Perhaps when you weren’t looking, your daughter grew up into a young woman. It isn’t difficult to lose track when things at work get crazy, and younger children need extra attention, to not see the changes going on in a young girl’s life. As she goes through this transformation it is often very difficult for a child to include a parent, especially dad. But this doesn’t mean your little girl has turned into a monster. She just needs understanding as she makes adjustments in her life. Don’t forget, she is a teenager and EVERYTHING seems worse than it really is.
Zion Educational Systems Family Advocates help parents find answers for their troubled children. Call 866-471-8579 to learn more.
Disrespectful or Just Moody?
More patience and love will always help calm a troubled child. But as a parent you must be aware that acting out in negative behaviors might be the result of other more serious issues. Your disrespectful daughter may be dealing with factors in her life that are causing her to question her worthiness. Peer pressure to engage in dangerous activities like drugs and alcohol, or even sexual relations happens daily. Plus all young girls go through phases where they believe they are not pretty enough due to poor body image and low self esteem. This naturally makes them feel sad and irritable.
Giving them a pep talk saying things like, “You are fine. It isn’t really as bad as you are saying,” will only cause them to think you don’t understand what they are going through. Keep your line of communication open and coming from a place of love. Struggling children need to know that you love and accept them, not because you tell them so, but because they believe you actually hear and empathize with them. Do not alarm them or exacerbate the problem by coming down hard. Rather, explain that as a budding young woman she will be going through physical changes, which will include mood swings. Be reassuring by not acting scare or frustrated when she is disrespectful toward you. Be the adult in the conversation and show her the proper example of kindness. Help her to recognize her ability to make the choices to be kind or rude, offended or accepting, happy or sad. It’s all part of the maturation process. You both will get through this.