Ah the Teenage Years.
They creep up on parents out of nowhere, and explode with a hard slap of reality in the face. This is usually in the form of moody behavior, snide comments, and flurries of rolled eyes. Children who once worshiped and idolized their parents suddenly recoil at the thought spending time with them or listening to anything they say.
The teenage years can be a particularly turbulent time for mums and their daughters, and many mums, forgetting how difficult their own teenage years were, scratch their heads and wonder: why are teenage girls so difficult?
The teenage years are difficult for both boys and girls, just in different ways. The onset of puberty between ages 12 and 13 brings many confusing changes to girls’ lives. They start their periods, experience sexual curiosity, begin forming an individuated identity, and lives with the ups and downs of their powerful hormone cycles. These hormones control girls’ emotionally and they becomes prone to anxiety, depression, or rapid mood swings.
Recognise that Hormones play a significant effect on Mood
Being prepared for these mood swings can be invaluable. One of the best ways is to be prepared. There is an excellent book written by Michael Carr-Gregg titled Bitchface Princess. Yes I know. You are probably thinking what an appropriate name.
Girls become increasingly concerned with emulating those in their peer groups. Many girls want to chase “cool” and endeavour to find a way to fit in. This then throws parents, especially mums, into the adolescent stew which at times can produce a toxic reaction: screaming, fights, hysteria, sobbing fits, slammed doors etc.
The turbulence of the teenage girl years is unavoidable. It is something that every family must deal with, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. As a parent, there will be many rough days. Here are a few tips to mitigate the stress levels when dealing with your teenage girl, and keep your sanity as a parent.
Your Teenagers Brain is Still Developing
The frontal lobe for your child is that part of the brain responsible for impulse control, judgment, and decision-making. It doesn’t fully mature until we are in our early 20s. So often teenagers want to be an adult and it is as though they are striving so hard to make it happen. Yet their brain is still developing even though the rest of the body has developed and often appears as an adult.
Set Clear Boudaries
Teenagers aren’t happy when they are acting out. So they will need guidance and support to see them weather the “storm” of puberty. They will need clear boundaries set so they can feel supported.
This too Shall Pass
Teenage girls are quite myopic, and temper storms are usually quick to blow over. As a parent, your role is to diffuse the situation, not add fuel to the fire. The next time your teenage daughter rolls her eyes, screams, slams a door etc. just rest in the comfort that all storms reach a calm end and try not to engage her or egg her on.
Take Time for Yourself
Don’t let the stress levels surrounding your teenage daughter control the household. Make sure you take time to do things you like. Engage in activities that re-charge your battery and make you feel like you have a safe space outside of the teen disaster zone.
Keep an open mind and an open heart
Your teenage daughter needs you and your support more than you know. Not every aspect of a teenage girl’s life is marked by extreme behavior. Teen girls spend a lot of their time calm, collected, sensitive, and sweet too. Keep yourself available to your teen daughter and let her know you are there to talk to her about anything she needs. Make sure she knows how much you love here, even when your “I love you’s” are greeted with rolled eyes and an annoyed “I know mom(or dad)”
Teenage girls can be difficult, but as a parent it is your job to remember that you were once a teen too. It is your role now as an adult, to play the balanced role in the family. If you treat your teenage daughter with love, kindness, respect, and show her firm boundaries about what behavior is acceptable or unacceptable, then you will be able to surf the teenage wave to a more fulfilling relationship with your daughter in her adult life.
If you found this article of interest and feel your daughter of even yourself would like assistance to weather the storm of puberty, then reach out. You can also read other parenting articles that may be of interest.
You Would Like More Help
There are a number of reasons why parents are seeking help for their children. The most common one is trauma especially with bullying at school or in other locations.
Recently I noticed teens struggling to cope with parents separation and they are feeling traumatised. Check out the information provided on Master Your Life Power. It is a wonderful source of interesting information.
If you would like further information, the we do offer a Half Hour Complimentary session to discuss your or your family needs. You can make contact on 3261 3557 or Make Contact via the website.