“What am I doing wrong?!” This tearful plea plagues the parents of teens at various stages throughout the adolescent years. It may be a daily concern if you deal with a troubled teen. You are trying your best to be a good parent to your teen, while also juggling the responsibilities of work, home, and your other children. We have no doubt that you are doing the very best you can. But are you doing something wrong? With all due respect… probably. We all make mistakes, and teenagers are a particularly difficult challenge. So today we are are sharing with you the five most common mistakes parents make with their daughters.
- Ignoring Puberty & Body Issues – there’s a reason this is #1. So many parents avoid these awkward conversations because they want to preserve their daughter’s delicate feelings. It can seem safer to just pretend everything is normal and that she isn’t going through serious bodily changes. It’s critical to talk to your daughter about her body and the changes she is experiencing, to be sure she can develop a healthy relationship with her appearance and good body image.
- Ambushing Her – Many parents ambush their daughters after a negative incident such as breaking curfew, failing a test, or violating a house rule. They will sit her down and yell or lecture for an hour or more, but the result will be a defensive and negative response from your daughter.
- Having “The Talk,” and Never Talking Again – It’s certainly one of the most uncomfortable days as a parent, so many parents have “the talk” with their daughters and then never address sexual issues or questions again. Having an ongoing dialogue or safe place for your daughter to ask questions will make her more likely to talk to you about issues, rather than her friends or the internet.
- Only Complimenting Her Schoolwork or Looks – Most parents like to compliment or affirm their daughter’s scholastic success, and that’s important. They also know that their daughters may have low self-esteem about their looks, so they make it a point to tell them they’re beautiful or compliment their physical appearance. This isn’t bad, of course, but it’s important for parents to focus on non-school, non-physical characteristics too. Tell her she’s kind. Notice when she’s helpful. Point out useful skills or talents she may have. These things matter more in the grand scheme of things.
- Pressing On – This is a common and unfortunate mistake that many parents are currently making around the country. They continue along a path that is ineffective and even dangerous. Sure, sometimes it takes time to create habits or see a change, but truly ask yourself if what you’re doing is working. If it isn’t, correct your route now and try something new. No matter what, there are options for parents of teen girls. In serious cases the options may be found outside the home, such as therapeutic boarding schools which can correct mistakes and help your teen daughter work through any issue.