“Don’t come in, you embarrass me!”
The first time you hear this from your teenager it is not uncommon to feel totally wrecked inside. Your little prince or princess is nearly physically grown,but has alot more maturing psychologically and socially.
Teens are so consumed with themselves and how their image is represented; more so these days than 15 or 20 years ago. Magazines, television, movies, music and music videos are screaming at kids to be or look a certain way. It honestly seems cruel that this torrent of conforming – or should I say mis-conforming information – hits teens literally at the same time as they are individuating and establishing their own identity.
As a bloke trying your best to be a good Dad to your son or daughter it can be a really tough road. How much rope do I let my child have? If I am to restrictive will they revolt and stop listening? If I give them too much of the reigns am I guilty of being permissive?
Check out this website which can point you in the right direction. Balance is important. We love our kids and want to be active parents – in their lives rather than just on the sidelines as an observer. Yet we must give them their own space to allow them to grow and learn.
She used to greet you when you came home from work with a hug and would excitedly tell you about her day. Now she scowls at you and calls you weird because you asked how her day has been; what school was like today, what happened in her social life and what made her laugh.
She used to tell you she loved you – and you clearly saw she meant it – but now you can do nothing right for her; she either bursts into tears for no apparent reason, or, tells you she “hates you.”
Welcome to being a still proud Dad to a teenage girl.
She still delights you. Yet now she also frustrates you. You feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster; every four seconds she has a completely different personality.
Dr Ruth A Peters suggests that clever, “gutsy” parenting is the key to getting through with your sanity intact. More importantly, your daughter needs you to stay strong for her, and journey with her as she faces social struggles, feelings of rejection, and self-perception problems.
And as a Dad to a teenage daughter you are likely to hear the dreaded “I’m fat!” Carol Tuttle, author of The Child Whisper, shows parents how they can hang in their, instilling confidence in their daughters as they grow into women.
And, in an everyday blokes world, you as your daughter’s Dad, can make a real difference. Just being their for her is all she’ll ever need when everything is boiled down.
So stay the course, no matter how rough it gets. You already know she’s worth it!