I was Christmas shopping for my sons at an outlet mall. I have two teen boys and a college-man coed. My store options were Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, and other jock retails. After the first round of purchasing basketball shorts and swoosh t-shirts, I was bored.
I slipped into a co-ed fashion shop, gravitating towards things pink and fun. My mind quickly flashed-back ten years when shopping for my thirteen year old daughter. Being the firstborn, only girl, pink-hyper-girlness was my life for years. How different different our life is now.
I stood there thinking how different it is parenting girls and boys. I watch the differences morph before my eyes as a school counselor to tweens. Girls have different needs than boys. If you’re a parent of teen girls, here are 10 things you need to know as your daughter goes through adolescence.
1. Your daughter is different from you. As she grows and finds her identity, it may look different then what you think. It’s okay. You’re different than your daughter. She needs to find out who she is.
2. Her emotions are real, even when they’re extreme. Adolescence includes magnified emotions. When your daughter talks in absolutes, don’t discount what she’s saying. Instead, focus on what she’s saying outside of “never” and “always.”
3. She needs you. Even when she’s pushing you away, she still needs you. She needs you to stick with her despite her words, rebellion, and emotions. She needs both parents – Mom and Dad, because both provide significant needs for her growing identity.
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