Parenting Teenage Girls

Parenting Teenage Girls

Teen years for girls today are a period of real danger. Girls entering puberty often face a "crisis in confidence" which makes them vulnerable to risky behavior, and these bad choices can have devastating lifelong consequences.
What's perhaps even worse than the dangerous opportunities teen girls are at risk for is the fact that most of them will not talk to their parents about these dangers they face. No matter how good your communication is with your daughter, there are things she will not and cannot tell you, things she needs desperately to tell someone. The answer to this problem is being your daughter's best friend. One of the most rewarding relationships is when a mother steps forward to mentor her daughter's best friend.

Mothers and Daughters
Some mothers "cross-mentor" each other's daughters. Sometimes teenage girls won't like to discuss their problems with their mother or father. In such circumstances it is best to provide them with a mentor. You must point your daughter toward a trustworthy role model - an aunt, a cousin, a grandmother, a teacher, a friend, or some other responsible caring woman. The most important thing a mentor can do is to listen and to lead by example. She isn't there to judge, punish or condemn. And as crucial as her role becomes, it is a temporary one - a mentor will never replace a mother.

The mother/daughter bond will remain a dominant force in your daughter's life for as long as she walks on this earth. There are however certain problems that your teenage daughter faces which she might not be comfortable discussing with you. A few of them are listed below.

"My mom doesn't care about me." - Girls need emotional support from their mother more than from anyone else. And if mothers are busy ignoring their daughters that can be a serious problem.

"I hate myself." - Girls suffer from depression more than boys do. They are more sensitive and emotional and depression leads to many problems, which if not taken care of can be devastating.

"I want to kill myself." - From a survey conducted it was found out that 29% of adolescent girls have thoughts of suicide. From 1990 to 2000, the rate of suicide among young girls has increased drastically.

"He hit me." - One study found "disturbingly high incidence of violence," with 32% of girls reporting some form of physical or sexual abuse either done to them by their father, relative, husband or boyfriend.

"(An older male friend or relative) keeps sexually abusing me." Most abuse occurs at home, occurs more than once, and occurs as a result of the actions of a family member or friend of the family. Girls may have serious reactions of shame, guilt and self-hatred following these episodes.

"I've been smoking for a while" - Smoking among teenage girls is rising.

"I did something shameful". Teenage girls nowadays don't find it a big deal to lose their virginity and ultimately end up being pregnant.

These are the problems, which your teenage daughter might not discuss with you out of fear, shame, guilt, embarrassment and self-hatred. In such circumstances if you feel that your daughter is behaving strangely or seems disturbed and doesn't want to discuss her problems with you, you can ask her friend of teacher or any relative who she is close with, to help you out.

Remember that even if she has done something dreadfully wrong she is your daughter and you must let her know that you love her and you are always there for her.

Points to remember

Be patient with your teenage daughter. Give her some time to open up.

Spend time with her. Your daughter maybe having some hidden talents. Explore and encourage her to pursue her talents.

Care for her. It is very important to tell your daughter that you love her and no matter what happens you always will love her and care for her.

Be there when she needs you. Don't ever give up on her. With your love and support your daughter can pass all tests of life and can tackle all hurdles with courage.

Be her mentor and friend. A mother can be the daughter's best friend. Don't let her be scared of you. Try to strengthen the bond between the two of you.

Learn to forgive her but at the same time be strict when required.
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