Sunday, October 12, 2008

what about TEEN girls?

I received this email message recently:

"...Anything on TEENage girls? I have noticed a large gap in the willingness of many parents of teens to discuss the realities of raising a teen...everything is either "really good" all the time with their teen, or "really bad". I also see a huge difference in my daughter's take on individual classmates, and feedback I get from parents and teachers; the adults say everyone loves her, she is well respected, and she gets elected to many leadership roles. On the other hand, she has a lot of critical things to say TO ME about many of the classmates....wondering if she is just venting to me, or if she is "acting" happy at school and is not...I try not to be critical and just let her have her say, but then wonder if there is something more I should be paying attention to...."

1 comment:

Karol Maybury said...

Very interesting observations>
1) I agree that there is less give & take among parents of teen girls. We need to get those conversations going: Perhaps here.
One of the biggest obstacles to parenting is not telling each other about our struggles, concerns, issues we are facing. This forum (and others.. please let us know your favorites) is one place that people can post and respond anonymously to what they are facing.
2) You mention that your daughter vents to you.. seems more happy (or acts happier) at school. This is very very common. Home/mom/dad provide a safe harbor for her, and it is actually a solid sign of your closeness and her confidence in you as a mom that she divulges these things. It is quite normal for girls to become more close-mouthed about their social lives with their parents. Its unfortunate, because just when they could most use our feedback or support they start to move away psychologically.
3) I like your approach of listening in a non judgmental way. This takes practice for many of us!
4) Since you are asking her teachers how things are, and taking her temperature, so to speak, and getting some good info., it sounds like you are in a good place with her, and on the right track.