The number of girls who commit violent acts is on the rise. Not a small increase, but a big one. It’s startling to see our tween and teen girls behaving badly.
Mother’s tell me they worry about their daughters being used and abused by boys, yet very few ever voice a concern that maybe they are raising a criminal. No mother wants to think their darling daughter would hurt anyone, yet the number of arrests for voilent crimes committed by teen girls is up.
Mother’s can help by UNDERSTANDING these things: Our culture is going through enormous changes. Technology is changing the way people share information and interact with each other. The media is also changing the way girls view themselves. Relationships are undergoing a huge change as well. It’s a difficult time to say the least. Mothers need to know that solutions to today’s problems aren’t going to go away with a quick fix. The FDA can’t approve any pill to pop for our world’s ailments. Solutions come with love, dedication, and patience.
Mother’s can help their daughter’s by DOING these things:
1. Heal your own wounds. Mom’s always scratch their heads when I tell them this. Your own private wounds get in the way of seeing your daughter for who she is, being able to reach out to her and support her. If you don’t know what wounds you carry, buy a copy of Laid or Loved? and take the Growing Up Wounds Quiz on page 30.
2. Learn to listen. Most of us do a poor job of listening. We hear the words but we don’t understand what the speaker really wants us to understand. We interrupt, judge, give unasked for advice, and don’t hear the need being expressed. Most of our communication is the expression of a need. Learn to know what your daughter needs from you.
3. Set Limits. Don’t allow technology to take over your family. Make dinner time sacred. Put all the cell phones away, turn off the TV, and share your thoughts with each other. I know moms are stressed to get dinner on the table. Dinner can be a tuna fish sandwich for all I care. Just sit down with each other, and communicate.
4. Play!! Play is one of the ways in which our brains grow! Play has been taken out of our teens lives due to the changes in our schools and the fast track to growing up. But our teens still need to play. Find ways to bring fun and novelty back into your relationship with your teens. If you need help, email me. I’ve helped many families go from dull to delightful!
5. Stay up to date. Keep an ear to the ground as to what’s going on in teen-dom. Google, talk to friends, and talk to your daughter. Learn the new language. Know how virtual social networks affect your daugther. Understand the new media messages she’s being exposed to every day. I know it takes time and effort, but your daughter is worth it.
6. Take time out. Make sure you get the nourishment you need. Find ways to stay calm, grow spiritually, and love yourself. All are important. Of course make sure you eat your veggies, exercise, watch your alcohol intake and get a good nights sleep. Floss!
7. Be a role model. If you want your daughter to grow up into a wonderful woman, guess what? You have to be a wonderful woman. If you are single and men go through your house like you have a revolving door, what message do you give your daughter? If you are married and you fight constantly with your husband, or allow him to abuse you, what message do you send your daughter? There is no perfect parent, but we can all work on the message we pass on to our daughters.
Start with those seven things. I know it’s a lot. Start a journal. Write how you are doing with each of the seven items. Keep track for a month. At the end of the month, ask your daughter how she feels about your relationship. See if things have improved. See if she feels better about herself because you are more present. That can help keep her from becoming a statistic in the crime journals.