My first day of high school was probably the worst day of my life. My parents were forcing me to attend a prep school 45 minutes from my home. Out of a class of 110 incoming freshmen, I knew no one. Not a single person. I had spent the last eight years in a class with 30 kids; I had not had to make a new friend at school since the first grade. I don't think I have ever felt as lonely as I did that day, before or since. So of course I entered school that first day with a massive chip on my shoulder.
We moved across country two years ago and our 16-year-old daughter still hasn't forgiven us for it. She blames us for uprooting her and she misses her friends terribly. Because she was very attached to her friends, we promised her before we came that she could go back summers. As the summer approaches and she prepares to leave, the pain of separation from her old friends seems to surface even more. She has good friends here but she seems fixated on the fact that we've uprooted her. I want to let her express her feelings, but I feel she becomes abusive. Is it a mistake to keep sending her back? How can we help her resolve this painful issue? A Guest Expert Naomi Raz, MSW, replies: Moving an adolescent is a not a simple matter.
Dear WholeDad, Hi! I'm a 13-year-old girl and the youngest of 5. My father passed away six years ago. It didn't seem to bother me then but now it does. I really miss him more now than ever. Is this normal??? Katie Dear Katie, I would think that what you are experiencing is absolutely normal. At the age of seven, the level of maturity of most kids is nowhere near that which it takes to comprehend and process the tragedy of a loss as great as losing a father. Not only that, your family probably tried to soften the impact by shielding you as much as possible. As you grow older, with your values beginning to take shape, you began to realize the depth of such a loss.
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