Teenage Girls and Parental Involvement

  The WSJ in an article called, “Teenage Girls: An Expert Guide” by Sue Shellenbarger in the Work & Family section talk about development stages of teenage girls and how to navigate through these critical developmental stages.

 They analyze girls within three groups: (Ages 10 to 11); (Ages 12 to 13) and Ages (14 to 15)

 The one common need that sticks out with all the groups is the closeness of the teen’s relationship with their parents and how open their communications are where the teen can openly share their problems and challenges.

 Between ages 10 to 11 there are signs of puberty. “Early signs of puberty set in sooner than many parents expect. Girls being staying up later and having their first crushes. Many ae beset by strong, volatile emotions, ending a period of relative calm from sages 6 to 11”.

 Girls who communicate with their parents in this group have a greater chance of thriving.

 Between ages 12 to 13 girls mature faster than boys and are much more mature in expressing themselves. The articles says they are more vulnerable to stress than boys. They are more sensitive to rejection. Parents in this age group should help them with problem solving and the need to manager their emotions. “Teens who are able to ask for an receive support and problem solving help from their mothers at age 13 tend to be more independent and better educated at 25”, the article further quotes.

 However between the ages of 14 to 15 the girl’s relationship with their parents may take a u turn. “Girls tend to have more negative conflicts with parents than boys. A certain amount of arguing helps teens to learn to control themselves and negotiate differences. Parents who can listen with respect and disagree calmly make teens feel as if their opinions matter, helping build a sense of identify”.

 Bottom line – parents need to work hard to ensure they have healthy and open relationships with their teen kids starting from ages 10 and onward.

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