Is your Teenage Daughter Mean to you? Does this bother you often as a parent? What all you need to change in order to build a positive parent daughter relationship? You will find all these answers in this post.
Being mean & unkind is not a normal behaviour for any age kids. And so is true for the teenagers too. Once you realise this, it becomes easier to work on the said deviation in her behaviour and bring back the normalcy with which every child is born; Normalcy of being kind & happy.
Another perspective that you as parents need to be mindful about is that being mean is not an issue itself. It definitely is one of the symptoms of the underlying challenge that your daughter might be facing. So it is imperative to unfold the layers and reach the real issue before you get onto solve it. In this post, let’s explore the possible reasons behind your teen’s improper behaviour.
Is your teenage daughter mean to you?
Some of the common precursors to the onset of teen years in kids’ lives are the behaviours of anger, arrogance, non inclusivity and emotional exaggeration. However the story does not end here. Delve deeper into it, and you can realise the truth about Teenage Stress. Teenage stress is for real and its needs to be addressed and talked about. Stress in teen years can manifest itself in many different forms.
Data Source : American Psychological Association
According to a study conducted by American Psychology Association, more than a third of teens feel they are stressed and are not doing enough to address the stress issue. More than one-third teens experience sleep issues.
As mindful parents realising the fact that there are biochemical changes happening inside their bodies which are also triggering all these changes in their behaviours is a great start to understanding your teenage daughter. However, our efforts do not end here. Going forward and lending an empathetic ear, standing up for your teen, supporting her in all the ways she needs and helping her with her chores are some intentional efforts parents can make to make teen years smoother and easier for your teen daughters.
5 Reasons Why your Teenage Daughter is acting Mean
When it comes to teen age there are numerous factors that can lead to misbehaviour in teenagers. So, let us understand why teens behave in an unpredictable, unkind and impulsive way with their parents.
Exploring the new found limits
When kids grow up and enter into their teen age; suddenly they feel they are not small kids anymore and want to behave more like grown-ups and adults. They love their new found independence and have a deep urge to break the rules and stereotypes. More often than not in this phase, the teenagers develop attitude of arrogance and rebel. Since their homes and parents are the safest grounds to explore & experiment; teenagers often end up crossing their limits & behaving loose and unintentionally unkind with their parents.
Lack of Understanding from parents
The new teenagers often find it difficult to have clarity on self worth & self identity. And in all the complexities unfolding inside and outside of them, they often feel neglected, alone and misunderstood. Due to the lack of understanding in their life they usually end up behaving unkind & mean to their parents. So, this is the time when parents need to Step-Up the communication without being intrusive to their teenagers. Also when done the right way, it helps your young adults feel empowered and supported.
Hormones and biochemicals
Teen years in the life of a kid comes with increased hormonal activity and biochemical reactions in their body. These changes impact moods, emotions, behaviours and even their idea of self image in teenagers. While struggling with trying to understand these bodily changes, teenagers often end up neglecting empathy and come across as being mean and unkind.
Having their platter full
Entering teen years comes with increased expectations from school, friends parents & extra-curricular coaches. Also, the performance pressure and the cut throat competition all around doesn’t make it easy for your teenager. So look out for signals about her being over worked, exhausted and stressed. This might be one of the reasons why she is acting mean & unkind with you. Share some of her load and work on creating a positive routine and see her transform into a happier soul.
Friends have a huge impact and influence in the life of your teenager daughter. So when she sees her friends having lenient and lavish boundaries with respect to time allowed out of home with friends, monthly allowances, shopping expenses etc. she might think of you as being unfair. This can be one of the reasons why she is behaving in a mean & unkind way with you.
Being a part of the group and having the pressure to conform to her friends’ ways is one of the other reasons that teenagers can get stressed about and end up being arrogant and unkind. So communicating that being internally motivated is the way to happiness through stories experiences and anecdotes might help too.
7 Strategies to change the relationship with your Teenage Daughter
Exclusive Parent Daughter Time helps her feel grounded, loved and being kind
|Besides the basic needs of food and safety in kids, there is an underlying need of belongingness which is significant in kids of all ages. Exclusive parent daughter time helps fill the bucket of attachment & affection in kids. However the trick is to be mindfully present with the kid and do what she enjoys doing with you. Physical presence alone is not going to do the trick.
So give attention and your mindshare to intentionally fill in their buckets everyday and see your relationship with your teen daughter getting stronger day by day.
