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20 tips for parents of teenage daughters

  1. Give your daughter clear but reasonable limits. She needs to know where the boundaries are. Have discussions about limits where her opinion counts. Allow her as much freedom as you can within these limits.
  2. Give her the chance to be autonomous and allow her to learn to make her own decisions. She needs space to just be herself.
  3. Tolerate as much as you can and choose your fights.
  4. Your daughter needs your approval, love and support no matter what she says or does.
  5. Listen more with non-judgement.
  6. Accept your limitations. You cannot force your teenager.  You can make sure she knows the consequences of what she is doing.
  7. Discuss the vices that you are fearful of and give her a game plan.
  8. Be available to give advice when it is asked for but step back whenever possible. Rather be a coach and a guide. Keep an open door policy.
  9. Don’t come to your daughter’s rescue unnecessarily or prematurely. Let her grapple and accept that she can be sad, grumpy, upset too.
  10. Remember that your daughter is an individual not merely an extension of you. Do not expect your daughter to share your dreams, ambitions and values; she has her own.
  11. Understand that your daughter will start to look outside of the family unit for emotional support, approval, recognition and acceptance. This is a normal part of growing up.
  12. Show an interest in what your daughter does, and accept that she will not tell you everything; secrets are a part of being a teenager.
  13. As your daughter becomes more mature and independent, take the opportunity to expand your life and interests.
  14. Have one fight at a time. Give one instruction at a time. Do not bring up the past.
  15. Acknowledge that the value your daughter’s generation puts on friendship and relationships is different from your generation. Respect her friendships and recognise her need to support her friends.
  16. Never stop telling your daughter that you love her.
  17. Ask your daughter for (and listen to) her opinion. Our girls’ have incredible insight on issues of (among other things) morality, politics and relationships. They understand the complexities of the “big issues” and want to discuss them. Your daughter needs to know that you value her views and that opinion counts. Encourage her voice.
  18. Discuss checking in and make it a family routine.
  19. Be a role model!
  20. Reconsider your values. Individualism and money-focus increases disconnection. Cooperation, collaboration and contribution become most important for z generation girls. Write up family values and talk through.

Find tips on how to be more assertive in “Strong moms, strong teens”

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