Guest Author - Chinedum Ify Obikili
Personality conflict and identity crisis is one reason our young daughters get into different harmful behaviors that ultimately lead to addictions and self hurt. Young girls all over the world go through this stage, where they struggle to be what they perceive as the acceptable personality in the society. They desperately want to be all that is in vogue and more. They get fixated on pictures of models they see in magazines and begin to starve themselves or engage in other harmful practices to become like these models. Our teenage girls now wear tattoos freely and at strategic places. And because of these distractions, they are getting more rebellious and their grades are dropping steadily too. When your teenage girl begins to act in these lines, she is undergoing personality conflicts. She is also a victim turn between what is right and what would get her accepted among her peers. This is also a crucial point for every parent, as parents are at lost as to how to handle the situation. Here are good suggestions on how to help your girl deal with this stage of her life.
1. Don't be judgmental: This is not a time for you to get all judgmental on your girl, seeing that she is also a victim of this fast paced world. You best bet would be to show her you understand exactly what she's going through. You can even compliment a weird hairdo she has on, even if you donít like it. Get interested in the hair type and offer to learn more about its origin. This could be a good opening for you to subtle tell her she can be more or look smarter than she already did. This is much better than out rightly criticizing her hairdo and issuing an order for it to be removed.
2. Treat her like an adult: When our teenagers begin to transit into adulthood, they are desperate to find their self image. The more they seek to find themselves, they more they insist on their ways, and on things they consider their right. At this age, your teenage daughter expects to be treated with some measure of respect. She doesnít want you breathing down her neck as you did while she was in junior high. If she perceives a form of control from you, she is likely to rebel hard.
3. Have an honest girl talk: When girlfriends meet, they chill and chat freely with each other. You can become her girlfriend and still be mommy. The idea is to get close enough to make her freely discus stuff with you. If she can freely discus even things she considers private with you, then you are on the right track. Talk about the changes she is either undergoing at the moment, or would soon be. Her monthly circle for one might be a good place to begin. She needs to understand why she suddenly feels weird or not herself certain times in a month. That will discourage any idea of experimenting with a neighbor's son.
4. Time out: Much as you want to help your daughter find herself, the issue of discipline should not be overlooked. Discipline is the only way to maintain law and order even in your home. A good discipline for your teenage daughter would be to ground her, or send her off to her room for a time out. This will work best after you have given her some honest 'talking-to'.