Attitude from your pre-teen or teen daughter doesn’t have to be your new normal. Here are simple, yet powerful, ways to ease the attitudes and build
Listen to the podcast – Girls & Their Attitudes
I don’t have to tell you that as your daughters grow into their teenage years you will see some incredibly hormonal behavior. But, it tends to be the attitudes that come with those hormones that cause the most angst and struggles between mothers and daughters. Let’s dig into these attitudes and find ways to dissolve them (hopefully before they even begin) while building amazing relationships with our girls at the same time!
Teen Girls Feel Misunderstood
In a world where hormonal emotions are running wild, teenage girls often feel no one understands them – least of all, their parents. However, they are rarely able to communicate what exactly they feel misunderstood about. Which causes even more misunderstanding.
While it may be tempting to brush off what your daughter is feeling or experiencing as childish and annoying, remember, whatever it is she is going through is very real to her. Telling her to “suck it up, Buttercup,” is only going to widen the rift between you, causing her to shut you out and look elsewhere for validation.
Instead, take time to sit down with your daughter and help her work through what she’s feeling misunderstood about. If she can learn to verbalize her emotions and struggles, she can begin to learn to deal with them and you will actually learn more about her – creating an inseparable bond.
What to Do
- Make time for heart-to-heart talks (even when she doesn’t seem to need it)
- Listen more than you talk
- Help her sort out what she really feels (you may think she’s angry when really she’s sad)
- Help her work through why she feels misunderstood (was there an issue with a friend, did she not get to do something she really wanted to do, etc.)
What to Avoid
- Attacking her feelings (“That doesn’t make sense!”)
- Criticizing anyone else involved (she can’t control other people, just her reactions to other people)
- Making generalizations (no one is always right or always wrong – making sweeping statements about feelings and circumstances tends to make people feel they haven’t been truly heard)
Teen Girls are Unsure of Themselves
Even the most confident teenager has moments of self-doubt. My
Even adults bristle when they feel criticized! No one wants to be criticized, but teens in particular have a hard time accepting criticism because they are already quite unsure of themselves. Their ability to discern the true nature of the criticism – is it corrective or degrading? – is not honed enough to figure out what to do with it, so they almost always cop an attitude (or dissolve into a puddle of tears!).
Consider this – –
Attitudes in girls are often
That need to defend themselves at its deepest roots is because they don’t trust their own decisions but they desperately want to avoid looking stupid. Some particularly strong-willed girls will fight to the death to defend a poor decision simply because they need to fight their own self-doubt. Attitudes convey power and confidence – even when it isn’t truly there
What to Do
- Give your daughter opportunities to try new things and go new places.
- Ask your daughter’s opinion on things around the house. This helps her to see that you respect who she is and are confident in her ability to make sound decisions.
- Look for things she does well and
praiseher for those things. Conversely, encourage her in the things she’s not as good at.
What to Avoid
- Seeing her behavior as synonymous with who she really is.
- Attacking her character or personality.
- Trying to “knock her down a notch” by belittling or pointing out her faults.
Help your daughter see her true potential by encouraging her giftings! If she is particularly blessed in an area, compliment her and go the extra mile by giving her the resources she needs to take that gifting to the next level.
Read more about this idea here:
Investing in Real World Homeschooling
Teen Girls Still Need Mom
Attitudes tend to separate mothers and daughters, but despite what your daughter may say to you deep in heart she still needs you and it would be a grave mistake for you to pull away.
Your daughter may act all prickly, and you may feel all prickly, but take a deep breath and be there for her. Take her places, do things with her, talk to her, hug her, listen to her, mother (not smother) her through this.
What to Do
- Now more than ever take the time for mom-daughter dates. Take turns choosing where to go and
learningmore about each other.
- Simple things count – sitting next to her, giving her a hug or a smile, writing a little note, encouraging her, buying her favorite gum all speak volumes to her about how you feel about her.
- Acknowledge who your daughter is becoming. She’s not a mini-you, she’s her own person. Your relationship will be much richer if you learn to enjoy her individuality.
What to Avoid
- Bribing her.
- Guilting her.
- Pleading with her.
- Withholding your affection when she is having an attitude.
The Ultimate Goal
You are your daughter’s anchor in this crazy world. Through you, she sees a picture of Christ as her ultimate anchor. Even if she hasn’t chosen to follow and trust in the Lord, your job is to lead and disciple in a Christ-like manner, training her in the way she should go.
One of the most important things you can do for her is to focus your own heart and mind on the Word of God. Go through the Gospels and consider who Jesus is and how he related to people during His years on this earth – especially those disciples with attitude problems. Never expect her to be perfect. Never expect perfection in yourself. Always turn your heart and hers toward the Cross.
Do you have boys too?
Read my post: How to Parent & Discipline Boys & Their Attitudes