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Help needed for 14yo daughter


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Old 09-17-2018, 11:42 AM   #1
aBetterMoustrap
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Help needed for 14yo daughter

Hello,

I am a single father and have a 14yo daughter.

In general she’s very outgoing, lots of friends, does excellent in school (almost all As and an occasional B) and very active in sports and fitness.

She started getting her period about a year ago and I totally failed her as a parent with that. I really didn’t know what to do and I tried to talk to her a couple of times before she started and she assured me she knew all about it and what to do. She was embarssaed of course to discuss that with her dad so I backed off. I know I failed because the day it happened I pickenshe from school crying. Her best girlfriend helped her with supplies and the school nurse too.

So here I am in another situation and not sure what to do. This morning she was up early before school and had her sheets in the washing machine. She does her own laundry but never before school and we have spare sheets so usually you strip the bed and replace with already washed sheets. She acted very embarrassed and I just kinda of ignored it and moved on. I figured maybe her period came unexpected at night. This is the second time I have noticed she has washed her sheets immediately when getting up so it seemed strange. About 2 months ago she did the same.

After she left for the bus a bit ago I went into her room which reeks of febreeze, pulled back the sheets and on her bed there is a noticeable wet spot that smells of urine and some stains looking like this has happened before.

I’m nit sure what to do. Should I just ignore it? Maybe it’s stress? This is her first year of high school?

I feel like I’ve failed her many times as a parent since she didn’t have her mother around. Her moms not in the picture to help with this.

Any advice I really appreciate. I don’t want to make her feel worse. Also what do I do about the mattress? It’s ruined really an dif I had the money I’d buy a new one. I just don’t have the money. Things have been really really bad financially. Is it sanitary to try and scrub it or use a carpet cleaner best I can and then when it says maybe encase it into a mattress bag that’s waterproof?

Thank you.

Last edited by Administrator; 09-17-2018 at 12:29 PM.

 
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Old 09-17-2018, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

Perhaps she's urinating in her sleep and she's embarrassed to tell you. Yes I would clean and dry the mattress as best you can. And she needs to go to the doctor- tell her it's a regular check up. Alert the doctor to her issue and to her starting her periods BEFORE you get there so the doctor can just bring it up with her normally in the course of the exam. The doctor will know how to handle it so she doesn't think you told him/her. And don't go in the exam room with her!

 
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

Thank you. That makes a lot of sense. I used a wet dry vac and scrubbed the heck out of the mattress it’s cleaner and it’s drying now. I will try and get it inside a waterproof mattress protector later today when she’s not here.

I know I probably need to take her to a doctor but money is extremely tight. Like beyond tight. We don’t have medical insurance right now. I’m working hard to get insurance back in force.

She I take her to a gynecologist or a pediatrician or an urgent care? Urgent care is probably least expensive???

 
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

Dear single dad,

First, KUDOS to you for stepping up. Second, RELAX. YOU, dad, are no failure. Don't even think that. The most important thing is love and stability. Stability means you are always there for her to turn to. Not that you know everything, but you don't need to. Intact families also have these exact same issues. You have a normal and great daughter. Don't feel like the lone ranger, hon, how could you have known what to do?

Urgent care is very expensive without insurance. It is for things like broken bones, so no on that. First ask her if she has pain or a burning feeling when she pees. If so then yeah, take her to a walk in clinic for a urine test to see if she has a urinary tract infection. If not she could have dreamed she was going to the bathroom and wet the bed, then been horrified and embarrassed. Regardless, it is not at all unusual. Those things happen. It's just that few people admit it. She likely was trying to secretly wash things out of embarrassment. Let her know she can tell you anything, and these things can happen even to adults. In my opinion, unless the menstrual bleeding won't stop she does not need to be rushed to a doctor as if she is abnormal. You can ask her if she wants to talk to a doctor. I would not rush to subject her to an examination at all.

In California there are inexpensive walk-in medical clinics galore. Look online for one and call to ask the cost of a urine test. They can check her urine and find out if she has a bladder infection. And help you go from there, if necessary. If needed apply at the county for medical help. Do you get food stamps? There also free food pantries. There was a time i had needed to used all of those. There is no shame in it.

No matter what, try to lighten the mood.Tell her how silly you acted (whether you feel silly or not). I am telling you what I wish I had done with my children and what I wish my mother had done with me. From experience of being a girl and a mother, I believe she likely was only reacting to you being aghast, so ask her if she thought you were angry at her, then tell her no, you were only upset that you didn't know she could ask you to help her. Bed wetting is VERY common, and for the mattress can she sleep on the couch for a few days to the mattress can dry? Or you sleep on it and give her your bed for awhile. Put a light blanket over the plastic and then the sheet. Really this is not a big deal at all. We who were not raised in households where a mattress could not just be thrown away and replaced know all about this. When you can, then you can replace it.the mattress.

As for her period, the more horrified you are at yourself the worse she will feel. I suggest that you assume that she had been embarrassed and tell her she is normal and nothing is wrong, and that you just didn't know how to help her. When I was a girl, periods were not treated as a disease, and no one was rushed to a doctor unless bleeding didn't stop or something was actually wrong. Personally I would get literature for her to read and ask if she wants to discuss this with a doctor and respect her wishes. Allow her to have her privacy on the subject and don't make out like something is wrong with her or she is sick. You can always go the doctor's office yourself and ask if they have literature on menstruation for a teenage girl. Of course if bleeding won't stop she needs a doctor, but walk in clinics are less expensive and are fine for that.

