Having a daughter in middle school is tough. There are so many “rules” to parenting that I honestly cannot keep up.
Give her space
Let her make mistakes
Let her make choices and face consequences
Let her come to you
And on and on
It’s hard to be a spectator is your child’s life. As a parent you want to guide and be a part of everything! And most of all you don’t want them to make the mistakes you made. And you certainly do not want them to experience pain that you experienced. As a victim of bullying when I was in middle school, I have found myself being at a heightened awareness of my daughter’s friends and how they talk to each other. Last night on our way to dinner she was telling me that Demi Lovato was bullied when she was her age. The conversation continued on with how Demi is now a spokesperson against bullying and that she really had a hard time with it.
Funny how kids know these things. So, in fact this morning I pulled up an article and an interview with Demi Lovato and Katie Couric. Demi talked about being bullied and how she felt insecure since she was four years old about her weight. Apparently her sensitivity to her body image was brought to life by some mean girls during her middle school years. She recounts girls yelling bad names at her on her street and even calling her mom and leaving school because it was so bad.
In 2010, when Demi was 18 she dropped out of a tour with the Jonas Brothers after hitting a back-up dancer. She apparently was out of control. Her publicist later confirmed that Demi is fighting the effects of being bullied and struggling with an eating disorder and cutting herself. Demi and her family decided the star needed help after demonstrating that her coping skills had run their course and she needed new strategies.
In an interview in 2011, a year after rehab, Demi confirmed that she had fought eating disorders her entire life as well as cutting. Being bullied just added fuel to the fire of her low self-esteem and self-worth. Most days she explained she wished they would just hit her and get it over with. Instead the constant lashings with their cruel words left marks on her that did not go away.
Demi chronicled on MTV her day to day struggles after rehab to stay the course in her recovery. It was raw exposure to what the star was battling every day and how she masked it from those around her. Her parents supported her decision to get help 110% and have always stood behind her in her pursuits.
Parents…take time to talk to your teenagers. If they are struggling, help them get help.