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Mathematics and teenagers

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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:16 am

My nearly 15 year old is failing mathematics badly. She is crying every day about going to school because of maths. I was dux of maths at school along with physics, chemistry and Indonesian.
I should be able to help her but I don't have the emotional energy right now.
Damn bipolar depression. My teenager needs me and I'm not there for her at the moment.
She needs me to stay up late doing maths with her when I'm going to bed after dinner every night.
Damn you bipolar depression. I've had enough of you. My kids need me to be functioning.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:29 am

I had a math tutor, did good after that..

My mom was shitty at math and was depressed at the time, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Kids are more understanding than we realize, for sure.

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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:36 am

I just feel like I'd be a better parent to her if I wasn't bipolar and that makes me feel guilty that she is missing out on having a stable parent that would give her the best opportunities.
You're right, I'm not superhuman and shouldn't expect to be.
My 6 year old is struggling to learn to read and I haven't done any extra help for her either. My 9 year old is the one who is doing well. He excels without any input at all.
I suppose parenting is not easy bipolar or otherwise.
Every time my nearly 15 year old cries I worry she might be getting depressed. That she might be bipolar like me. Wouldn't wish it on her for the world.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:48 am

Teenager hormones suck the life out of teenagers, always crying, angry rants, etc, you know the drill, you were a teenager too. Boy/girl issues abundant :lol: It's how it is, add to that the pressure of doing well in school and the horrifying life of a high school student, friends, clicks, gossip, you know how it is...

Bipolar parents have it rougher, we want to excell even more than "normal" people to prove a point sometimes. I know I do that in certain areas of my life, it's natural that I would do that in parenting as well.

We do beat ourselves up a lot, with especially difficult childhoods like we had, we want to provide our kids with especially special parenting. I remember telling my tdoc that if I'd ever become a parent, I'd have to be a super one or I didn't think I was up for the task. He told me I just had to be myself lol

So, be yourself.

[Edited out useless part]
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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:04 am

I think you're right, I expect too much of myself because I need to prove that I can be a good parent despite bipolar.
I still haven't mustered up enough courage to tell her about me being bipolar. I know I need to have the conversation with her. She noticed my thyroxine (thyroid medication) in the fridge the other day and seemed so surprised that I couldn't bring myself to tell her about all the other things I take too.
I think I'll take her out for coffee one day and have a chat with her. It might even make her feel better about her own emotions.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:16 am

You're not a failure as a person for having a mental illness, I know you rationally know that, you're a high functioning person and you deal well with your issues.

You're not your parents, you provide a great life for your kids. I do understand the need to protect them from the knowledge of you having mental illness, but I wonder if you're not protecting yourself, because you are ashamed of it like it is your fault, when it's not. Kind of like mental illness is something to feel guilt about. You keep telling me it's not my fault, when I feel guilty. What would you tell me if I was in your situation?

And it's really not your fault for having depression, SI or manic phases. During your hypomanias your kids have so much fun :D You do know very well how to manage your illness in front of them. You really don't need to know math on top of it all, a tutor is fine too. (having a tutor was great for me, I learned a lot)

When we're depressed we feel like we're not good for anything, it's a trick our minds play on us. That's what depression means.

We can get philosophical about the true meaning of life, but I figure sticking to your self-worth and achievements in life is enough to get you going when all else fails.
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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:55 am

I think the depression is talking and making me feel guilty.
I think a tutor is a good idea. I Think she really needs it.
The reality is that my kids actually have a really good life- they are not growing up in a cult for one thing.
Need to keep remembering that my thoughts are coloured by the depression.
Yep, they love it when I'm hypomanic- especially because I cook amazing food and give them dessert every night :D
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:59 am

:lol: Yesterday I had icecream before dinner :o Just wanted to brag that out lol

You're an amazing person Jemane, never forget that.

We love you around here, and your family loves you too.
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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:12 am

AvantGarde wrote::lol: Yesterday I had icecream before dinner :o Just wanted to brag that out lol

:lol: :lol:
Why not?

Thankyou. I feel so supported on this site by everyone. Thanks for all your encouragement AG, it means a lot.

We all have to navigate such complexity in our lives due to bipolar, it's great we can do it together.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:19 am

True, it is very complex. I don't understand shit sometimes. I'm like socrates nowadays, all I know is that I know nothing :lol:
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by Tigger » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:39 am

I feel for you! Not bipolar but I do have fairly serious depression. I will admit that I've outsourced parenting (tutors, swimming lessons, etc) pretty heavily over the years. It makes a big difference to everyone if you can afford to do it. Plus, I suck at math. :lol:
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by Pancake » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:57 am

Not everyone's strong suit... I was really good at maths, 98%, loved calculus, imaginary numbers, matrices.... Maths is puzzles! But because it clicked so easily, I am really, super shit at explaining it and get frustrated quickly when the kids don't "get it". (Which just does more damage, leading to stressed out, math-hating kids :? )

Does your co-parent/teachers/school have any suggestions? Sorry, I obviously flunked this particular parenting skill, so I don't know what a normal-human strategy would look like :roll:
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by hal » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:07 am

What a caring, wise discussion this is.