Even were you a female the VERY same exact things could have happened with her first period. Have confidence in yourself that you love her and together you can work problems out. That will give her confidence to grow up with. Kids don't need perfect parents. They need persistently loving parents. You can teach her it is OK to make mistakes and OK to not know what to do. That she can always ask you for help and she doesn't need to deal with a problem by herself.

She knows about her period now, so that is out of the way to an extent. Expect her to have the usual moodiness and tell her to tell you if she has cramping, and meanwhile ask a pharmacist what you can buy to help her with that. Be sure to ask her if she would like for you to buy it and just let her tell you what she needs. This is a big growing up experience.

Kudos to you dad. You are there for her so tell her often that she can tell you anything and together you will figure out what to do if anything needs done. Many times she will only need the words I love you or a shoulder to lean on.
That is where her sense of security will come from. Not from living in a perfect world.

It's OK to be a single father, and you are doing fine.
The way I know this is from what you shared.
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Last edited by YaYagirl; 09-17-2018 at 10:38 PM.

 
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:34 PM   #5
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

Thank you so much for the post. I really appreciate you taking time to write so much..both of you!!! I really try hard but its difficult. I dnít care about me and my difficulty I care about her so i donít want to seem this was about me.

I decided to follow your advice. It worked out I didnít have a chance to get the mattress protector onto the bed when she was not here. I gently brought up the situation and of course she was really embarrassed. I think it would be a lot easier if I was mom and not dad.

I was super gentle but she just started crying. I told her it was om and I wasnít mad and even adults have dreams of going to the bathroom and it happeneing why they are alseep sometimes. I told her I got a protector for the mattress and it was somthing most people have on a mattres anyways.

She promised me there isnt any pain or burning when she pees. I tried t be really gentle but she didnít talk to me the rest of the night muchójust did her homework and watched some tv and went to bed.

She has been her normal self since then so i hope it wasnt too traumatic.

How much should I pay attention and watch to see if she has more accidents? Or should I just totally ignore it unless she brings it up?

Thanks!!!

 
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Old 09-19-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

And yes. Iím horribly embarrassed but I have been getting EBT which is a fancy way to say foodstamps. I work 45-50hrs a week and on top of the try and get odd jobs to help also. Long story and I wonít go into detail but itís just not enough. Iím working on making some major changes and part of that might mean moving but thatís a problem too. I think moving would be really stressful for her especially at her age and just starting high school. Itís just so horrible expensive to live in California.

 
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

Dear aBetterMoustrap,

You're very welcome!
Good job! You told her the right things, and she has demonstrated that she can let her emotions out and deal with them and move on. It was not traumatic at all, just an embarrassing situation. Now it's out in the open and she knows you won't overreact, so if she has a problem she can tell you. She's normal and doing fine. I suggest that you not be checking her bed. That will not build trust between you. One thing you may want to do is get a parenting teen-age girls book. It might help you relax and enjoy your time together.

NO, it is not easier for mom than dad. It's just different.
And many teens resist the same sex parent even more. We can never guess which way it will go. There is the fact that every person and relationship is unique, so don't ever think you should have known what to do. There is no set of rules for how people will be, so extend patience and love to her and own your own angst and emotions and keep them to yourself or discuss with safe adults that will stay out of it.

It's very difficult to parent a pre-teen or teen even with both parents, just a different set of issues. Don't think of them as problems. They are just life issues. Keep your fears to yourself or discuss them with us or a professional, You are doing fine.

Next issue that comes up, and they will, try to just be matter of fact with her. State the obvious, ...an example using what already happened - I know this is already taken care of, but for future reference.... "let's get a cover on your mattress, I forgot to do that, so no worries", give here a hug is she accepts hugs or ask her if you can hug her, and then drop the subject...that shows her you have confidence in her that she can handle her own emotions and that her own emotions are hers to deal with.
Expect her to have her own emotions. Any cognizant person would. If she accepts hugs ask if you can give her a hug, and that's the end of it.

You said the right thing to her; leave that with her unless she see her writhing in pain, then remind her to let you know so you can together find a solution. You know it is not unusual for some people to have an accident in the bed. I think she knows she can tell you if she is in pain.

Unless you find out evidence of more wetting she didn't tell you about, let go of it. Don't pay any more attention to it, or you can make her become self-conscious and think there is something wrong with her. If you find menstrual blood on her sheet or undies, tell her that if she puts the sheet in the washer with some cold water it's easier to get out of the fabric. Just be matteroffact and she will learn that things can be dealt with and there's no reason to get upset or worried...she will take her cues from how you are.

Kudos!
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Old 11-23-2018, 05:30 PM   #8
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Re: Help needed for 14yo daughter

You're very welcome.

My own kids are all adults, doing very well on their own. I have three grandchildren. How we lived did not harm any of them at all. Teach your child to be grateful; not shamed of needing some assistance. It starts with us. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Letting your child be homeless or hungry when help is available, that would be shameful. Use the food pantries for canned goods and basics. Take your child and volunteer to serve at places that serve meals to the poor and teach her to give back. Remember that welfare comes from taxes that all of us including you pay. It is a safeguard and a stepping stone, not the sum total of life.

Don't be embarrassed about being brave enough to admit you need help or accepting it. No one of us really wants to be there. Just be grateful.

We had to leave CA due to the cost of living. My husband and I are on a fixed income, and we have no retirement due to life circumstances.

The more you give moral support and understanding, and praise for her efforts the more your child will shine. Tell her we all get stresses in life, but few admit them to each other. Teach her and yourself the truth that we don't know what kind of hardships others are dealing with.

You are a good mom.

Love,
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