INFORMATIVE ARTICLE FOR PARENTS of TEENAGE GIRLS

In general parents of teenage girls report frustration at the seemingly unpredictable and wildly fluctuating emotions their daughters exhibit. Sometimes the behavior is extreme and sometimes mild but most parents of teen girls will say that their daughters, in contrast to their teenage boys, spend a lot more time involved with emotional interactions with peers, girlfriends, boyfriends, what to do, what not to do, the dreadful breakup or the nerve of that girl trying to act like she's better and so on. And when a parent attempts to talk to their daughter about something seemingly dramatic taking place in her life, to help her make sense of it all or work through something, the parent is often rejected or told that "they just don't get it," exit to the bedroom, shut door, play loud music, talk on phone, ignore parent as much as possible until crisis passes at which point daughter who seemed to be on the brink of despair emerges smiling and talkative until the next time. This scientific article explains what's going on with the developing girl's brain during adolescence: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2009/brain-emotion-circuit-sparks-as-teen-girls-size-up-peers.shtml

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CHILDREN DON’T NEED PARENTS FOR FRIENDS, THEY NEED PARENTS

It's nice and even good when parents and children get along and enjoy each other. Unfortunately, sometimes it's a parents responsibility to take care of their child even if the child is angry and won't speak to the parent or locks him or herself away in their bedroom for awhile, when the parent parents. For instance, if your child asks if they can go spend the night with a friend, do you call the friend's parents to see if there's going to be an adult in the house? NO? Hmmmm, no wonder so many kids can tell me all about the parties with the alcohol and drugs they consumed over the weekend. Not your child? Don't be so fast to decide that. I work with kids from good families with loving, hard working parents. Children are children. They are not adults even when they are throwing a fit to convince us they are. Their brains aren't even fully developed yet. They don't always exercise good judgement. That's where you come in. It is your responsibility to make sure your child is safe and your child isn't safe if he/she is at a party where there isn't a responsible adult in...

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WHEN TO STAY AND WHEN TO GO

It’s easy to say when to leave a relationship. Leave if you’re being abused physically or if you’re being abused verbally or psychologically and your partner won’t stop or agree to counseling. If your partner cheats on you and refuses to go to counseling, leave. If your partner has any kind of addiction, drugs, alcohol, gambling, Internet porn you don’t agree to, spending money he/she doesn’t have until the family can’t pay bills, and refuses to seek treatment, or sometimes refuses to even admit there’s a problem, you should leave because, unless someone wants to change, and then actively seeks some sort of support to create change like individual counseling, group therapy, AA, NA, or any other identified form of treatment, it’s unlikely they’ll change. Will power is seldom, if ever, enough to create lasting change. If your partner lies to you repeatedly, not white lies but big lies, for example, “I went to work today,” when he/she actually got fired the week before or “I’m going to my mother’s house,” and he/she doesn’t, instead going somewhere else, which they may or may not deny when you confront them, you should leave if there’s either an unwillingness to admit there’s...

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WHAT YOUR CHILD DOES NEED FROM YOU

I’ve written a couple of articles about what your child doesn’t need from you so here’s one about what your child does need from you.  1. Your Interest. We’re all busy most of the time, if not at work then working at the other things we have to do. If you feel like you can just never catch up, never finish with everything you have to do you’re not alone. So when your child starts a conversation with you, wants to tell you something that you’re not particularly interested in hearing, remember a child’s parents are the people who tell her/him whether or not she’s lovable and that’s her starting point for how she feels about herself as she grows into adulthood and out into the world.  2. Your Time. Set aside some time every day, even if it’s only fifteen minutes, to sit with your child and listen or just sit if they don’t want to talk. Meal time is a good time since everyone has to eat. Ask questions about something you know your child is interested in, not the questions you have to ask like whether or not homework is finished but questions that are neutral or positive. At least once a week offer to do something with your child like watch...

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LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES

            This article pertains to teenagers because consequences are different depending on the age and stage of the development of the child.             First here’s a list of things you need to know about your teenager as they individuate and separate from their family of origin, returning once they’ve successfully navigated adolescence: 1.  Every teenager needs:            a. some rules that never change like they can’t take the car to Lake Tahoe to hang out with their friends for the weekend and having a cell phone is dependent on getting at least a C average in school.             b. some rules can be negotiated like, “If you want to go to the movies after school and you know I don’t let you go to the movies after school what can you do in terms of school work that will show me it’s O.K. for you to go to the movies with Susan this afternoon.”             c. some freedom to choose. If she wants to wear a purple hair extension in her hair it’s fine. 2.  Your teenager will tell you and act like they are in complete control of their lives in word, thought, and deed, especially if they’re hearing something...

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