5 shocking things your daughter isn’t telling you and what you can do about it.
It’s no secret that teenage girls are secretive. We see them quickly putting away their phones in our presence and trying to close their doors. You can’t help but wonder what they’re up to.
As a teen life coach, I’m privy to a lot of information parents don’t always have access to about their daughters. Some of this info you may know and some, I’m sure, has crossed your mind, but here are the five things your daughter isn’t telling you, but wants you to know.
1. She does care!
She wants you to trust her and to treat her like the young lady she’s growing to be. She’s not asking for extra privileges to do things that will make you upset. She’s asking because she really does want to hang out with her friends for a little bit longer. She wants to show you that you can trust her so that she can learn to trust herself.
2. She’s not trying to hide things from you.
She wants privacy because she wants to feel respected and trusted.
3. She kept the truth from you…because she knows you will freak out!
Or at least you act like you will in her, not so humble, opinion. Sometimes you freak out about the smallest things and it makes her uncomfortable to bring the details of her life to you. She really wanted to tell you about her first kiss, but she knew you would ruin it. Your daughter also wants to tell you about the bad grade she got in Biology. And the fight she had with her best friend. But, she thinks you will take things a step too far by yelling and berating her, or even worse, trying to tell her how to fix it.
4. You don’t know what she’s going through.
She has to manage her regular and her digital life. You have absolutely no idea what that’s like because you weren’t born in the age of social media. Belittling her concerns about it, make her shut down. Social media is a very real thing for her generation and she just wants you to get that.
5. The stress she feels from girl drama and school issues is very real.
It causes stress and it shouldn’t be belittled. No, she doesn’t have to pay bills, but this is her life and she has to live in it every day. Remember when you were in high school? Remember how epic everything felt? She feels the same way. People are constantly reminding her that her choices now will shape the rest of her life, that’s some heavy stuff! And she knows she has to figure out her future, that stresses her out even more
It’s important to remember that soon your daughter will no longer live in your home, and she will be legally considered an adult. Start trusting her with more responsibility now and respecting her opinions. You may not always agree. There are certainly times you will have to override her decisions because you are the parent and it’s your job to keep her safe and your intention is to protect her first and foremost, even from herself.
Open and honest communication is key to parent-teen relationship, because you’re teaching her how to navigate this world. Don’t you want to know as much about her world as you can?
“Because I said so” will complicate things and make her resentful. This is because she needs to learn the thought process behind your decisions in order to make informed decisions of her own when you’re not around to guide her. The more buy in you have from her, the more valued she will feel. Imagine how much easier it would be to enforce consequences for not following expectations when she was a part of the conversation establishing what is required of her? She will already know when she messes up and there won’t be anything to question. She may still roll her eyes when she walks away, (hey, she’s a work in progress) but the disrespectful tantrum can be avoided.
Basically, she wants to feel respected as she is learning to assert herself and find her way. She’s going to make mistakes, she’s not going to be perfect. It is possible to minimize the difficulty and negative impact that the teen years can have on the family. And remember, this is only a season. It too will pass.