Raising Teenage Girls
I often find myself in a conversation with Mom’s where they are telling me how they used to be so close to their daughters and they never thought for a minute that their relationship would ever change. That they now find their teenage daughter unpredictable, mean and disconnected, with threads of their old teen mixed in. Raising teenage girls can be a blast and it can be extremely difficult.
One of the biggest issues is the mood swings with their monthly periods. Now not all girls are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde but I have heard from several parents that this is the case for them, and I have experienced it first hand with my youngest daughter. It was one of the toughest times I have gone through in my life.
One day everything is great and the next day she is at the bottom of the sea, telling you she has no friends, she’s ugly, she hates life and you, there’s a lot of screaming, slamming and throwing things. You are beside yourself wondering what you can do to help her and make this behavior stop. You’re up all night with worry, only to wake up to this smiling child, telling you she doesn’t want to fight and she loves you as she skips off to school.
This can be normal behavior for some teenage girls, although not all of them go through this. Here are some tips to help you through these turbulent years.
- Document this time of the month, so you know when it is coming, this helps both of you prepare
- Talk to your daughter about what happens, hormonally during this time, this helps her understand and not feel so guilty
- Watch the sugar and caffeine intake 3 days prior and during, this less-ins the lows and highs
- Encourage her to slow down, read more, journal, eat mashed potatoes or other comfort foods and take soothing baths during this time
- When she in the heat of the low and acting out, calmly ask her what she needs from you and just listen to her and repeat back what her needs are and tell her you understand. Don’t try to fix it or give her advice, just be there for her.
- Don’t try to reason with an unreasonable person, if the above doesn’t work, and she continues to act out send her to her room and ask her to write down her feelings and thoughts and then try the above again.
- Don’t react to her because this is when it goes out of control. If you become triggered, say you have to use the bathroom and leave the room to calm yourself down.
- Realize that this time will pass and you will have your daughter back soon, so do your best to love her during this time
Raising girls is the biggest gift ever, even though some of the time it’s very hard. This is a good time for you to look at her behavior and your wounding around it and what you can do to heal that part of you as a child that use to deal with maybe a parent that was unreasonable and out of control. My daughters are the biggest gift to me and I am always learning about myself through them and I am grateful for that. I would love to hear what it is like for some of you during these hard times and what you do shift things.
Keep Loving Yourself, Debra
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Teen and parenting mentor Debra Beck, who has spent over 20 years working with teens and parents, is a devoted mother, sought-after presenter, and author. She has helped thousands of girls develop their self esteem. She now runs her popular parenting website, EmpoweredTeensandParents.com, publishes the “Empowered Teens and Parents” newsletter, encourages girls to be the best “young women” possible, and gives moms and dads the understanding they need to help their girls mature with pride and confidence. Debra has helped thousands of teenage girls with their self-esteem. Her award-winning book “My Feet Aren’t Ugly: A Girl’s Guide to Loving Herself from the Inside Out”, has been revised and updated for re-release in September 2011 with Beaufort Books.