Welcome back to my #Back2School with Jackie B blog post series. I hope you’ve found the first two posts to be helpful for both you and your daughter as she kicks off her new school year.
If you haven’t already, make sure your daughter has her copy of my FREE Checklist, 10 Things Every Teen Girl Needs to be F.A.B. Go here to download it today!
Today I want to share three conversations I believe every parent of a teen daughter needs to have to prepare her for a successful and stress-free school year.
Obviously these are not the only conversations you should be having with her throughout the year.
But because these three routinely come up with girls in my classroom, I thought it would be helpful to share them so you can begin having the same conversations with your daughter.
One of the complaints I continue to hear from teen girls, particularly 8th graders, is how they’re under constant pressure to be perfect.
Whether it’s with their grades, sports, or even boyfriends and friends, many girls today are overwhelmed by the pressure to perform. It must feel like a full-time job trying to earn the approval of teachers, coaches, significant others AND parents.
I admit I spend a lot of time talking to teens about having a vision and goal for their lives, and taking their education seriously.
I think it’s important to challenge young people to raise their standards and not settle for mediocrity.
However, in our zeal to challenge them to pursue excellence, I’m afraid we have, at times, pressured them to chase perfection instead.
And that’s stressful! As parents and concerned adults, our job is to help teens lift their burdens. Not add to them.
With all that your daughter will have on her plate this school year, let home be the one place where she doesn’t experience stress. She needs you to be her safe place.
“Your teen years are only the first leg of your journey. Not the entire race.”
I’ve spoken before about teen brain development and how the brain is not fully developed until the early to mid-twenties.
This impacts teens’ decision-making in terms of knowing right and wrong. It also limits their ability to see the big picture.
As a result, teens tend to see their life at this stage as the total sum of their experience rather than the tiny fraction it really is.
Your daughter needs help seeing the temporary nature of this period of her life.
Encourage her to not take situations that come up now too seriously, like disagreements with friends. Or even dating break-ups.
Remind her the person she’s currently dating or whomever she dates as a teen will likely become her future ex. And that’s okay!
And finally, share with your daughter why it’s important that she not make decisions to please or impress other people.
The likelihood of her remaining friends with them five to ten years from now, or again, still dating them is slim.
Not to mention, those aren’t healthy relationships worthy of her time and energy anyway.
“You are so much more than your looks!”
There’s nothing new about teen girls feeling insecure about how they look. Or feeling pressure to dress a certain way.
But what is new is social media.
While many of us dealt with body image insecurities as teens, we weren’t comparing ourselves to other girls we didn’t even know. Or to Photoshopped, glam squad-manufactured celebrities.
And that’s what you need to point out to your daughter.
Let her know her favorite celebrities whose beauty she admires and/or seeks to imitate, don’t even look like the pictures they’re posting on social media. They had help!
It breaks my heart that as a society we have gone backwards with this issue of body image insecurity.
And I wholeheartedly believe social media is to blame.
Just look at our obsession with taking and posting selfies, and using filters to perfect our pics. What are we teaching our girls??
It’s no wonder so many of them have low self-esteem.
And a girl with low self-esteem can be spotted a mile away by the type of guy I refer to as the “Player” in my book 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You.
He’s the guy who preys on girls with low self-esteem due to poor body image. And he knows that all he needs to do is build her up by complimenting her looks. Then he has her hooked.
Don’t believe me?
The first guy that ever made me feel pretty ended up being the guy I lost my virginity to. I was 15, and even worse, he was my best friend’s boyfriend. I had 4 more sexual partners, and then I found out that I had Chlamydia. Thank goodness it was curable. ~High School Girl
This is not the road you want your daughter to follow–this school year or ever!
So be purposeful in pointing out ALL the ways your daughter is more than her looks.
The more time you spend building up her self-esteem, the less likely some “Player” will swoop in and do it for you.
If you’d like more “Player” blocking tips for your daughter, go here to grab her copy of 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You: A Teen Girl’s Guide on Love, Sex & Relationships.
Lastly, I have an e-Course designed just for mothers of teen daughters that walks you through step by step on how to discuss tough topics.
If you find that talking to her about sex, love and relationships is awkward for both of you, then check out my How to Have the Tough Conversations eCourse.
And let’s start the conversation together!
P.S. These three conversations could prove to be the most important ones you’ll have with your daughter all year. And if you need guidance with discussing tough topics with your daughter, be sure to check out my How to Have the Tough Conversations e-course here.
P.P.S. These are conversations every parent of a teen girl should be having with their daughter this school year. So please share this post with your friends and family!