Parenting children is hard enough. Now your daughter has just turned fifteen and you don't recognize her anymore. Your sweet child has started talking back to you, is uncomfortable when you are around, and won't hug or kiss you before leaving the house. You have entered the world of parenting adolescents.
It is a very normal and common stage of development for a teenage daughter to emotionally distance themselves from their fathers. At first, most fathers are okay with this because they are feeling uncomfortable as to how to spend time with their teenage daughters.
In reading articles on studies conducted with regard to parenting guidelines, teens reportedly said that this distancing is the first introduction to rejection that teenage girls feel and that they carry this into their relationships with men. I don't believe it, and would like to see the actual clinical studies. It's not the distancing, its how you distance that can leave scars. I've never met a parent who didn't do something wrong while raising their kids, and I don't believe that not spending the same kind of time with your daughter is interpreted as rejection or betrayal-as this "study" would have you believe.
It is important to maintain communication with your daughter. She is feeling weird around the opposite sex right now and guess what? Through no fault of your own you are the opposite sex. Keep going to her soccer games, show up to take her to the movies, and let her know that you are still there and always will be. That's all you can do, bide your time and trust the process.
Daughters who continue to build a relationship with their fathers have higher self esteem and better relationships with authority figures, such as teachers and bosses. Parenting adolescents will keep you on your toes, that's for sure, but most of it is a natural process and both of you will get through it, in time. Father daughter relationships will grow in new ways, as time goes by, and how you approach your teenage daughter will create opportunites to be there for her in the times to come.
Father And Teenage Daughter Relationships
"I loved my dad. I remember, as a child I used to jump on him as soon as he came back from his work. I told him every bit that happened in school, from my friend to my teachers. If I remembered something in the mid of the night that I forgot to tell him I would walk up and whisper it in his ears.
Things were the same until I stepped into my teens. When I experienced certain changes in my body and thoughts, I slowly started drifting away from my father. When he came to hug me after his work, I would shy off. I was shaping a body like my mother. It was an eerie feeling. And the creepiest thing was that I had weird dreams about nude people and dark rooms. My friends told me some strange and new stories. I wanted to know all about these changes. They were new to me. Now I moved to my mother just to see whether those changes where normal and wished if she could tell me that I was still the "same child."
The above situation is faced by most of the teenage daughters and fathers in the world. The toughest questions to solve at this period by fathers would be is how do I talk to her about the important things in life - changing body, first dates, money, sex, work, beliefs, being true to your values, pornography, death, alcohol, drugs and other things? Here are some useful guidelines for a father to develop a healthy relationship with teenage daughters. Read on to know how to maintain the same innocent and healthy relationship with your teenage daughter.
Remember that your daughter is having physical and a mental changes. She is not that innocent and sweet little baby that she used to be few years ago. That doesn't mean she is perverted and spoilt now. It just means that she knows fairly a bit of what you didn't tell her. She came to know about it all through her friends, TV, Internet or school. So, be calm and answer the questions she asks you about these new aspects of life. Make her believe that these changes are true, necessary and pure.
- Writing Letters
Well! Now how will you tell her, if you are a shy person yourself and your daughter doesn't take the first step? Write letters. This is a very simple medium through which you can always maintain a close relationship with her. Do not jump into 'sex' topics in the beginning. She may even run away from you when you try to tell her something nice and clean the next time.
Write to her about your own teenage experiences. Tell her about your first crush, your first date and first love. Make her feel that these experiences are a part of nature. When she will know this she will surely come closer to you and tell her secret beliefs and experiences. Be a treasure of secrets for her. Anything that she discussed with you should be kept in the strictest sense of confidence. This will reinforce the trust.
Do not change channels when you see some lovemaking scenes in the TV. Watch it with her until it is moving to an extreme step and you think it is not safe for your daughter at this age. When you watch it with her she will understand that it is just a normal aspect and you are cool with it.
If you cannot talk about sex, then present her factual books or novels related to sex. Remember to add a note in the first page, "I want you to know some other aspects in the world, for I want you to be safe---------- Love Papa". Remember if you don't tell her someone else will. This may get her in some worst situations and the bond you shared may just disappear some day.
- Over protection
Fathers usually feel that the world holds danger for their daughters. However over protection may not work as it makes her feel that you do not trust her. To make her understand the dangers, work with other parents to demand an end to violence against females, pornography, women insecurities and all "boys are better than girls" attitude. These movements will ofcourse benefit many women in the world and at the same time you will acquire great respect from your daughter.
- Get involved
Do not move her away from you physically as being physically active with her is a great investment. Listen to her carefully. Respect her views, opinions and suggestions. Urge her to love herself and accept herself the way she is. Get involved in her school activities; show her the same interests. Get physically active with her by playing catch, tag, basketball, hockey or anything that would bring her close to you. Experts say that physically active girls are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, or put up with an abusive partner.
- Horrifying topics
When you have achieved a good mark on these topics move towards the rest, like death, war, drugs, her role in the society, ... etc. Most fathers may feel that this is not necessary. However these subjects are essential as they are a part of life. Do not scare her with the loss, pain and grief, but enlighten them with the reunion and faith of God.
Nurture her like a beautiful flower, protect her without a cage, and help her to love herself and the world with a change. Help her to move closer for an everlasting warmth and friendship.
Love Your Teenage Daughter:
Adolescence can be rough on girls - and their Dads. Fathers are challenged by a little girl who is becoming something very different. The most important thing Dads can do is love their daughters. Doing so wards off risks that are unique to girls. Attention from Dad is a strong antidote to self-doubt, eating disorders, and depression.
The father-daughter relationship is key in raising girls who grow into an independent young women, capable of making good decisions and creating a happy life. Use these tips to love and raise healthy, confident daughters.
- Spend time together.
Set a weekly lunch or coffee date. Take up a sport you can play together such as running or tennis. Talk to your daughter about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, but also take time to listen. Ask your daughter about her school, friends, movies and music. Take her to a concert.
Attending your daughter's school functions, sporting events, and social activities will make her feel loved. It can help maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school. Although she may ignore you at the time, she's secretly proud to see you watching her.
- Model good behavior.
Just as you ate your brocoli so your little girl would do the same, you need to show her with your own actions how to manage the stress of the teen years. Share with your teenaged daughter the stresses you face and how you cope with them.
Teach your daughter how to set realistic goals, prioritize, getting enough sleep, and get adequate exercise not by preaching, but by doing all those things yourself.
- Recognize strengths.
Foster your daughter's self worth by treating her as an individual. Avoid comparisons to siblings or peers. Praise your daughter as often as possible, for the right reasons.
Encourage a teenage girl to focus her energy on talents and interests rather than pleasing others through weight and beauty. Be selective with your compliments, aware of what you are encouraging. Take care to notice things other than physical attributes.
- Encourage service.
Teens are often wrapped up in their own troubles. Hormones and new feelings can make them feel like the only person who has ever experienced a breakup or the loss of a good friend.
When kids engage in community service, they get their minds off their own problems. Spending time with a group of like minded kids keeps them busy and chances are they'll make friends with others whose families share your values.
- Be tough.
Just because you're trying to connect doesn't mean you need to be a pushover. Monitor her activities and know her friends. Keep track of where she, who she's with, and what she's doing at all times. Know her friends and their parents. Set clear rules and enforce them, including regular check-in times. Let her know what you expect. Parental disapproval is among the strongest deterrent to drug use and other dangerous behavior.
Stand firm, but don't forget the hugs. Physical affection from Dad means your daughter doesn't need to look for it elsewhere.
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