Four ways you unknowingly abuse your teen girl

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Ever wondered why your teen has gone petulant? Why she lacks some of the simplest and purest forms of manners and ethics? Shockingly, the answers to these questions may credibly lie in the way you have brought her up. I would know. I’m a teen girl.

It is a fact of life that your girl’s friends and her community have a major influence on her. But whether it is a moralistic impact or a notorious reputation, her parents are the ones responsible for the way she turns out.

Positive energy, an optimistic environment and motivational parents are all that your teen is asking for. On top of that, talking to your girl with an offensive attitude has been cogent to have raised an array of mother-daughter fights.

1. Rejection

Manifestly, the last thing on earth you want to hear from your daughter is, “Mom, I have no one to talk to.” Or even, “Dad, all my comrades’ parents attended the parents meeting but you.” Rejection is inevitable and teens are vulnerable.

Parents are often blind to their teens’ feelings and little do they know, it breaks their hearts. Not only does it devastate their self-esteem and ego, but it also pushes them to become taciturn.

Rejection impacts your girl’s self-esteem (photo: Bemozza)

Unfavourably, your teen may feel comfortable opening up to complete strangers in order to overcome the rejection she receives at home. As such, parents often complain about their teen girl being “heartless”. Well but madame, don’t you remember when your girl had something to say about her best guy friend and you, instead, had dishes to wash and other things to do? Now, it’s crystal clear who wasn’t listening in the first place and who instilled an attitude of rejection in your girl’s heart.

Start by listening to everything she has got to say, even if it sounds naive or irrational. Show her how unquestionably eager you are to know about her new best friend. Make her feel comfortable to be vulnerable around you. It makes a difference.

2. Violence

Nowadays, some teens witness inhumane treatment at homes. How does it feel having your beloved parents taking violent steps towards you? Practically, a teen might never forget her adolescent life that was marked by years of neglect and deprivation. “How can I forgive you when it hurts so much?” Some parents are so damaged themselves that they abuse their teens emotionally and physically.

Physical abuse is the most easily recognised form of abuse. It is when you shake, throw or beat your child. According to the National Abuse and Neglect Data System, an estimated 3.3 million children are physically abused every year. An estimated 899,000 of these children are determined to be victims of abuse and neglect.

Violence is not a solution, it only makes things worse (photo: m.insight)

Moreover, emotional abuse is far more difficult to recognise because there are no outward signs. Nevertheless, it is extremely conspicuous in her behaviour. According to the Emotional Child Abuse website, “A US study that randomly assigned rejection experiences to students found that rejection can dramatically reduce a person’s IQ and their ability to reason while increasing their aggression.” The website also suggests that “emotional neglect is most closely correlated with the development of psychiatric illnesses later on in life.”

Abused teens become abused adults who cannot take responsibilities and lack self-confidence. To add, her self-esteem and feelings of self-worth fade with each act of abuse. She is a human being with delicate feelings that must be appreciated. You can talk with her about her friends or discuss the challenges she faces. Realise that her suggestions are always up for debate, especially in a positive environment. Let her recognise her value and never let her get used to being threatened or, even worse, hit.

3. Peer-pressure

“C’mon. Everyone’s doing it.” So why shouldn’t you? When it comes to teens, friends are all that matter. Friends play a significant role in your girl’s life, which is why you should talk with her and ask about her friends and colleagues. It is a rewarding bonus if you are able to become friends with her friends. It allows them to open up to you and share their vulnerabilities about life and the peer-pressure that accompanies it.

Peer-pressure can lead your teen to doing things she is not comfortable with (photo: ask)

A teen’s life is pretty chaotic. They spend most of their time questioning whether they ‘fit in’ or not. In each and every life of an adolescent girl there is ‘the group’ that she wants to be a part of and parental advice on smoking and drinking might fall on deaf ears. You have to ensure that she is convinced of her life and remember to offer her the opportunity to convince you of her views.

4. Comparison

Let’s say you are chitchatting with your new front door neighbour and you spot her beautiful daughter doing her homework. You arrive home with extreme alacrity and you start telling your girl about how undeniably beautiful your neighbour’s daughter is. Unconsciously, you are esteeming this girl’s skills and attractive appearance while comparing everything that girl does to your girl’s attitude.

It is absolutely harmless to speak your mind and talk about the gorgeous girl you saw at the mall. But NEVER EVER compare your girl to her. To be honest, comparison is lethal and self-destructive. Start by appreciating and valuing every little detail of your girl. Each girl is an individual with her very own unique entity. Praise her unmatched imperfections and value her unique skill. If you do not accept your daughter for who she is, who else will?

She deserves it

The teenage years are some of the most influential in a girl’s life. It’s where we start understanding who we are and how we fit into complex world. As a parent, there are many steps that you can take to give your daughter the things she deserves, such as an ear that listens, a shoulder to cry on, and a heart to pour out to.