Teenage Blues

I just saw my niece, Rebecca, get stuck into her teenage brother for leaving a wet towel on the bathroom floor. And when we were out for brunch earlier, she because quite preoccupied with the fat quotient of the avocado on her toast. Is it just me, or does this kind of behaviour suggest that she’s rather highly strung for an eleven year-old?

The thing with the avocado particularly bothered me. She’s a very athletic kid, and it was a perfectly well-composed meal for her. I asked my sister where Rebecca was getting her information from, as I didn’t think she read magazines. Kelly shrugged and said it was probably the internet, which Rebecca is on constantly.

Overall, though, the issue I’m noticing seems to be one of misplaced perfectionism. I’m no expert, but I’m guessing it’s probably partly wrapped up in her being very intelligent and sensitive for her age. What I’m wondering is whether there’s some kind of intervention that can be made now, before she hits adolescence and has a whole bunch of new stuff in the mix to be dealing with.

I don’t really know where to start, though – any suggestions? We live on the Mornington Peninsula. Youth psychology services must surely be a thing here, but I’ve never noticed any. Perhaps checking in with a GP and getting a referral would be the way to go about it. The problem is, I’m concerned she’ll freak out about it and accuse us of thinking she’s crazy (obviously, I don’t think that).

Her older brother, when he was younger, spent a bit of time with a psychiatrist for ADHD. Mornington was still new to him at the time, as the family had just moved down from Cairns, and it turned out that he wasn’t diagnosed with the condition after all – instead, it was determined that he was suffering some anxiety, which was dealt with through counselling sessions. It worked out really well for him.

I suppose I’d better talk to my sister about it – she’s Rebecca’s mother, after all.