14 yr old girls are tough to raise or is it just me.

Chasity - posted on 11/24/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I can't figure out my daughter. I know she is going through changes physically emotionally etc. I just want to be there for her, but she gets so upset with me. She's always had friends but now when teenagers want to do stuff with their friends, she totally isolates herself. I always remind her of how beautiful and smart she is. I even encourage her to try to make new friends. She is my only child. I want her to know I'm always there for her. But I don't want to get to the point of pushing her away. This may be a silly question, but is this normal and will she eventually come out of this phase?

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Barbara - posted on 11/24/2012

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Teenage girls are EXTREMELY tough to raise! The best thing I ever did for my daughter when she was just a month short of her 13th birthday was to put her in a teen program at our local park. It is administered by our parks and recreation department and was a summer program with all kinds of teen oriented stuff/activities to help keep teens from getting into trouble during the summer when school was out. There were upwards of 25 or 30 teenagers involved, boys and girls. They had pizza parties, sports days (volleyball and basket ball for the girls, foot ball and basket ball for the guys, went to water parks once a week, two movie days a month (age appropriate, I checked), and all sorts of other teen oriented fun things. It wasn't really pricey, but did cost around $100 for the entire summer and included most of the admission costs to the 'field trips' they took. She made at least ten friends the first summer and has broadly expanded her friendship base in the intervening 2 1/2 years. If your town or city doesn't have a similar program, check some of the local churches in your area, many have teen programs to help get teens involved doing good things for themselves and others and run all year.

Your daughter is trying to navigate all of the conflicting feelings and emotions that come with this passage from childhood into adulthood. She's probably concerned about her body image, (even when our kids look just perfect to us, they still obsess about boobs and periods clothes, make up, etc). She may feel as though she doesn't meet the 'teen scale' of perfect (even though nobody does!)

Let her know you love her and see her going through 'something' and if she wants to talk, you are there for her. If she gets too isolated, maybe a checkup at the doctors wouldn't be a bad idea. Hormones can cause havoc in a teen girls life. As hard as it is to see them go through this, we need to be the immovable object, the rock of Gibraltar in their lives at this time and provide plenty of encouragement, security and love.

Most teenagers want to be with other teenagers, so self-isolation may be her defense to protect herself from possible rejection. I'd ask her why she doesn't hang out with any of her old friends, let her decide if she wants to answer the question or not. If she has recently transitioned from junior high to a new Senior high school, she may feel awkward about so many new kids around her and a new environment to get used to. Boys are usually a reasonable bet on some days and on others, my daughter's long hair gets the better of her, or her nails, or her figure, or her wardrobe.... in other words, everything. I don't really think there is any 'normal', just be there for her and have regular doctor checkups in case her chemistry is thrown off by the hormone issue. Observation and patience, alot of love and encouragement, being open and available to her (even if she rejects it most of the time) is the best I can offer you. Hope this helps in some small way. It's a tough time for both of you.

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Barbara - posted on 11/27/2012

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Hi Chastity,

Great! I'm glad she's getting involved with a church sponsored program, they are great! My daughter spends two Sunday afternoon each month in a teen church program and they do wonderful things for our church and local community, and just having the company of other teens is fun for them.

Having long-term friends move away during the teen years is hard, My daughters best friend moved 800 miles away 6 months after her 13th birthday. She cried for weeks missing her bestie and being so far away. It got so bad that I called the phone company and added a long distance plan to our home phone so they could hear each others voices. Having dad move away is even tougher for teen girls, but I realize you can't influence a decision he made.

Hang in there, she will reconnect and having the counselor is a good plan to support both of you.

Blessings to you both,

Barbara

Chasity - posted on 11/26/2012

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Thank you so much Barbara,

That gives me encouragement. She has been involved in activities and she's starting a youth group at the church we attend. I have had her in counseling. The counselor thinks the reason maybe because her dad moved away. And that I cannot help, I've explained that so many times to her. I will definetly keep her involved in activities. And be there for her no matter what.. I thought terrible twos were rough, however this is new to me. Alot of her old friends have moved away and I keep encouraging her to try to make new friends. Ones that can have a positive. A mother can only pray and watch. But again thank you for taking time to reply to me. Much appreciated. Chasity.

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