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