Parenting is a taxing experience, especially when it comes to raising teenage girls. There is so much to worry about that it can seem like an absolute nightmare to deal with your adolescent daughter.
However, no matter how frustrating or vexing it may seem, it is important to keep your cool and deal with your girls in a tactful manner. There are many comments that we as parents, often let out in a fit of anger that can have tremendously negative impacts on the fragile teenage mind. Keeping this in mind, here are some things that you should definitely stop saying to your teenage daughter.
Here’s the thing; teenage girls care about their appearance. So do boys, for that matter. But females often feel self-conscious of their looks, their hair, weight, skin, height, etc… This shouldn’t be mistaken for vanity. And while it is true that there are so many more important matters that they should be concerned about, their studies or upcoming exams, for example, blowing off their interest in their appearance such a comment will only make them feel understood and resentful. They’ll just assume you are out of touch with reality as the truth is that teenage girls DO care about looks.
Instead, try to reassure them that they are beautiful while also reminding them that there is more to a person than their looks, such as strength, intelligence, humor, and compassion.
It’s extremely agitating to see your adolescent daughter spending all her time and energy invested in her social life, her mobile phone, the latest television series, and celebrity gossip when she should be focusing on her studies and exam preparation, but dismissing all of her interests as “unimportant” will only insult her and drive her away from you. She’ll be less willing to listen to your well-meaning advice.
Instead, remind her of the other responsibilities and the importance of focusing on her education. Try assisting her in balancing her hobbies and priorities by suggesting a schedule or guide so that she can better organize her daily activities and spend time focusing on her education.
Responding to her expressing her dreams of becoming a world-famous circus performer instead of a doctor with the dreaded line “what will people think?” will never end well. It will make her feel misunderstood and invalidated as if her dreams, goals, and aspirations are not as important to her parents as the approval of society.
A better approach is to offer supportive yet constructive advice. Remind her of the importance of living peacefully among society, but do not make it seem as though her life should revolve around seeking the approval of society. Allow her to be independent and realistic. For example, suggest that she practices her circus-performing skills as well as study chemistry and biology in school.
We all know the immense importance of education. But constantly shoving it down your teenage daughter’s throat as the “end all be all” of her existence will only make her resent it, and as a result, rebel against it. Or, she will feel as though her self-worth is determined only by her performance in school and how good her exam preparation is, and this will cause her to become stressed and unmotivated.
Rather, try to approach the subject of school in a different way. Rather than making it seem like it is the only thing that matters, try to explain to your daughter the importance of education as an asset to achieve a comfortable future and the knowledge that can help them achieve their dream career and goals. This will likely make her more willing to take school seriously.
While they may seem like small changes, making these simple changes to the way you phrase your words can actually work wonders in getting through to your teenage girls and can immensely improve your parent-daughter relationship. Not only that, but these conversation shifts can reduce your teenage daughter’s feelings of being misunderstood and make her more willing to take your advice.
Remember, it is not about changing your parenting style to “let her get her way”, but rather it is about creating a conversation that facilitates mutual understanding, and reshaping discussions in a way that allows her to know that you are there for her.