The words “teenage daughter” and “stubborn” might be synonymous in your mind, but you can get through this turbulent period of development relatively unscathed if you know what to expect. Even though you might feel like you are facing an uphill battle to survive the daily power struggles, your attitude, sense of humor and expectations can dramatically impact your peace of mind.
It is overwhelming to parent a child who suddenly responds completely differently to parenting techniques that worked in the past, the American Psychological Association website reports. While it can be incredibly frustrating to handle her stubborn antics, at the end of the day you likely know your daughter better than anyone else. Her stubborn behavior is a normal part of development, and it will pass with time. If you can find ways to relax, such as a walk around the block or a monthly pedicure, you will likely gain some perspective on the situation. Someday you might even look back on this time of your life fondly, or at least with a sense of humor.
2. Consistency and Expectations
When you let her know what your behavioral expectations are and she understands that you consistently enforce them without fail, she is less likely to put up a fight. Or, if she does, she feels secure in the fact that she can count on you to be consistent and fair during this period of change in her life, according to the Mayo Clinic website. You might have a more laid-back approach to parenting or be a strict disciplinarian, but your daughter needs you to be consistent, no matter what parenting approach you take. If you sometimes let her miss curfew, then punish her for it at other times, she will understandably be confused.
3. Respect Her Independence
Although her stubborn attitude is difficult to handle, you can take pride in the fact that she is establishing her independence and identity, report child development experts with the Kids Health website. After all, the main goal of parenting is to teach her to stand on her own two feet someday and survive in the world. When she refuses to wear the respectable pair of jeans you bought her, favoring her ripped-up purple skirt, she shows you that all your hard work to create an independent individual is paying off. When you pick your battles and respect her need to experiment to find herself, she might be more willing to listen to you when it is really important.
4. Stubborn is Good
Sometimes the most stubborn children and teenagers grow up to be the strongest in their convictions, the Aha! Parenting website reports. Your stubborn daughter is likely to be stubborn in all aspects of life, a good quality for teenagers as they face the pressures of adolescence. When confronted with peer pressure to drink alcohol or engage in sexual activity, her stubborn attitude will likely help her make the right decision. Even if she stumbles and makes bad choices occasionally, her stubborn tendencies help her bounce back. For instance, if she fails her chemistry exam because she chose to stay up late talking to her friend on the phone instead of studying, her stubborn tenacity will help her buckle down and do better the next time.
- Kids Health: A Parent’s Guide to Surviving the Teen Years
- The Mayo Clinic: Tips for Raising Teens
- American Psychological Association: Parenting: The Teen Years
- HealthyChildren.org: Parenting Teens Today
- Aha! Parenting: Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child
- Psychology Today: Surviving (Your Child’s) Adolescence
- Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images