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Updated on April 16, 2009

The Mysteries of Teen Girls

Guys, if you thought women were hard to figure out, try figuring out the mind/psyche/emotions of a teen aged girl!  I am the mother of two teen daughters and was once a teen girl myself and I still do not know all the mysteries of their minds!  Teen Boys and Men are relatively simple creatures. They require, in my estimation, only a handful of things: Food, Sports, Relaxation/Sleep, and Sex.  (these are not mutually exclusive by the way, and are not necessarily listed  in order of importance either.)  But a girl/woman requires much more effort to understand.  Alas, I saw this question here, "Why are Teen Girls Harder to raise than Teen Boys" and I am going to, in my own feeble and amateurish way, attempt to answer that query.

Firstly,  although girls do not officially become teenagers until the age of 13, they begin practicing for it long beforehand.  I learned very early on that a girl's temperament is set at a young age.  They tend not to deviate from it, although it does become more clearly defined as they approach and then enter their teen years.   For example, a girl that has whining temper tantrums as a two year old, will continue (these skills honed throughout childhood) into her teens.   Now these tactics will rarely work with a parent who is firm and consistent, but it does not stop the teen girl from trying.  And try they do....your patience.  Teen girls are expert whiners.  The will whine about everything from not having the trendiest clothing, to not garnering the affections/attention of the new boy of the week, to why they must do their homework etc...etc...infinitem.  Only the strongest of constitutions can tolerate this.

Boys in my experience, do not whine.  Oh perhaps when they are little guys, aged 2-4.  But rarely do you hear a boy's deepening or occasionally cracking prepubescent voice whining in protest.  No, boys may grumble or groan, or more likely ignore requests for homework completion etc. but they generally do not whine.

Next, girls are obsessive-compulsive little bundles of neurosis as they enter and become teens.  They obsess about their hair, their makeup, which boy likes which girl, they try on outfit after outfit trying to find just that right combination of cool, hip and unique.  (Which means looking JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE).  They will talk to everyone and anyone they can on the phone, they text message each other compulsively and obsessively.  They wash their hair and style it, only to turn around after two hours of effort on their coiffed do's and rewash and style it.

Boys do not seem to spend as much time on their appearances as girls do.  Although I am sure that to a degree how a boy dresses etc matters to him, but girls spend far more time immersed in shopping, clothing/fashion trends etc.  than boys.  And they are far more expensive...especially if they are shoe shoppers like my older daughter.  Girls seem inately attracted to pretty clothing, shiny and colorful shoes and purses!  My daughter, from the age of 2 on has had an affection (almost bordering on obsession) for shoes.  She could and would spend thousands on them if I had the desire or means to allow it.

The worst ages, in my humble opinion, for girls is 12 and 13.  This typically places them in about the seventh grade.    Seventh grade girls are the most hideous creatures ever created by God Almighty!  They are catty, cantankerous, moody, snippy, and emotional. My younger daughter is currently at this stage.  The only reason she is probably going to live to see 14 is because her father and I have had the benefit of having already survived her sister's parle down this path.  

Get more than one 12 year together at any given time and run for your life!  They gossip about each other, fight, and bicker.   But they can also spend hours confiding in each other their deepest darkest secrets.  Of course, as a parent, you will never be privy to these secrets because after they hit the age of 11 they stop telling you everything.    When girls fight, unlike boys, they do not typically settle disputes with their fists.    They sling arrows and barbs at each other instead.  One well placed dirty look from a rival and a 12 year old's world can crash around her.  For a parent this emotional warfare and the fall out from it, is probably the most difficult to deal with.  Girls can be bullies just like boys, but sometimes the emotional scarring as a result is worse than any that could be inflicted physically.  Teaching girls to be kind and appeal to their better natures at this age is difficult.  But thankfully by the time they reach high school they are beginning to grasp it.

Girls seem more complex in many ways than boys.  Most teen girls worry a lot.  They worry about acceptance from their peers, their grades, their social activities, dating, romance, the world around them.   Although boys worry about these things most certainly, girls seem to be more vocal about these concerns.  But they typically vocalize these concerns to their peers only.   Most teens would be loathe to admit that they still need or want to talk to their parents, but they most definitely do.   And it is difficult as a parent to wake up one day and have the daughter that formerly adored you treat you with sullen disregard nearly daily.   Being the parent of a teen girl (teens in general) means opening your ears now and closing your mouth. They want you to listen but on their terms and in their time.

