Helping Teenage Girls
Society has changed greatly over the years and parenting teenage girls has become far more complex and challenging. The sad stories we read about or hear from within our community are the stuff every parent dreads. Teenage girl runs away or is assaulted or worse. Teenage girl takes drugs, is out of control or is depressed and suicidal. These are shocking situations and to do nothing is the worst thing. Here are some suggestions about bringing up your teenage daughter.
Changes can be subtle. It is not necessary for your daughter to have a massive change in her attitude and behavior for her to be heading for trouble. You need to be aware of subtle changes in her demeanor. Be on the lookout for minor changes about her tidiness, language, school work, relationship to you, etc. Minor changes can be a warning that things are not right.
It may not go away. Many parents think that their teenage daughter will grow out of her problems. Yes, she might but to simply let things run without taking any action is dangerous. Nip problems in the bud. Do not be a silent observer. You need to become involved and take an active role. Find out what is happening in your daughter’s life – her friends, social life, and schooling. Subtle changes can be a warning.
Be strong. Teenage girls go through some major changes with their bodies and emotions. You need to be a strong parent. Make sure your daughter is well educated in the changes she is experiencing. Tell it like it is. With an honest and open relationship you will be confident to talk freely and your daughter will respond with questions and comments. Don’t allow your daughter to discover things by chance. Be there for her and give clear guidance and rules.
Look for the signs. There are many indicators which can tell you things may not be okay with your teenager. Is she spending long periods of time in the bathroom? Does she have an eating disorder? Is she mixing with friends who have little or no rules about staying out late? Is she rude to you when before she was respectful? Are her school grades falling? All these clear signs usually indicate an underlying problem and you should take swift and decisive action. Do not allow her the opportunity to experiment with dangerous behavior. If you have doubts about her safety, step in and take control. Tough love is better than allowing potentially life-threatening habits to occur.
Don’t believe the media. Teenage girls are often influenced by photographs and film footage showing young women to be extremely slim. Eating disorders are not uncommon among teenage girls. Be sure your daughter is aware of the images promoted through magazines and that the real world often does not and can not confirm to the so-called ‘beautiful image’. Teaching your daughter to be happy and healthy is a brilliant way to help her through the tough teenage years.
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