Modelling Positivity in thoughts & actions helps her see kindness as the right behaviour
|While you are on a mission to change the behaviour of your teen, modelling the right behaviour is the first step to it. Also, having a calm composure and tone that showcases how well you manage your own emotions is a great way make her understand what you expect from her. Additionally, parents are the biggest influence in shaping the personality of their children. Therefore, the message that needs to go out loud and clear from your behaviour is that of being consistently kind, gentle and loving towards her and others.|
Showering genuine appreciation helps her in being positive & kind towards others
|Genuine Appreciation when showered with the right intent can help your teen daughter be more balanced and fulfilled. As they say, you would only offer other people what you have in your bucket. So fill her bucket with kindness, warmth and understanding consistently every day.|
Handing her Positive Power to make decisions satisfies her need for control
|Another need that you parents have to be mindful about is your daughter’s need to feel significant in the family set up. With coming of teen years, the need to find her role and purpose in the bigger scheme of things also grows stronger. So creating opportunities for her to use her power positively helps in satisfying this need.
My daughter for instance has a strong need for control and power and before I understood this, we used to frequently get in conversation jams and ugly dialogues. This used to end with hurt and pain in me as an individual. But then I understood that with teens the need to break rules and need to make their own decisions is very high.
And i started handing over routine decisions to her and asking her for her opinions more often. For example on relatively easy weekends, we leave it on her to plan our weekend outings, she gets to decide & book the movie tickets for the weekend family watch .
I often involve her in weekly family meal planning too. This means she gets to decide which day to add her favourite Restaurant Meal delivery in the weekly meal plan. All these initiatives along with other positive measures we are taking have started to create positive results and I now see a happier teen and a calmer home.
Giving her challenges to instil a feeling of accomplishment
|Presenting your teen daughter with some new challenges in her routine is a great tool to add on to her self esteem. The feeling of accomplishment that she would get out of the completion of these challenging tasks goes a long way in filling her bucket and her being kind in her behaviour with you.
I also got this Brain Games book of puzzles for my daughter and she loves spending time solving these.
Coaching her to deal with & exhibit her emotions positively
|Often the misbehaviour that your teen daughter displays stems from her own incapability of understanding herself and managing her own emotions. Coaching her on different ways she can express her emotions positively through stories and your experiences helps in her being mindful of her feelings. And hence enables her to be kind and more in control teenager.|
Helping her with her goals does away with any anxiety or fear
|Sometimes being mean is an outcome of having too many things to manage and unable to cope up with the pressure. I recently spent couple of hours with her to teach her how to plan her day. We bought a National Geographic Weird but True Daily Planner & started using that for her everyday planning. It has helped me and her be on the same page with her engagements and projects.
So sharing her load a bit helps her ease the stress. Helping her with her to do list for the day also helps in building loving bonds with your teen.
Therefore, next time you hear a back talk or a mean comment from your teenage daughter, do not take it personally. It is time to introspect and empathise and not react to her tantrums. It is time for you to understand what she really needs & not to review your own parenting strategy.
Does the story end at this?
However, having said all of the above , this should not be the end of the story. Logically too, the right culmination to mean & unkind behaviour should be to communicate how you felt. So just wait up for the right opportunity to talk to her and give her feedback. This helps her in understanding what impact her actions have on other people and how she can be more mindful about her words and actions. This builds empathy in her and sensitises her to others’ emotions.
Pointers to keep in mind when giving feedback to your teenage daughter:
|Keep An Assertive Tone: Being direct & assertive in giving her feedback about her misbehaviour is the first step to let her know that her being mean is not ok with you.|
|Be in Control of your Emotions: While the misbehaviour needs to be communicated to your teenager, the emotions you felt are not to be modelled. So being in control of your emotions keeps u in a strong position while communicating the feedback to your teen daughter.|
|Communicate your feelings: Clearly communicate how you felt with her misbehaviour.|
|Communicate the boundaries: Clearly communicate the boundaries of your parent daughter relationship. Also the fact the boundaries need to be respected in the future.|
|Involve her in finding solutions: Empathise with her and involve her to find solutions so that the issue is not repeated in the future.|
To sum it all up, if the answer to this question ” Is your teenage daughter mean to you?” is in assertive, it is time to step back and introspect about your relationship with her. Figuring out the real reason behind the unkind behaviour and then addressing it is the way to move forward. Addressing the inappropriate behaviour in itself is never going to change your relationship with her. Sometimes the challenge can be as simple as not getting the required attention from a parent. So let’s be more understanding towards our teens.
However in the process, parents have to make sure that they don’t end up compromising on their own respect. Empathising and understanding with her is great. But assertive communication, sticking to your stance and at times attaching right consequences is also required to set things in right place. Whatever is the need of the hour, few things that should always be at the core are the love, trust & support from your end. Because these are the things that would make your teenager sail through the rough waters. They make her feel attached and belonged. This love and support makes them feel secure and cared for.
So the next time you hear a mean comment from your teenage daughter, you know exactly what might be wrong and what to fix in your relationship with her.