How To Teach A 3 Year Old To Calm Down Parenting Teenage Girls – Challenges Parents Face

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Parenting Teenage Girls – Challenges Parents Face

Why is my daughter so different since she hit puberty?

The most obvious difference between boys and girls when they reach adolescence is that while boys tend to withdraw, girls engage and often engage in a struggle. This is not to say that girls do not spend huge amounts of time in their rooms, on the computer, or talking on the phone, however, they tend to pick fights and fight with their parents more often than teenagers Teenagers struggle to regulate their emotions often feeling overwhelmed, confused and “all over the place”. This is what creates those moments where you can witness (or more often be on the receiving end) screams, hysterical cries and screams. It can seem to come out of nowhere, be very misdirected and can seem very above the situation at hand. This is normal (and extremely stressful).

Teenage girls are faced with many changes happening at once. First, they experienced significant changes in their bodies with the development of secondary sex characteristics, general growth and sometimes weight gain. This can be extremely stressful for girls and can result in shame, low self-esteem and a lot of confusion. Second, it involves new sexual feelings that also result in behavioral changes. They care more about what others think of them (hence the hours in front of the mirror), they care more about what they wear, if they “look fat” and care about who is hanging out with whom. Third, they also begin to be seen as sexualized beings by others their own age, which is a major change that creates a new level of self-awareness and peer pressure. Finally, they seek independence which means putting friends and members of the “outside world” first versus seeing their parents/family as the center of their world. It happens a lot, doesn’t it? It certainly is and all this can result in emotions that are confusing and strong.

Emotional dysregulation occurs when an individual’s response does not seem to be “appropriate” for a particular situation. This often looks like an “overreaction” to a situation or a prolonged emotional response to a situation. Emotional dysregulation is not uncommon for teenage girls and plays in general in the security of the home that translates into you, as the parent, more often than not being on the receiving end. At the end of this article, I will offer you some suggestions to answer if you have experienced this with your teenage daughter.

I have often heard individuals say, “Teenagers and their mothers never remember.” While this is a generalized statement, there is some validity to it. The reality is that teenagers are usually more attached to their mothers and therefore, in order to gain independence, they need to work hard to break that attachment. Although there may be a similar dynamic with fathers, relationships with teenage girls and their fathers tend to be less turbulent and outwardly emotional. So, with their mothers, the girls work hard to resist the close connection they feel which ultimately causes them more confusion and often a stronger emotional response.

If you are a parent experiencing this, it is certainly not fun and can be extremely emotionally draining for you, right? How could it not be? It is difficult to witness extreme emotions from your child and at the same time you do not really know what they are in the fight, you cannot fix it and you have to try to manage your emotions. It’s not an easy job! Sometimes understanding what’s going on can make things easier. Basically, what your teenage daughter is healthier than you might think. She works to disengage from you, but she keeps you connected through fighting, yelling and screaming. He fights to increase his independence, but also keeps his relationship with you strong through the fight (this doesn’t necessarily feel good at the moment, but it keeps his connection with you). Your daughter is ultimately getting support from you during these difficult battles even though it’s probably not the way you want her to seek support. Understanding this together with reviewing the tips at the end of this article can help you in those moments when you want to run out of the house, lock yourself in your room (see at the end – I have a tip for this) or pull your hair out. Being a teenage girl at this point in time is not an easy task – your daughter needs your support, consistency and validation even if she never asks for it.

There is certainly much more information related to what makes teenagers tick, however, this overview is intended to help you, as a parent, understand what can happen to your child that will help you make decisions which are best for you and your family in terms of dealing with your teenage daughter effectively. I want to emphasize that while most girls go through this process safely, there are others who experience significant difficulties during this difficult period of transition. Some teenagers start using drugs and/or alcohol as a way to gain confidence in social situations, to “fit in” or to manage their confusing emotions. Others are involved in negative peer groups and succumb to peer pressure associated with criminal activity or unsafe sexual promiscuity. Some become emotionally out of control and become aggressive and violent. If you have a real concern for such behaviors, you should consult with an expert who can help determine if additional support or help is needed.

Some techniques to try when your teenage daughter seems very emotional:

1. Validation: let your daughter know that you understand that she is upset (even if you don’t understand why) and that you know that it must be difficult for her to be so upset. Sometimes just listening can make a big difference in how your teen responds to you. Again – you don’t have to agree or fully understand, just acknowledge and validate how you feel.

2. Stay calm: this can be very difficult – especially if your daughter is shouting at you or saying hurtful things. However, if you also become extremely emotional, you probably won’t have a productive interaction and you may end up feeling bad that you said things you later regret. Speaking in an even and calm voice often results in the other person lowering their voice and calming down.

3. Take space: if you suddenly feel ready, there’s no reason why you can’t take space for yourself. A lot of parents I work with find that going to the bathroom is the best way to do this (although each person should do what works best for them). Whether you go take a shower or bath or just pretend you need to be there to do something, often this gives the parent and teen a “cooling off period” and prevents the situation from escalating further. Children most often do not disturb others when they are in the bathroom with the door closed.

4. Do not feel the need to defend yourself: your teenage daughter may accuse you of things that are not true, say things that are hurtful or exaggerate situations. As the parent, you don’t need to help them rationalize these things during an emotional time. Your teen probably won’t be able to hear what you’re saying yet, and if they are able to hear it, they probably won’t be able to process it effectively. If you feel that it is important to explain yourself (and often the time is not) then it is better to wait and do this at a time when emotions are under control.

5. Teach your daughter calming techniques during emotional times: It’s often helpful for parents to talk to their daughters about ways to be calmer during times when things are going well. I have worked with parents who have been able to come up with plans for their teenage daughters where they can ask to be left alone for ten minutes to listen to music and calm down before continuing the conversation. Other parents have worked with their daughters on deep breathing, counting to 10, writing down how they feel first before screaming, etc. All can be effective if discussed and reviewed during unemotional times. You know that your teenage daughter is the best and you can help her find a technique or a couple of techniques that will work for her.

As the parent, you know your daughter the best. Trust your instincts while allowing yourself to be open to understanding what might happen for her. One of the most important things to remember while enduring the stress that can be associated with parenting a teenager while dealing with everything in your life is that you need to practice good self-care. It is important for parents to stay connected with the things they enjoy and that bring them stress relief during a period that can often be unpredictable and chaotic.

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