This mum is speaking from experience...
When you are raising a teenager it is amazing how much time you will spend worrying about them. I feel that it is, in ways, easier when they are smaller. However, as with all the other developmental stages this stage is part and parcel of your child growing up and you must try to do the best you can for your teenager. Having a teenage daughter brings a whole world of issues and here are some of the biggest things you will fret about when your daughter hits the adolescent years.
Boys- It is only natural that your teenage daughter will eventually have a boyfriend or at least kiss a boy that she likes but in this day and age you’d be mad not to be worried about what lies ahead. In a world where everything is photographed and with social media it makes this awkward stage even more awkward and teaching your teen about personal safety and what is and isn’t acceptable won’t be easy. How to say “No” when they don’t feel comfortable is another valid lesson and these issues won’t hide away so you will have to hit them head on no matter how embarrassing it may be.
Puberty- Girls don’t have it easy when their bodies begin to change and for some it can be more difficult than others. Some girls will love their breasts growing, others will hate it and some will wish they had their periods while others will moan about getting them! Mixed with hormones, spots and other goings on this will probably be one of the biggest worries but remember we got through it and they will too.
Alcohol, drugs or smoking- No matter how good you think your child is it is incredible how even the best kids head can be turned once a bit of peer pressure rears its ugly head. There will be many temptations through the years, drinking, smoking or drugs which can all have catastrophic effects on your teenager’s health.
Bullying- Whether your teen is the bully or the bullied we can all agree that either isn’t a picnic to have to deal with. Social media is rife with girls slagging off others and sending incriminating pictures of a girl kissing a boy isn’t uncommon with today’s youth. Keeping a watchful eye on your daughter is paramount at this stage taking the time to note differences in her behaviour and having daily conversations to catch up with your teen while seeing how they are getting on.
Not fitting in- There is a huge amount of pressure on young girls today to fit in and be a part of the cool group at whatever cost and some girls will feel the pressure. As a parent you will want your teenager to be happy but also to have self-confidence and not to feel under duress to behave a certain way to get along in school.
The future- There will be exams, tests and in the years ahead the dreaded college applications as your teenager decides what to do with the rest of their life. You will want them to do the best they can but overall as long as your teen is happy that is the greatest thing you both can have. The future will come anyway and hopefully it will be a good one for your teenager.
While some of the above also apply to teenage boys, I'm speaking from my own experience and worries as mum of a young teenage girl.
What about you? What's your biggest worries for your teen or soon to be teen?
Written by Emma. Emma is a writer with Family Friendly HQ and also writes her own parenting musings over at www.emmasmadjotters.com