1. They’ll pull away sometimes – don’t take it personally.
‘Leave me alone’ is rarely a permanent request. Chances are she’ll come talk to you soon enough – and she’s far more likely to do so if you’ve given her the space she requested (or demanded!).
2. Language has changed!
‘Totes amazeballs’, ‘YOLO’, ‘BRB’ – it’s hard to decipher, but don’t worry – it’s okay not to know your daughter’s lingo.
3. Sometimes, the poker face is your best bet.
If it’s hard not to find your daughter’s ‘serious’ situation so trivial that it’s funny – sometimes it’s best to maintain a straight face!
4. Her mistakes, her consequences.
Instead of battling with her on schoolwork, let the teacher embarrass her for not getting it done. She’ll soon learn she’s the only one who suffers by not doing it!
5. Embarrass her sometimes.
If kissing you goodbye in front of her schoolmates is the WORST THING EVER, MUM, STOP IT –demand it occasionally. She’ll learn that the sky won’t fall in if her friends find out she does love her mum!
6. Remove the taboo.
When my childhood friend decided she was a smoker, her parents’ response was ‘fine – just buy your own, and smoke outside’. The cigarettes vanished almost immediately! Their ‘who cares?’ attitude made her choice feel childish – more effective than shouting at her and validating her rebelliousness.
7. Be realistic about swearing.
Bad news – it’s likely your daughter swears at school whether you know it or not. You certainly don’t need to allow all swear words in the house, but being practical about the less offensive ones (at least when there are no guests around!) will allow her to be herself under your roof, rather than having to put on a façade for you.
8. Keep expectations consistent.
Teenage girls will do anything to get out of work! Combat this by setting a routine. If every Thursday is washing day and she’s always expected to help, there’ll be far less complaining when you ask her to go get the pegs.
9. Be a ‘safe source’.
Last time your daughter asked you a question about sex, did you answer? If she feels she can’t talk to you, she’ll get her information elsewhere – and it may not be correct. By being open with your daughter about the tricky subjects, you ensure she gets the right knowledge – and you’ll also know what she’s thinking about and what you need to keep an eye on!
10. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
You’re not a terrible parent if your daughter makes a mistake in life. There’s no need to feel like a failure if she’s not a rocket scientist or a queen bee. If your daughter is happy, healthy, and connected with life and the people around her, then you’re doing a wonderful job!
THIS IS A RELEVANT SIDE NOTE
I wanted to let you all know that in 11 days … starting the 26th of May I will be participating in a week Parenting Girls course with one of my favourite parenting educations Michael Grose from Parenting Ideas.
I will be setting up a private Facebook group for any School Mums participating in this course so we can talk about some of the key topics and issues together as we are going through the course. It is only $67 total to participate in the course and the key topics they are addressing are:
- Understanding the psychology of girls
- Helping girls understand their feelings and emotions
- What she needs to be brave in challenging situations
- Helping girls to develop a foundation of strong self-esteem
- Developing healthy relationships: making and maintaining friendships and what to do when friendships don’t work out
- Sexualisation and how to develop a positive, healthy body image
- Developing good mental health habits
- Navigating the online world and technology
- How to be the mum and dad that girls need
I am really looking forward to this and think it will be a great help for me personally raising 2 girls who are currently 9 and 7. I know I need all the help I can get moving into those next years. The course content is relevant for parents with girls aged between 3-15 and you can find out more about it here … I am able to track our School Mum participants as long as you sign up via this link and you will be invited to join our own private School Mum Facebook group which Michael will be personally popping into for the duration of the course.
Ally Mosher is the co-author of The High School Survival Guide: a handbook for the modern teenage girl, which encourages authenticity and self-confidence via a magazine format filled with appealing photos and practical articles. Visit http://www.thehighschoolsurvivalguide.com.au for more information.