Pan, that is an outstanding insight, that if you understand something really well, it may be all that much more difficult to explain it to someone who doesn't. I suppose it is that you know it well, but you don't know how you came to that understanding.
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by AvantGarde » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:13 am

hal wrote:if you understand something really well, it may be all that much more difficult to explain it to someone who doesn't. I suppose it is that you know it well, but you don't know how you came to that understanding.


It's like my physicist friend trying to explain particles to me, I understood more in a two minute video on youtube than in a 3 hour long conversation with him :lol:
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by Duckysmom » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:03 am

Hugs, Jemane. You are a great lady and a great mom. You don't have to be perfect. I think the tutor idea for your kids is a great idea. My daughter had one. I suck at math. Her English lit and writing classes/projects I could help her with when stable. Don't know that I could have if I had been depressed.
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by Jemane » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:24 pm

Pan, so true, I'm good at maths but terrible at teaching it. She needs a tutor I think. Will get onto it. I loved imaginary numbers too! So much fun! That brings back lots of memories.

AG, tears are definitely part of being a teenager so I won't beat myself up about her emotional state. I think my problem is that I blame myself when I should be blaming teenage hormones.

Thanks duckysmum for the encouragement.

Parenting is a long adventure with many trials whether bipolar or not I suppose. I guess we just do what seems best at the time and hope it works out and hope we don't damage our kids along the way. I have heard of the concept of the 'good enough mother'. I am good enough and it's ok I'm not perfect. I don't need to be perfect.
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by Jemane » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:51 am

I'm so proud of myself. Told my teen I'm bipolar and what it meant and she was so cool about it. In fact she said she always noticed if I was hypomanic especially. It was such an easy conversation, don't know why I didn't do it earlier.
I didn't mention suicidal ideation but we talked a bit about my hospitalisation (not the suicide attempt though).
I told her that I'll be able to get stable on the right meds so I feel doubly the importance of getting stable.
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by AvantGarde » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:39 am

Oh I almost missed this post! That's awesome Jemane :D So brave of you! I'm glad you did it, will bring you two closer together for sure.
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by Pancake » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:59 am

Go you (:
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by Duckysmom » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:01 am

So courageous, Jemane! So proud of you! It's a tough conversation to have with your kids. I told my daughter when I was finally properly dxd. She was 10. Didn't go into specifics about SI or anything, but she finally understood that my mood swings were not her fault. Mommy had an illness. And, yes, it made me want to get stable even more, for her sake.
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by libellula » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:18 am

Hi Jemane, happy that you told to your teen daughter about bp. Also my sixteen daughter got it before I explained to her!

As concerns teaching maths I'd like to tell you that I had the same problem when she was younger (about 7/8 years). I can't understand maths at all. So unable to teach math because it was a misterious thing for me, I decided to try an other strategy. I told her to teach me math. What she learned and understood. From that moment on she had no more great problems with math. But if you are particular tired, considering also your work is really stressing, it is better a tutor. Many no bp parents make so. I suppose that we bp parents feel more thant the "others" the duty to be more than good parents. We are too negative with ourselves.
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by AvantGarde » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:29 am

Great idea, Dani :D
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by Spm24 » Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:31 am

jemane must be a weight off your shoulders. I know I would be so relieved if I was you. Nice to have your daughter to be able to understand when your in different moods.. You should be proud that you had the courage to have the talk with your daughter
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by Stuckles » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:20 am

libellula that's a great idea. A lot of times all that's needed is a sounding board. I used to do it a lot when I was still coding when I was stuck with a problem. Talking it through makes you focus on the problem rather than getting stuck in the messy multi-tasking process that happens internally in your mind.

I have never been good at maths at all. There's just no 'logical' component to most of it and my brain doesn't like that ( Not going to go into the whole argument about logic and maths it gets too technical :lol: ). I had a tutor just to get my brain to understand the difference between tens, hundreds and thousands :oops:
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by AvantGarde » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:27 am

Stuckles wrote:I had a tutor just to get my brain to understand the difference between tens, hundreds and thousands :oops:


Ahah, serious problematic very problem math problem.

I had one for functions and then later someone tutored me for statistics for a brief period, never forgot statistics or functions.
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