Although girls are emotional and sensitive as they are navigating their teens, the tumultuous years between girlhood and womanhood are important ones.  And rewarding in the long run as well  For it is through the crazy, emotional, moody, angst filled moments that a girl learns the kind of woman she will become.  She learns to nurture, share, communicate, assert herself.  She learns about who she is and how she will define herself.  Although I am sure that raising a teen boy has its rewards and certainly its challenges, there is nothing more maddening, frustrating and ultimately awe inspiring and wonderful than being witness to a girl transforming into a woman.

Are Girls really more difficult to raise than Boys?

Are Girls really more difficult to raise than Boys?

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      Tina 3 years ago

      I think it really depends who raised you and your environment. I'm the only girl and have three brothers and raised by my dad. My mom left to go abroad when I was just five years old. So growing up with all boys in the family, I was such a tomboy. I do play barbies but…i hate wearing dresses. I prefer shorts and pants. I hate the color pink. My dad don't really know how to dress me anyways hehehe. But now I'm a mother of 2 boys. The oldest is very easy to take care of, he's 10 now. The little one 6 yrs. old was a pain in the butt. But he's okay later on. He just typical wanna be the baby. I am too got worried when I was having the second one, I thought I wasn't ready to have a girl but believe me at first i do wanted a girl since I've been wanting to have a sister. But then I realized it is hard to raise girls here in America. I was born and raised in my country till 12 years old and I never forget our family tradition and cultures there. I cannot imagine raising a girl here in America where I can see they become spoiled brat. I was very young I was doing already hard chores and independently doing it by myself. So yeah…I'm not saying I am glad i have boys but at the same time, I am blessed that this is what God has given to me.

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      Kelby 5 years ago

      Im a sixteen year old girl and ill agree we.girls are harder tp raise. Me and my sister fight everyday while my brothers never fight and it even worst when you have share a room

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      teengirl 5 years ago

      Well im reading atricles on what people say about us and i laugh cuz some is true and some are not (to me) but I can say is what i say is true is that sure there are times where I want to talk or open up to my parents but I want them to listen and not start blabbering off on why what when how... once they do I'm done talking because all I want is someone to listen and my friends can be better listeners

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      Lol 6 years ago

      Yes but they have more to deal with

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      orlandomom 6 years ago

      I've had both, and each child is different. My first son was a piece of cake. The two little girls later were ohhhh boy! One harder than the other. But my 11 yo boy now?? He is sensitive, and emotional. His dad has diabetes, and he's the worry wart, mother hen. Thinks he's the adult in the house and tries to tell us both! He gets put in his place, but it just rises back up again. This boy is going to be my challenge.

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      You dont know me 6 years ago

      i don't think so lol.

      i think Boys are more difficult.

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      ummmm. 6 years ago

      Girls just want and crave that attention. The time in between adolescence and womanhood is critical! This could make us, or break us. We desire the comfort and understanding of a parent. If your daughter doesn't talk to you, you should look into bettering your relationship. Many daughters refuse to talk to their moms because of their judgmental tone. Matters such as drama, sex, and love go unheard. You need to nurture and educate her. Who is she to look to if you too can't communicate? Parents need to concern themselves with these aspects. You can't just throw birth control to your daughter and condoms to your son and hope they don't make mistakes. You have to TALK to them.

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      SanXuary 6 years ago

      Boys are always more like their mother and girls are more like their father. In otherwise it is the exact opposite for men. Women understand women but have far more empathy for men then other women. For example I am far more likely to state the obvious pressures of being a male on my son. Because I do not understand women as well I tend to take a middle ground and a less serious look into my daughters perspective and a girls point of view. Seeing my point of view has a calming effect and being her parent and a male I usually point her in a direction that her mother has not pointed her in. MY son is rebellious because he is competitive and wants to prove that he is a grown up male. My daughter played spin her brain with all the women she knows when dad brings up something entirely new. IT might not hold the answer but now she has to think about it and by the time she finds the answer she has calmed down and is on to a new idea or perspective. In other words girls are much easier to raise then teen age boys.

