6 Tips For Parenting Troubled Girls

Teenage years always come with challenges, no matter the generation. Parents experience unexpected changes in teen girl’s attitudes and behavior every day. Even though they may seem unpredictable during moments of time, most of it is completely normal adolescent behavior.

There are some teenagers who suffer from mental, emotional, behavioral, and psychological conditions warranting more concern over troublesome behavior. In 2014 Jen Hatmaker shared a powerful, insightful post about parenting teens that are struggling “…do you know how many teens are in crisis? In the throes of addiction or self-harm or mental illness or depression? MILLIONS. So do the math: that means millions of parents are suffering alongside teens that are self-destructing.”

Here are 6 parenting tips for helping your troubled teenage daughter:

Learn More About The Still-Developing Teen Brain

Parents of teenagers need to realize more than anything that teen adolescence is a stage unlike any other. No longer a child and not yet an adult, teenage girls have unique needs. While they need the same protection kids do, they want the independence of adults. This challenging stage of life demands more than work from just the teenager, it requires a dedicated parent who will take the time to educate themselves about the developing teen brain and how it operates differently than ours.

Helping Teen Girls to Manager Anger

If your teenage girl is often in trouble, then it’s probable she is angry too. While this emotion can be overwhelming and explosive, it is manageable with the right set of tools. As a parent, teach your teenager daughter how to manager her anger by learning how to express it in a healthy manner, acknowledge it without reacting to it, and redirecting her anger towards a cause that is positive. Teens are capable of doing this, but they just aren’t equipped with the coping skills yet to deal with flooding emotions.

The Difference Between Aggressive And Assertive Behavior

Teens are not the only ones to show aggressive behavior in their daily lives, but they are the most vulnerable and can learn different now. Talk to your daughter about the differences between aggressive, passive, and assertive behavior. When these characteristics are explored, your teenager may choose to act differently the next time they react to an anger provoking issue. Discuss the consequences for the differing behavior choices, both good and bad.

RoutineS Are Great For Your Teen

When it comes to healthy habits, routines and structures are the bones behind them. Teenage girls who are straying down the wrong path can benefit from structure and routine in their life, at home and away. When it comes to house rules, expectations, chores, curfews, and other boundaries – set your routine and structure to include the entire family, not just your teenage daughter. You don’t want her to feel singled out or picked on at home. Even when they resist, troubled teens find safety and security through structured parenting with clearly set boundaries. This tactic also works to support the parent-daughter relationship. Ensure you are sticking with your own routines and structure before imposing on a troubled teen girl, as examples are everything.

Focus On The Relationship With Your Teen Daughter, Not Her

It sounds strange, but stop focusing on everything your teen daughter does and does not do, and instead find ways to begin strengthening the relationship you have with her. Even if it’s only 10-20 minutes a day, quality time is quality time. Praise her, show empathy, show interest, and tell her you love her. As you continue to build the relationship you have with your teenager daughter, you may start to see her behavior improving as a natural result. If you get stumped, explore other ways to spend time with your teenager daughter.

Learn To Really Listen To Your Teen Girl

“The first duty of love is to listen,” said Paul Tillich, Theologian. This more than applies to the relationship between parents and children. Teenage girls and boys alike desire nothing more than to be loved and accepted by their parents. When they are feeling misunderstood or not heard, they are more prone to act out. Worse yet, if they feel rejected by their parents. So, if you are already spending the time to work on strengthening the connection you and your daughter has, then you are in the best position to start doing more to hear what your specific teen is saying. Find genuine connection by listening to the emotions, words, and thoughts she has to improve the development and growth of not just her, but you too.

As parents, there is nothing more we want to do than raise our daughters to be awesome women, but we need to be prepared to handle the bumpy roller coaster of the teenage years teenage years to get them there.

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