Parenting teenage girls is not an easy phase for you, and being a teenage girl is not easy for your daughter. At the outset, I want you to understand that your teenage years were a lot different to present times. Now that this fact is established, few things that have not changed are the dreaded hormones and mood swings.
Once the latent growth phase enters the teens, you notice that there is a lot going on and going on too quickly. Most certainly you may not be prepared to face such brutal onslaught of changes. But is it all to be blamed on hormones? Absolutely not! The fact of the matter is that these are the most important years of your “not so little anymore“ girl. These are the years that need to be tuned the most.
Teenage girls go through so much in terms of physical changes that they have their emotions all over the place. They need time to adjust to these changes, which is what they feel deprived of. It wound be an underestimate if I say “the challenges that teen girls face are tougher than those faced by boys”
What to expect rather what not to expect?
Rather she begins to develop an attitude – like it or not, you have to deal with it. She will surprise you with an attitude which is constantly on the change. Be patient, for this attitude at times can get annoying but with time your teen bundle would settle for one that defines her. Hold the urge to change her by drawing boundaries at every step, but help her be strong mentally.
Body changes happen
That does not mean your precious little one ceases to be your baby doll. Help her get comfortable with body changes, don’t let confusion ruin it for her. If unprepared, teens might find it difficult to adjust with what’s going on in their body. Periods become part of life. Get used to it. It does not mean she has to suffer through these stressful times. Help her find ways to get comfortable or means to tide over the tough time.
Friends will replace you
It is perhaps in your hands how friendly you are with your teenage daughter that she turns to you for friendly advice. Don’t let the gap develop between you both. Be prepared to read about fairy tales, mills and boon novels if you have not already done so and if you have already done so during your teenage, prepare to relive those moments.
Bullies and boys do happen!
At some stage there will be bullies somewhere. Don’t let her pass through them alone. Be there for her, talk her into facing them. Remember taunting about mood swings without knowing the reason behind will distance your daughter from you.
It’s not all doom and gloom!
You no longer have to watch Dora or Mickey. You both can watch movies together that you so longed to watch when you were in your teens, now that you have company.
You must be wondering how much is too much of monitoring in teens. Whilst giving her space to grow at her own pace, watch out for these signs that hint at an impending crisis.
- Irritability, anger and hostility
- Sudden withdrawal or lack of interest
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Constant change in friends groups
- Sudden change in grades at school
Early recognition and addressing the above would be the key to avert a crisis that can have a lasting effect for the rest of their life.
What else can you do?
Be the role model for your kids. It doesn’t mean you have to be too harsh in setting example. Be her friend, assure her that you are available at all times. Lend an ear and a shoulder, even if you have to bitch about life or things, or worse, people. Be the one she can turn to when she needs to.
Going through teenage once more with your teenage daughter makes you wonder what you have been through and be glad your parents put up with you through those dreaded teen years.