Teenage girls are in the midst of an incredible physical and emotional growth phase. Changing hormones, societal pressures and the enormous task of developing a personal identity all work together to produce large amounts of stress, confusion and frustration in your teen. A healthy balance of firm boundaries, freedom of choice and empathy is required to support teenage girls who are exhibiting classic attitude problems.
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Many parents worry about the fact that their once affectionate little girl now shrinks from loving parental touches. There are two main factors contributing to this common attitude problem in teenage girls. First, your teen is constantly looking for ways to assert her independence. Withdrawing from affectionate touches is one way of saying, "I am my own person, mom and dad!" Second, your teen's body is developing, and she is rapidly becoming aware of sexual urges. These facts can make her confused by the feelings touch arouses in her. Do not stop being affectionate with your teenage girl, even though it may be hard to overcome feelings of rejection. Your teen needs to know that you love her and that her changing body is acceptable to you.
While young girls want nothing more than to spend hours talking with their parents, teenage girls are usually an entirely different story. Teens tend to get an attitude with parents who ask for personal disclosure. The first reason for this is the fact that peers often become first priority for girls in their teen years. The attention shift from parents to peers naturally results in less communication with parents, because girls are telling their best friends about their boy problems instead of their mothers. Another possible reason for secrecy is more serious. Teens often experiment with drugs, sex and other behaviours that are unhealthy. If you are getting major attitude and secrecy when inquiring where your daughter is going, be aware that she might not want to tell you the truth about what she is into. Parents need to walk a fine line between providing trust and freedom to their teens and making sure they have enough information to keep their teenage girls safe.
As teenage girls assert their independence, they are likely to test their parents' boundaries on a regular basis. Your teen could become outright defiant when you ask her to clean her room, be home by a certain hour or attend a family function. Parents need to choose their battles carefully, because it is important for teens to feel as though they are allowed personal autonomy. However, it is equally important to set firm boundaries on important issues and follow through with consequences. If you ground your teen, stick to your guns. Otherwise, you will lose respect and cause your teenage girl's defiance levels to increase.
Your teenage girl probably is not bipolar if she begins to exhibit extreme mood swings during the course of any given month. In fact, she might be experiencing the temperamental affects of her menstrual cycle. Another reason for the attitude problem of mood swings is the fact that the prefrontal cortex is still developing rapidly during the teen years. This part of the brain directly affects self-control, judgment and planning. So your teenager could have a scientifically proven reason for being unable to regulate her emotions. Parents should be empathetic toward mood swings in teen girls, while at the same time enforcing the expectations of civility and respect.
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