Moving from parenting a child to parenting a teenager can sometimes be a pretty scary adaptation, it often seems like the child has grown up suddenly overnight into a completely peculiar and hard-to-get-along-with entity.
Any parent will tell you that parenting teen girls today is an increasingly tough challenge and requires much patience, courage, determination, willingness and responsiveness.
While it is hardly surprising, teenage hood is a period of more developmental changes than any other stage. Together with physical, sexual, mental, behavioral and emotional developmental changes, comes confusion and uncertainty.
Teenage years for girls are an especially dangerous period. Risky behavior, drug/alcohol abuse, depression, pregnancy or suicide is more acceptable, and can result in devastating lifetime consequences.
So, strong guidance from parents is more essential than ever to help teen girls go through the hurdles and stressful experiences of life.
However, parents of teenage girls often face difficulty in recognizing their child’s new behaviors and changed attitudes. And the underlying reason is even worse than dangerous behavior: lack of communication, which is common among many parents who do not talk openly to their children about the risks they face.
On the other hand, adolescent girls tend not to want to share intimacies with their parents. This can make parents feel they are living with a stranger, who was once communicative and easy to share things with.
As a parent, you should try to develop a strong bond with your teen girl through the following methods:
- Set up an open, honest communication with your teen girl;
- Value your teen’s point of view;
- Show your teen girl how much you love and care for her and how important she is to you.
How to help your teen girl avoid risky behaviors?
- Spend one-on-one time with your child and maintain a close emotional relationship;
- Help your teen girl understand the difference between safe and risky behavior;
- Talk to your teen daughter about the consequences of negative peer pressure;
- Teach your teen girl not to allow peer pressure change her mind;
- Encourage her to develop a positive self-image and a healthy self-esteem;
- Help your daughter to set goals in her educational activities or other curriculum activities in order to stay away from compromising the future by engaging in risky behavior;
- Carefully observe your teen girl for signs that needs your help;
- Allow your teen girl to make the right choices but set clear, realistic expectations;
- Set clear rules and explain how and why these rules are important;
- Be clear about the consequences for breaking the rules and implement them every time;
- Avoid hurtful criticism;
- Be patient and give her your full attention when she talks to you;
- Explore and encourage her hidden talents and show that you appreciate her hard work and accomplishments.
Using these tips, you can become your daughter’s best friend and mentor at the same time. Don’t make your daughter scared of you. Always try to maintain a strong bond between you and your teen girl.