In a matter of a few months, my daughter will be a teenager. This stage is one that involves a lot of changes, discoveries and adjustments. I remember when I was in my teen years, I don't have my mother around. She was working in Saudi Arabia. I can say that there are a lot of things that I just had to discover for myself. It was difficult being uncertain about a lot of things going on as a teenager.
Many teenage girls do not know how to successfully cope with the issues they face. There are the physical changes ushering them to adulthood that needs explaining. The emotional challenges i.e. crushes, puppy love, boys, peer pressure .... that they need to handle. They are not yet mentally mature to deal with all these things. So, parents need to do their part. Your child needs you even more at this time.
I am just glad that I'm here for my daughter. If she has a question about the changes in her body, she can ask me any time. I know that it's a time that even moods and behavior changes. She's actually starting to respond to me differently; she's changing the way that she dresses; and she's wanting to be more independent -- going out with friends. Well, at least, I am around to understand, guide and encourage her. Our daughters need our support, love, guidance, and understanding during these very trying years.
It's gonna be a tough ride ahead for both parents of teen girls. Here are 7 tips that I think can help parents like me to be a good parent to a teenage girl. With these tips, hopefully parents can have a healthier relationship with their daughters for years to come.
Tip #1 Understand Your Teenage DaughterBefore you can successfully parent your teenage daughter, you need to have a better understanding of her. She might be having mood swings lately that it seems like you do not know her at all for the way she is reacting. Well, these occur because her body is producing extra hormones. It can be a struggle to understand who she is becoming, but be more patient and loving.
Tip #2 Learn to CommunicateTry to talk to her as often as possible to keep close to her. Listen to what she is saying and practice respectful communication. Realize and accept that times are changing. The world she's living in is so much different from the world you grew up in. Do you agree with the last sentence?
When I was young, when my mom calls, I have to be there right away. Now, it's so difficult to get them off their cellphone. Parents need to understand and make big adjustments in disciplining.
Tip #3 Really ListenHave you ever been in situation where your daughter is trying to tell you something. But you are not giving your full attention because you're busy doing something else. Then, when you turn to her to really listen, she tells you "Di bale na lang" (Never mind). What do you do in such a situation? I often insist that she tell me what she wants.
Every parent says that they are listening to their teenage daughter. Your daughter wants you to value who she is and wants you to listen to what she has to say. When you are not really listening and trying to see things from your daughter's point of view, then you risk damaging your relationship beyond control.
Tip #4 Know What to SayBe as kind as you can when you are speaking to your teenage daughter. Teenage girls tend to struggle with depression. If you say something negative to her it affects her emotionally. Teenage girls are very sensitive, so choose what you say carefully and try to understand what she hears when you are speaking to her.
|Be careful because words matter.|
I find it a good practice to share the Words of God to my daughter whenever I can. The Bible offers a treasure of wisdom that are very applicable to the lives of our teens. If they know God's words, they will never lose hope. They will always find the right way. They will never be alone. That is what I experienced when I was in my teens. Even though my mom is far away, I leaned on what God tells me in His Words
Tips #5 Have Clear ExpectationsYour teenage daughter still needs to be parented. Even if her world is different from yours ages ago, it's best to let her know what you expect of her. Be sure that she clearly understands your rules. For example, I always expect my children to ask permission first if they want or need to go somewhere. My husband is a bit conservative, so he expects the girls not to wear too short shorts or dresses. He also doesn't like them to wear make-up unless necessary (during special occasions).
What's different now that she is turning into a teenager? A child is expected to obey, but a teenager is making their own choices. If parents did a good job in raising their daughter, she will make the right choices in their teens and beyond.
Tip #6 Know When to Be StrictI don't consider myself strict. So, I'm glad that my husband is somewhat strict. He acts like the bad guy from time to time. It's possible that my daughter may resent this, but I see this as something positive in the long run. When he says no to my daughter, my role is to let her know why he is saying no. There must be a valid reason for saying no and parents must explain this to their children.
Tip #7 Understand the SignsParents need to know how to read signs. If you can quickly discern that your daughter is acting strange or not her usual self, you can immediately know how to help her. For example, if she starts talking about body piercings or tattoos, then she's probably being swayed to having this "body art" and perhaps even more than just body art.
If you the following signs of depression on your daughter, you should be alarmed and take action. If she's sad for more than 14 days, frequently crying, feeling hopeless, always feeling bored, isolating herself, feeling guilty, has low self esteem, increasingly more irritable, frequently suffers from stomach aches and displays self destructive behavior, you should suspect that she has this problem.
All we want as parents is to help our teenage daughters to enjoy their teen years. Yes, there will be a lot of challenges that they will face in this stage. But they will overcome with the help of parents who are kind and understanding, supportive and almost always present in times of need.
Do you have a teenage daughter? How are you helping her in this tough stage of her growth?