When you receive your newborn daughter, the excitement and joy that come with the experience are out of this world. With time, the new angel starts looking at you with those innocent, lovely eyes. After some years, your girl is all grown and starts to show adolescent signs. Her chest, hip curves and possibly facial skin make her look quite different from the way you’ve been seeing her previously.
Unfortunately, adolescence is the stage where many parents fear, as they deal with children who are trying to establish their identities. From social and peer issues to rebellious behaviors, a parent with a teenage girl has lots of challenges to deal with as far as raising the child is concerned. Some parents even go to an extreme of throwing in the towel when they feel as if they’ve completely lost control on their girls. But it shouldn’t get here…it shouldn’t. All you need is to have an informed approach when dealing with her.
Wondering what you can do to maintain a healthy relationship with your daughter. Don’t worry; this article got you covered. Having interacted with various psychologists and teenage counselors and consulted lots of literature about the matter, we’ve compiled the following list of the things a parent can do to get along well with his or her teenage daughter.
- Be always available to talk to her
Inasmuch as she wants to feel independent and ‘mature’, your daughter still needs your guidance. Considering the confusion that teenager girl faces with as everything in their lives seems to change, they may not know how to open up about what they are going through. They aren’t sure how you are going to react to their concerns. How will you tell her about that boy who is constantly stalking on her? Where does she start to let you know that she’s just had her first menstrual period? All in all, she needs your guidance and direction.
But how will you offer that if she doesn’t want to talk to you?
First, let her know that you are there not only as one of her best friends but also as a parent who has her best interest in mind. Start being friendly earlier even before she enters teenage and let her know that you are always there for her whenever she needs a confidant to talk to about any matter.
If you don’t know how and need help to do that, there are online parenting classes organized by professionals, who can give you some useful and practical advice in this regard.
- Always pay full attention to what she’s saying
As earlier mentioned, teenage is a critical stage marked with lots of changes, some of which your girl may be daunting to deal with. No wonder sometimes you see her moody and somehow rude. At times she may approach you for guidance or just venting out her worries/frustrations but with an unfriendly tone. No matter how she approaches you, you need to pay full attention to what she’s saying. Turn off the radio/TV or lower its volume. Pause whatever you are doing. Listen without interrupting or missing a word of what she’s saying. After listening, you can start your response by correcting her rude tone in a friendly way and then address the main issue in a friendly manner too.
- Don’t overreact to an eye roll
If you haven’t seen that annoying that eye roll from her, don’t ask if it will happen because definitely, you’ll have to deal with it at some point. For many parents, a reflex response when they see their girls rolling their eyes at them is a thunder-like yell. Of course the gesture is disrespectful, but you need to understand that she is under control of something she doesn’t really understand (hormonal change).
Fortunately, with your guidance, understanding and patience, it is something she can get over with time. The best way to deal with it when it happens is to try as much as you can to maintain your cool. It isn’t easy but you can. Take a deep breath…in…out. Then, when things calm down (for both of you), address the issue in a friendly manner. Let her know how you feel about it and why she shouldn’t do it again.
- Respect her
Respect is a two-way street. You have to give it for you to receive it back. Mutual respect between you and your daughter is a crucial component in the foundation of your healthy relationship. If you don’t want her to be rude at you, you have to be polite at her. Talk to her in a calm manner. Don’t lie to her. Don’t call her names.
If you want her to listen to you keenly, then you need to pay full attention to what she tells you. Even when you are giving rules, it’s good to communicate them in a calm, polite and respectful manner and perhaps let her know how they are important for her, both of you and/or your family.
- Help her find her identify and maintain high self-esteem
Teenage is when a girl starts becoming very conscious of her looks and self-identity. She starts looking at the ‘beautiful’ ladies/girls around her and compares herself with them. She desires to be the best, but when she falls short of the societal expectations of the ‘best,’ her self-esteem begins to escape her. Ultimately, her inadequacy feeling may make her do crazy stuff or prevent her from achieving her dreams.
Therefore, as a parent, you need to help your daughter think critically about herself and appreciate the beautiful girl she’s grown to be without comparing herself with other people. Let her know she’s unique and the best version of herself. Such conversations will help her to become more confident about herself and boost her self-worth
- Be cautious when commenting about her looks
Your teenage girl, just like any other girl at her current life stage, is very sensitive about her appearance. Unless you want to provoke a massive backlash, avoid commenting harshly on her sense of fashion including the clothes, shoes and hairstyle she puts on.
In case you aren’t contented with her fashion sense, be cautious with your choice of words as you drive your point home. You could say “Love, you look gorgeous but I’m not used to seeing you putting you on that. I think you can rock better than that with…but if you are okay with it, it’s well with me too”.
Hopefully, with these tips, you’re going to get along with your teenage girl better. All the best to both of you!