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The primary aim is preventive in nature. Parenting your adolescent daughter will help her to emerge from the turbulent teenage years without incurring any lasting damage. Our society is changing in its very social structure. There are changes in life styles, behaviour patterns, manner of thinking, which affect not only the adults but also impact the adolescent mind - a period of life in which patterns are set with lifelong consequences.

Young people are highly sensitive to the influences in their cultures for good and bad. Families and schools especially, have important roles to play in the complete development of the adolescents. They need adult models of healthy behavior sensitive to their special requirements. Young people are willing to channelize their energy to positive goals provided they are given a chance. It is up to the adults in the society, and specifically to you as a parent, to allow them to do so by providing the right environment and guidance.

Towards positive mental health
There is a shift towards nuclear families, resulting in an absence of emotional roots, commonly seen in joint families, where there was always someone (grandparents, aunts or uncles) to shower love and affection, or a shoulder to cry on. Parents of nuclear families because of work pressure and social obligations, often end up neglecting the needs of their children which has a bad impact on them, giving rise to a lot of mental health problems like neuroses, psychosis, psychosomatic illness and character disorders. Parenting will help get a better insight into your child's psyche, which will improve your relationship with her and this will consequently equip her to deal with the difficult times of the adolescent period.


To keep up with the new trends of education
There is a high level of competition in the world of academics and careers, which can be an emotional assault course for all concerned, both parents and children. Parental support and guidance will help to override this period of stress.

There is an additional stress placed on the adolescent by the education system. The basic cause of anxiety is the fear of performance. Parental support and guidance during these times by nurturing confidence in them, avoiding any type of comparisons with others, and allaying their fears will take them a long way. Often a number of anxieties take them to the brink of hopelessness and helplessness and in extreme cases end in suicide attempts. At such a stage, you will be a pillar of strength and support to them.


To avoid neglect and loneliness
With our fast paced and increasingly stressful lifestyles, parents often find it hard to give time to their children. Though they want to spend quality time with their children, personal and professional demands of parents cause children to be often left unguided, causing a lot of problems like lazy habits, lack of interest in studies, over dependence on television and Internet to pass their time. This often leads to the child feeling neglected and consequently developing a host of behaviour problems.

Vinita, 13 years old, has to return to a lonely home when she returns tired from school in the late afternoon as both her parents are away at work. She has a house key on a cord around the neck. She has to take care of herself. If her mum has had time, lunch will be on the table but often she makes do with bread and jam.

She feels quarrelsome and angry and thinks of ways of getting even with her folks. She tends to be uncooperative around the house, instead talking on the phone or watching T.V. when chores have to be done. According to Vinita - “It serves them right”. But in some cases, children start indulging in anti-social behaviour, drugs, alcohol and sex. This is because they are lonely and starved for social interaction.

Sneha is 17 and both her parents go to work, so she had her friends come over with their boyfriends and would eat, drink and watch adult movies. One thing led to another and she started indulging in drugs and sex, which her mother accidentally discovered when she returned home early one day. The picture is a frightening one, which could have been avoided if the parents displayed greater sensitivity.

In similar situations, which are increasingly the norm, mothers especially can play a critical role in averting disastrous consequences in their daughter’s lives. If a certain plan or situation at home is going to impact your child, she has a right to be informed about it, especially once she is able to appreciate what is happening around her. Your 8 or 9 year old can be involved in the decision making process. You can discuss things with her, listen to her concerns, views and suggestions and as honestly as possible explain to her why things in their home are the way they are. She must be helped to appreciate what she can and cannot do, especially the safety measures she has to comply with. While she has to be on her own for part of the time, make time for her when you are back home.

Appreciate her efforts at being so responsible which will make her feel good, and keep her from indulging in irresponsible or harmful pursuits. There will be many such demanding situations that will cause you to realize that parenting is no bed of roses, especially during these vulnerable years of your child. However, the corresponding pleasures, of watching your daughter metamorphosing into a young woman are incomparable.