Raising an adolescent daughter is emotionally challenging for most parents. Girls in the 10+ age group tend to begin a long period of time, several years, when their opinions and ideas change considerably from the more simple ideas of their childhood days. They are changing because of the effects of both brain development and hormonal changes happening to their body. They are also fighting their way into a more independent lifestyle that brings greater emotional challenges into their lives.
This picture captures what parents fear. Their child needs help, but they resist your efforts to help them.
I have watched so many young adolescent girls grow from 10 years old into young adults. Each family has been challenged by the emotional rollercoaster that encompasses these years with their daughters. In most families, there is a happy ending. The girls mature into independent young women who are making good choices for themselves. They might not be the exact choices the parents were hoping for, but if given the best input and opportunities, they are the right choices for them.
One way to communicate to your daughter and it not be intimidating is to have a family time together every week. This could be as simple as a family meal together with a little time to connect. What makes a weekly family meal together important is the consistency. You learn a lot during a family meal, but even more important, your adolescent feels grounded in the midst of so much turmoil in her life, even if it is only once a week.
If you are concerned that something more serious is happening with your adolescent than you would anticipate from someone her age, seek input from your medical provider. My suggestion is a simple one, but sometimes that’s just what is needed for both you and your adolescent to feel connected to one another and part of a supporting family.
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