How to Tame Your "Problem" Teenaged Daughter!
Does this expression look familiar to you?
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Do you have an angry, rebellious teenager in your house? Does she refuse to follow your rules? Is she hanging out with other kids that you think are a bad influence? Is your home a battleground? She won't listen to anything you say? Are you at your wit's end?
Sounds like you have a normal teenager in your life!
It's really hard making that transition from child to grown-up person! And it just seems to be harder for some kids than it is for others! Seems like some just have to learn everything the hard way...
But don't worry! There are some strategies you can use to make things easier for both of you.
There is nothing that works better on a troubled teenager than these 2 things:
1) Provide extra "quality time" and individualized attention:
Mom should, together with the girl, pick out a day and time each week; a time where they will do something together or go somewhere. Whatever that may be, it should be something that your child wants to do together with you. (Grin and bear it! What she suggests may not be something you would have chosen!)
During this "special mom/daughter time", emphasis should be placed on enjoying the time together, sharing feelings and impressions, and should be used by Mom to reinforce to this girl that she is loved and that she thinks she is special and unique. There should be no criticisms, and no haranguing; this time should be free of judgmentalism, and all disagreements should be set aside. This should be a fun time, used for reaffirming love, acceptance, and things shared in common!
2) Help your child find the love and compassion within:
Kids this age are very empathetic about the suffering of others. They really love helping others less fortunate, and their hearts are full of compassion for the suffering and down-trodden.
I once cured a 12 year old foster daughter of her anger and agressiveness, by taking her with me to the nursing home where I worked. I would take her there to visit for at least an hour once a week. She was soon begging me to take her more often. She loved those little elderly people, and enjoyed "helping" them and talking to them. She was endlessly patient and tolerant of these fragile and helpless little people, and they were very wise and a steadying influence on her.
This journey into a world of giving unlocked the gates of love and compassion hidden deep within this child's soul, a resource that had previously not been tapped nor expressed. She was soon a much more pleasant girl to be around, both at home, and at school! She felt useful and needed!
You don't have to do the nursing home; it could be working in a soup kitchen, helping the elderly, volunteering at a shelter, at the humane society, or at an animal rescue. Anything that is geared towards helping others less fortunate, will bring out the compassion and love in your child's heart and make her feel like a useful and loving human being.
You will be surprised at how this changes kids around!
Let your daughter know that she can talk about her fears, experiences, feelings, and opinions anytime - without being judged! She needs to know that you will listen as an objective, caring friend, and that you are not going to jump all over her if she shares something that you don't agree with. She needs you to be her friend, not her jailer, nor her dictator! Don't refrain from letting her know if you don't agree with something, but be sure you EXPLAIN WHY you feel that way. Keep it objective! Do not attack HER!
For example, if she gets mad because her parents want her to tell them where she is when she goes somewhere, explain rationally that the reason you want her to do this, is because if she disappears or something bad happens to her, you would like to know who to go after, or where to look for her! And NOT because you are trying to control her, or snoop into her private affairs!
That will get her thinking about the fact that maybe you really DO care about her, after all...
Teenaged girls are growing up, working on becoming independent! This is natural. It is very good for kids to have responsibilities and be independent! But let them have some choice in the matter of what they would like to begin being responsible or independent about!
For example: ask her what she thinks she is good at, and ask her what she thinks she would like to be in charge of, in the household. EG: doing the laundry, vacuuming, walking the dogs, cooking, making breakfast, babysitting, whatever. And then let her BE in charge of it. If she is doing a good job, be sure you let her know this. It is a very positive thing for kids to be recognized for being responsible and doing a good job! (Makes them want to do it more!)
Also, is the kid artistic or creative?
Foment these talents 100% and praise them to the sky! Provide all means possible to allow the child to express creativity - whether it be art, music, crafts, cooking, gardening, sewing, writing, or whatever other kind of interest or hobby. Kids can articulate their inner feelings of anger, turmoil, love, conflict, hatred, grief, etc., through artistic expression. This creative outlet helps relieve the bottled-up anger and passion that sometimes makes them explode!
Who knows? You may have a future top-selling artist, author, musician, or sculptor on your hands! Most kids who are difficult as teenagers, are highly gifted artistically!
Kids need to know what the rules are:
It helps to sit down with the child and negotiate these rules together. If the child has participated in this process, they are much more likely to go along with them.
It should be VERY CLEARLY DELINEATED what the negative consequences of breaking these rules will be. Again, with her participation. (You may be surprised to find that her ideas of punishment will be worse than YOURS! )
Be sure to follow through with both the following of the rules, and with the agreed-upon consequences. Write the rules down somewhere where all parties concerned can refer back to them. If theses rules are not working, hold a meeting and go back over them again and re-adjust them.
Make sure this girl KNOWS that you love her. Tell her often! Tell her AGAIN! (Until the kid gets sick of it and says: "Stop it! I already know! You already told me a million times!" ) And be sure you verbalize that whatever you are trying to tell her is because you love her, want her to be happy, and do not want her to suffer in any way.
There will always be bumps in the road - nothing is ever perfect and peaceful in any relationship; and especially when there are teenagers around!
Chaos is what teenagers are best at, after all!
But give these things a try, and you just might have a much friendlier kid on your hands!
Need more help?
FORGET Boarding Schools and Behavior Modification or Boot Camps! Don't be brainwashed into sending your kid to one of these places! You can do better on your own, with a little effort! Don't believe me? Read THIS!!!
What is WWASPS and who is Robert Litchfield? Behavior Modification Camps For Teens...
TRY THESE PLACES INSTEAD:
Free Parenting Tips for Parents of Teens - Help with Teenagers
Resources and tips on parenting teens, including information on problem behavior , alcohol and drugs, defiant behavior, teens and culture,
Important national 411 resources on the Web and off, for problem solving and getting help for teens.
20 Ways for Teenagers to Help Other People by Volunteering
This page shows teenagers 20 ways to volunteer their time to help other people.
TEENS HELPING TEENS!
This place is REALLY AWESOME - Send your kid here!
Teen Help For Teen Problems!
For the Aspiring Artist:
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