If you are the mother of a preteen girl, you are probably wondering how your parental role will change as your daughter makes the transition from childhood to womanhood. The Family Education website notes that preteen girls can exhibit disconcerting and even unpleasant behavior at times. There are a few important things to know about mothering a preteen daughter that will help you have a positive relationship with your girl.
1. She Takes Herself Too Seriously
Your preteen daughter likely takes herself much more seriously than she should. The behavior of preteens can be humorous to parents, but you should not laugh at her in front of your child; she is in a transitional time where she "tries on" many different behaviors. She may act cool in front of her peers, but when she is at home, she may play with the same toys she played with during childhood.
2. You Remain a Powerful Influence
Although you may not think so, you still have a powerful influence on your preteen. Kid's Health reports that a preteen girl is likely to be more responsive to the example you set than instructions you give. Behave in a way you want her to emulate and model the qualities you want her to have, such as responsibility, kindness to others, healthy eating and communication that is loving and respectful.
3. She Needs Boundaries
Even though she will protest when you reinforce bedtime and argue when you ask her to turn off the TV, your preteen needs boundaries so she can grow and thrive. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation notes that limits such as curfew, study hours, party behavior and expectations for social occasions should be enforced. Make sure to let your preteen know the consequences of disobedience so she knows what to expect if she deliberately breaks the rules.
4. Affection Is Important
Showing affection to your preteen is an important way to stay connected with her. Kid's Health states that you should not underestimate the value of telling her how much you love her. This will enable her to feel secure and loved. Even if she does not want you to hug her in front of her friends, doing so in private will show her that you care about her, while respecting the boundaries she has set for your transforming relationship. In time, she will not care what her friends think about her relationship with you.
- Dr. Phil: Develop a Healthy Relationship with Your Teen/Parent
- Parenting Preteens with a Purpose: Navigating the Middle Years; Kate Thomsen
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