Hints on How to Help Your Daughter Through Adolescence
It is a proven fact that teenagers are good at picking up nuances. That's positive in many situations. However, it can be precarious when it comes to moms who are trying to send a positive message or show approval but signs of their disapproval are peeking through. Once your daughter picks up on the negative, she is likely to surrender this judgment.
There are very specific steps that moms can and should take to help their daughters get through adolescence with the least number of bumps and bruises. More importantly, these steps will help them emerge into healthy adulthood.
Give these generalized suggestions some intense and creative thought in order to tailor them to fit your daughter's needs.
Things You Want to Express Often
Remember, when it comes to your daughters, actions speak louder than words. That does not, however, alleviate the need for good clear statement of support. Be sure to voice these often:
- "I love you."
- "I am here to help you."
- "Would you like to talk?"
- "It's normal to be confused at this time of your life."
- "You may feel happy one minute and sad the next. Other girls probably feel that way, too. Maybe if we talk about it I can help you."
- "You don't always have to do what your friends want you to do."
- "I value your opinions."
- "You are talented in many ways."
- "I think you are wonderful."
- "I am always here if you need me."
- "I will try to be open and understanding if you have something you need to say."
- "Whatever you do, respect yourself and demand others treat you accordingly."
- "It's strange to have a new body all of the sudden, isn't it? But you are the same wonderful person inside of it. Never lose who you are."
- "I like being your mom and your friend. We can work through anything together."
Actions You Should Undertake
Help her to value herself by making more positive than negative statements about and to your daughter.
- Empower your daughter by making her feel capable and confident to manage the world around her.
- Demonstrate that you value her opinions and prove that you are willing to consider them.
- Encourage your daughter to express her strong feelings and take positive social action in the face of perceived wrongs.
- Encourage and help her learn to make good decisions for herself.
- Do not turn clothes shopping or an afternoon out into an impromptu battleground.
- Demonstrate sincerely that you are a good and willing listener and a trustworthy and flexible mom who is always there for her.
- Plan activities and share time doing things together.
- Do some serious confidence building by praising her for a job well done.
- Don't back down or be afraid to fight necessary battles that can affect her health, well-being, or future happiness.
- Allow your daughter space and privacy. She doesn't have to tell you everything.
- Never suggest your daughter go on a diet, even though she may have begun to gain weight.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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