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      Regina 7 years ago

      i know for a fact girls are much harder to raise i have five girls n one boy he is my first child i had the girls after n let me tell you that you are so right about the teen girl thing my first daugther is 16 she is still a handful n my 13 yr old well i just want to rip my hair out they drive me crazy i also have a 11 , 9 , and my baby girl she is 4 but she has alittle of all of them in her so god help me n her dad when she is a teen its is very hard raising girls i love them but sometime they make it so i don't like them very much n its ok to have space because there moods are like world war 2 i just want to duck n cover because i think they are giving me shell shock i have ticks now i hear teens girls at walmart n i run for the hills really if all teen girls got together they could take over the world like pinky n the brain lol well thank you

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      kathrine 7 years ago

      Yes girls are much difficult maybe because of more sensitivity, and being emotional and hormones of PMS. But it could be that they just show it more than boys. Girls have a much harder time going through puberty than boys (breasts,periods,cramps,shaving,boys,makeup,style,dramas,looking good). I do know boys can be very rebelious and like to yell back. But like i said it mainly decides on your childs temperment or how bad their hormones are, also genetics is a hudge factor,how you were as a teen will reflect them as a teen. I say teen girls are way worst not only because i have a 16 year old either because she was worst around 11-13 the beggining of her hormones starting to kick in. Now she is adjusted to themi think and is calm and mature acting , not that we don't fight often enough but she behaves and listens with disagreement but i wont let her do much about it. Trust me i hear "shut up mom" almost every other day. good luck teen girls are easier as children but harder as teens but once shes past theese years she will be a caring woman, they mostly all get past it and turn around into a better person, its not their fault. Your daughter is at the beggining of womanhood and a woman like anyother just treat her like one but with boundaries.

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      Hmmmmmm 7 years ago that I've had a few minutes to calm down, I'd like to apologize for any offence caused by my previous comment but I still maintain the subtext of it in that referring to boys as "simple" and girls as "complex" is as bad as some of the stereotypes girls and women had to put up with in the bad old days before we all became a little a more enlightened...

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      Hmmmm 7 years ago

      Your article is sexist and stereotypical of the attitude many women have towards boys (and men). Do you have boys? Then all of your assertions on what "simple" creatures they are are just based on generalised ignorance. Maybe boys are actually smarter than girls in that they've figured out what it is that they need to make them happy..whereas the 'oh so complex girls' are still thrashing around like a drunk in a darkened room wondering how to find the answer and they take longer to arrive at it?

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      carmen 7 years ago

      l am a mother of twin girls aged 13 and l am beside myself.

      One of my daughters is an absolute nightmare. The only thing is, l wake up every morning to find out its real. l used to say that l wish l could rewind the years and go back to when they were babies. But then l realized l would have to go through the teen process again. Now l just want to fast forward a few years. l wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

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      jeanette 7 years ago

      i have two boys and one girl and itis very true and by reading this hels me to understan that is not me

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      tamekahall 8 years ago

      I am the mother of three boys ages 14, 13, and 15 months. I have always wanted boys. When my last son concieved I was so scared. Only for the fact that it could be a girl. I wouldn't know what to do with her. I see my nieces, all 4 of them and I see myself never offering to babysit or sleepovers in my spot. I really think that the mothers' mentality and her level of prissyness comes into play. I was a tomboy growing up around all boy cousins, there was one girl but I was older. Well I'll pray for you and good luck with your girls.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 8 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I completely disagree. Everyone teen different. I have had both a girl and a boy and the girl was a piece of cake compared with the boy. I simply cannot do anything with him at all because mainly of very strong negative peer pressure. My daughter didn't respond to this pressure but he is easily influenced and did. Good hub though!

    • God Is profile image

      God Is 9 years ago

      Yes girls are harder to raise than boys. With boys, its a simple fight and differences are settled. With girls, well, this could go on forever. One question though, as a mother and now a parent of these girls, can you recall being the same way at this age? If not how is it different?

    • mschattie profile image

      mschattie 9 years ago from Michigan

      LOL...thanks for the vote of confidence in my parenting abilities! :) Anyway..its an interesting question either

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I really don't have an idea for I am not a parent but since you are, and a great one, too. I'll say I agree with you. So yes, girls are harder to raise than teenage boys! :D