If you think it is tough being the parent of a teenage girl; imagine how hard it is being a teenage girl? Here are some common concerns often brought to me by parents along with ideas on how to respond to their teenage daughters.
- My daughter talks more to her friends than she does to me.
Your daughter is seeking to be understood and who better to understand her than her friends who are experiencing similar joy, stress, and pain. Just like your friends acceptance makes it safe to talk with them, your daughter feels safe sharing with her friends, so she does. The key is to model the listening skills of your daughter’s friends: listen, trust, listen, do not judge, listen, do not offer advice, listen. Do you see a trend developing?
- What do I do when my daughter does not listen to the advice I give her.
Stop giving advice!! Trust that your daughter has the answers somewhere inside her and knows what is right for her. She just needs a nonjudgmental sounding board to work through the pros and cons of her ideas in order to find the one that is right for her. If she wants advise, she’ll actually ask for it!
- Where has my little girl gone, she used to always cuddle up with me to watch our favorite shows.
She is still there and she wants that connection with you. It is however, all about timing. Think what it is like when you come home from a hectic day at work, your mind is racing as you try and transition from work to home. It is no different for your teen age daughter, with the exception that you have had years of practice making that transition. Be aware of your timing. It is not until later in the evening and usually right before bedtime that teenagers start to relax and let down their guard as they put aside the stress of their day. Try and connect then with a mutual calm activity like reading together, a bed time snack, or doing a craft together.
- What do I do when she tells me I could never understand?
Tell her that she is right! Tell her that you could never understand but that you want to try. That though you may not get it, or necessarily agree, but that you want to be there for her as she goes through it. Then walk the talk, listen, listen, and listen some more. Sound familiar?
We at Hope Counseling Center are committed to helping families. Having trouble connecting with your teenage daughter? Talk to us! Let our staff of counselors and psychologists guide you through the challenges of parenting a teenage girl.
Recognize these dilemmas. Check back often for ideas on how to respond.
… How do I talk to my daughter about things like sex and drugs?
… What I thought used to be important, now she just roles her eyes and goes to her room.
… I discovered my daughter cutting herself with a razor blade, HELP!
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