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GUIDELINES TO DEAL WITH YOUR DAUGHTER DURING THE GROWING YEARS...


In parenting an adolescent you need to understand the process of adolescence with its highs and lows. Adolescence can be a time when the process of growing up can help people to make positive changes. It is not just a difficult stage, marked by periods of uncertainty and unhappiness for the adolescent and anxiety for you, mother, although it can feel very much like it at times.

One of the key tasks is to provide your daughter with a sense of security that you, her family, are always there for her, that her family will always be her secure base. It is important that you keep in mind the family values and traditions when applying principles and techniques to help your daughter.

Another requirement is rules. However fast the children are growing up, it is reasonable that parents should decide what the ground rules are. Whilst adolescents may protest on one hand, they also seek a structure and security, which can be provided through sensible rules. Rules must be clear and consistent. They should be reasonable, relevant to today's scenario and not your growing years. As older children become more responsible, rules ought to become more flexible. As mentioned elsewhere in the book, parents need to sort out what is critical and what isn't, so that there aren't rules for everything.

Adolescents will then balk at excessive restriction and turn rebellious. Therefore, it should be apparent that while some issues will not be negotiable, others can be discussed and mutually decided upon. Parents have to learn to draw a fine line between giving your teenage daughter legitimate freedom and letting her do obviously stupid and unsafe things. Treading on this line may be hard and difficult for you, but is a process of learning and adaptation.

As mothers, one must also be careful not to transmit the fears, problems and disappointments of your own adolescent years onto your daughter, which can have a strong negative impact on the child. You want to give your teenage daughter the best, not only by giving those things that money can buy, but more importantly things that money cannot buy. And that's love, caring, better communication and companionship.