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How to Tame Your "Problem" Teenaged Daughter!

Updated on March 16, 2010

Does this expression look familiar to you?

How can you turn this face into a happier looking one?
How can you turn this face into a happier looking one?

The Beauty Within:

A hidden virtuoso?
A hidden virtuoso?
A compassionate helper?
A compassionate helper?

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*Kids Helping Those Less Fortunate: "World Changers"

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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!

Also recommended:

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!

And finally:

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...


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.

This place is REALLY AWESOME - Send your kid here!

Teen Help For Teen Problems! Homepage, the #1 advice site for teens on the net! is an anonymous support site where anyone can come for help with a problem. Home
Peer-to-peer support network for teens, including forums, live chat, and articles on diverse topics including friendship, school, sexuality, suicide.

For the Aspiring Artist:


Submit a Comment

  • ubanichijioke profile image

    Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

    Great advice from the master. I so much love this hub. You categorized this for teenage girls what about boys? Since boys re very different, i would love to read about your advice. Thanks a million times

  • fred allen profile image

    fred allen 7 years ago from Myrtle Beach SC

    I believe the principles you speak of are effective for both genders. I have 2 teenage boys and employ the same methods with much success. You are wise.

  • GoGranny profile image

    GoGranny 8 years ago from Southeastern PA

    Great hub Magic! I too have tried to appeal to teen girls to improve their chances of successful teenhood with my hubs. I like your angle and hopefully your message will be taken seriously by parents.

  • mulberry1 profile image

    Christine Mulberry 8 years ago

    I've never raised kids, but I would think that all of the things you recommend are great ideas. In fact, I would think the sooner you establish the open communication and rules, the easier it would be to go through this period.

  • glassvisage profile image

    glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

    Good writing, and great expression on that girl! Haha. It's also important to remember that children need different things at different stages of their life, and teens will need more freedom, feelings of control and authority, and coed activities, for instance :)

  • reinalisa1 profile image

    reinalisa1 8 years ago

    Very Good and Very True . . . and just about ready to begin this chapter for me, My daughter is almost Eleven! Hope You don't mind if I became your fan. Look Forward To More From You !!! Reinalisa1

  • marcofratelli profile image

    marcofratelli 8 years ago from Australia

    These are some great tips. There's a show on Australian TV at the moment called World's Strictest Parents - a couple of teenage "brats" get taken away to live with strict parents for a week and almost every time come back completely changed. One of the things I've seen them do is take the teenagers to help volunteer at a homeless shelter. It humbles them enough to make them think about their actions.

  • maven101 profile image

    maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

    Great Hub...Lots of excellent advise based on your real world experience...

    I raised two daughters during the 70's...I survived, but, unfortunately, my hair did not.

  • MagicStarER profile image

    MagicStarER 8 years ago from Western Kentucky

    Yes. Relationships are very important to teenagers, more so than to us. Everything is bigger and more significant to them than it is to us.

    To Paul Gardener: You are so right. An understanding of God and His principles of love are the very main thing that all humans should have as a foundation.

    Mighty Mom: Trenches is right! LOL! The one teenager I had reminded me of trying to put "The Blob" into a jar - everytime I'd get one area into control, 3 others would ooze out in different directions.

  • Ms Chievous profile image

    Tina 8 years ago from Wv

    Relationships are paramount! This is the key in dealing with any teenager..Good advice!

  • Mighty Mom profile image

    Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

    Very thorough advice from the trenches. Mine's a boy (thank goodness -- I don't think there's much more that a girl could do that he hasn't), but same concepts apply.

    A very appropriate "last hub of the night" to read. And wishing you and all the mothers here on HP a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! MM

  • shamelabboush profile image

    shamelabboush 8 years ago

    Adolescents are very difficult to handle bcz of their critical age. They think no one understands them which requires ( as you said) more attention.

  • Paul H Gardner profile image

    Paul H Gardner 8 years ago from Dixon, Ky

    You have posted some good information and resources for parenting teenagers. It all begins at birth and I think that love and care and teachings that are there in the beginning are a prerequesite for later on. If you have knowledge and information on this, it would be great if you publish it.

    We have been very fortunate in having three great children who we loved from the beginning and tried to teach and inspire them from the beginning and did not have any major skirmishes as teenagers. We always used the basis of a god inspired life of church going and a christian living and training. They have gone on to live good lives with good emtional balance and they are healthy. Our grandchilden our the greatest and one is a teenager now. She is certainly a blessing and she is an inspiration to other teenagers in her life.

    We are all gods children and equal in gods eye and we should always live a life inspired by god. I believe that gods love is abundant, his resources are immense and he has given us this to provide for us. I believe it comes down to the certain way we think and do things in our lives. These things we pass to our children so they have these resources. God has given us the resources, we have to use them.

  • Nemingha profile image

    Nemingha 8 years ago

    Excellent advice.

  • frogyfish profile image

    frogyfish 8 years ago from Central United States of America

    I have a granddaughter 'just getting there'. We'll have to put good use of your tips here, she has been such a sweetie. Right on!

  • MagicStarER profile image

    MagicStarER 8 years ago from Western Kentucky

    Glad you all liked this. I was a foster parent for emotionally disturbed girls for a while - I had 4 teenage girls (not all at the same time, thank God!!!) Their biggest problem was poor impulse control, and violence, aggressiveness. I didn't have one driving tractors or throwing knives (course tractors are not a bad thing, I used to drive them!!) But I did have one who used to pick her teachers up and refuse to put them down! And another who tried to choke a previous foster parent with a telephone cord! She usually only lasted 2 weeks in any foster home. I kept her for almost 2 years - a first! (Even though she did try to throw me off the balcony one time... and ran me up an $800 phone bill!!!) These things worked on the very disturbed kids I encountered, so I know they will work on "normal" kids. (btw: what IS "normal", anyway???)

  • R. Blue profile image

    R. Blue 8 years ago from Right here

    cindyvine....I'm going to tell your daughter you're in here complaining about her...she's such a nice young lady. Of course I don't live with her...that might be different.....but cut her some slack...she's a least she's not driving tractors and throwing knives at her brother!!!

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

    Great advice! Raised 5 kids who were only a year apart in age, so had 5 teenagers at the same time. Girls were the most challenging. Keeping them constructively busy helped a lot.

  • cindyvine profile image

    Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

    Will definitely try some of these on my very difficult teen daughter

  • Hawkesdream profile image

    Hawkesdream 8 years ago from Cornwall

    This would have helped me when my boys were teens, sound advice to be passed on I think.

  • frogdropping profile image

    Andria 8 years ago

    Magic - informative and well written. Teens can be tough. Not all, but most. I've had three, all different in how they handled their individual paths through teenhood.

    Thankyou :)