not say I am jealous of them at all but I feel insecure that he COULD provide a more stable environment for Dd as far as a home goes. Nothing more. I provide fine for her mentally, emotionally, financially. He has made comments that with the amount of support he pays we should be living in a better area. Couldn't be further from the truth but I internalize it and I worry that as Dd gets older, she is going to buy in to what he says to her. And she won't want to be with me anymore. It's just a fear I'm sure there is no basis for it but it is my feelings and I can't do anything but accept the way things are and move on.

Thanks again for letting me vent here and giving me great advice. I really appreciate it!!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:34AM
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--He has made comments that with the amount of support he pays we should be living in a better area."--

I would not put too much stock into what the Ex say/thinks, MyFam. This is the guy would who has had some debt troubles himself. That 'big' house of his is a shell to reality of what lives behind the walls. He's also the guy who 'conserves' water by refusing showers and can't give his daughter a couple dollars for lunch on a Dad Day. The guy who does not live up to his side of agreements. Not exactly my idea of a role model or someone I'd style my life after.

Fact is, if he was not such a horse's behind along with that wife of his and all their games, you'd be closer to your goal of having the house you want...one can't pay a lawyer to fight never ending battles and still have everything they want on top of it too moneywise. You've been using your money to fight for this child. Little MyFam has been the priority. Nothing to be ashamed of...you have the kid's back and you still have managed to provide a decent home full of love. I'd not worry a twit about this guy being more capable of providing a more stable living environment for Little MyFam. Think about it...you've seen exactly what 'home life' those two provide your daughter on the weekends he does have her. Never sees Dad who is working working working, and she's suppose to pretend her mother/brother do not exist. Not to mention 'Mom', I mean SM, who dishes out ridiculous vindictive behavior towards the kid. Is THAT really what you wish upon your daughter 24/7?

Speaking of 'the amount of support' he pays, did you ever get the CS that had not yet showed up a few weeks ago?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 8:34AM
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I did! He must have inquired about it bc next pay period I received double the amount. I thought it was strange but maybe they changed his pay period around to once a month so he pays once a month. That would be fine with me however some communication on the change would have been nice. We got it worked out so that we aren't relying on it on the 1st as much and if it's late again, we wont struggle. We had to do some due date moving around but it worked out in the end.

You are so right!! You know what makes me the maddest about him making comments about where we live? They think bc we live in a multifamily building, that we are destined to have bugs. They won't let Dd bring her backpack into their house bc they don't want 'our' bugs coming into their house. Lol I wish I had some bugs to send over there... I asked Dd if she has ever seen any bugs in our house in the two years we have lived here. She said well other than the fly on my tv, no. Lol we don't have bugs. I told Dd that people in houses get ants and roaches and other bugs just as often as people in apartments or townhomes... No one is immune to them-- we just have to spray and keep food put away so we don't invite them in but we would have to do the same thing if we lived in a house. Period. It's all silly!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:24PM
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JNM said "I just try to remind myself he is who he is - an amazing, intelligent, giving, warm-hearted boy I'm blessed to call mine."

This is TOTALLY how I feel about my DS!!! That's why I worry about how X was treating him. I don't want him to become jaded and hardened, ya know? I don't want him to lose his spirit because when DS is excited about something, it's IMPOSSIBLE to not be excited with him. But when he's sad or upset about something, everyone becomes sad or upset. He has an infectious personality and my goal, as his mother, is that the positive spread more than the negative.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 2:56PM
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You are so right!!! That is why I'm worried about her too. Ex and his wife are so negative. Dd does nothing right. And it is really sad. They don't want her to have anything or be anything, enjoy anything. She is either too young for what she has or too old. They can't make up their minds. It drives me insane. She can't wear a bra or deodorant - too young. Can't wear hair bows, too old. Can't play with dolls- too old. Can't have a phone - too young. Can't stay alone by herself - too young. Needs to pack her own bag- too old for me to do it. Needs to be responsible for things that I feel she is too young to worry about. But there she is old enough. Anything I sign her up for too young too old doesn't matter, they change with the wind... She gets excited about choir, they knock her and say it's stupid. She gets excited about a good grade, they knock her and say stepsister has a higher grade.
You knOw, I was thinking about this earlier today. Stepsister is in 4th grade and she has been to 4 different schools. 1 public school and 3 private schools. It's like they can't find the right one. They want to point fingers at me for moving 1 school and say I'm unstable but yet... They are doing the same thing more times. I don't know why I let other people's judgement of me effect me so much.. Who cares!!! It's my life. All that matters is if I am happy!! That is how I want Dd to feel but I just worry that someOne will come along to knock her again and make her feel insecure about life in general whether it's clothes or house or activities or whatever.

I just have to remember that she will be who she will be regardless of what I want or what I hope for. I think I want her to be so different from me so that she doesn't struggle like I have emotionally. I don't think I can control how her dad is and what affect it will have on her. I just have to keep showing her how much we love her and value her and hope that her self esteem will be strong even after jr high and her dad... I'm terrified of jr high!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 7:42PM
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myfampg, my ds16 is VERY socially awkward. I too worry about him at school. His first day of high school when he got home i asked him who he sat with.... he told me and it ended up being a kid I considered "cool". I asked him like everyday for two weeks. I was soooooooo nervous he'd be alone at lunch. It broke my heart to even think of it. The summer before this last one... he had never had a friend over to our house. I got phone numbers of some of the kids and told him he had till 6pm to have someone over. If he didn't do it, I'd find someone for him. He didn't believe me so at 6 I began texting kids to call his phone. I ended up with 2 boys at my house that night and he had a good time. Now he does have a very good friend that he hangs out with a lot but he goes to a catholic school and we go to public schools. So they don't get to hang out at school. They met in middle school but the kids dad got a job at the catholic school so he transferred. He's a great kid and not awkward.... so I always hope he rubs off a little on ds16. He still very rarely goes to do anything. He never goes to the games, never goes to the dances, never any parties, nothing. I am still pretty nervous about all that. I do make sure he pretty much has everything as far as clothes go.... his jeans have to come from American Eagle because they are the only ones that fit. (he's a 30/34).... most of his hoodies come from there or Aero or Holister or are Nike, Adidas, under armor, etc. His shoes are the Rezigs. I always ask the hair stylest to give him a "cool" cut and trim his eye brows... they're kinda bushy. He has contacts.... He looks good. He's just painfully shy.

Now... ds11, ss and ds8.... they couldn't be more socially outgoing. DS11 is in middle school and just came home asking for North Face... UGH!!! I've dreaded that... no sales there and they're sooooo expensive. I told him to write it down for Christmas, we shall see. SS and DS8.... their teachers tell me that they are super popular. They're just complete opposite of ds16..... and I don't know what to do about it.

I guess if ds16 is happy hanging out with me and dh on the weekends I should be ok with it... it's just odd.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 3:00PM
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as long as she's happy i wouldn't worry. though i wouldn't be surprised if she winds up having older friends in the future. help guide her then to seek out people of good character. =D

and i strongly believe that changing your family's values (what ever they are) to allow your child to "fit in" sends a very bad message. if you tell her it's okay to wear things that are inappropriate or unlike her comfort level or character to blend or make friends, then you'll be doing a huge disservice. i think you're doing fine though, i'm just saying stick to.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 5:41PM
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