Every parent has heard horror stories about the teenage years, and about all the trouble teenage girls can cause and get into, making the idea of preparing for your daughter’s high school years terrifying! But while preparing for your daughter’s high school years may appear as a daunting task, if you take it one day at a time and follow these tips, it won’t be so rough!
1. Spend Time with Her
One of the most important ways to prepare for your daughter's high school years is merely spending time with her. Girls change a lot throughout middle school, so the little girl you knew before may be long gone by now. Unfortunately, young teens also have a tendency to push away their parents, so getting to know your daughter during this transformation may be difficult. Try to do things together that you'll both enjoy, such as shopping, hiking, or getting manicures! These activities will all give you opportunities to better understand this blossoming young lady.
2. Set up Rules
Set up rules before your daughter has a chance to break them. Your daughter is more likely to test the limits if she doesn't have any set rules with consequences. She might think it's okay to go out without permission if you never establish a rule against it. Before your daughter starts high school, make sure she knows all the dos and don'ts of your household.
3. Establish Two-Way Respect
One-way respect is fine for little girls who will respect anyone taller than them. But as girls grow up, they want to be respected, too. That's why it's important to establish two-way respect in your relationship with your daughter before she begins high school. If you respect her and her decisions, she will respect you and yours.
4. Expect Rebellion
That rumor about rebellious teens is true! Teenage girls are hard wired to rebel; maybe not in a big experiment-with-drugs-and-party-hard way all of the time, but they show rebelliousness nonetheless. They may be defiant in little ways every day, or in huge ways every once in a while. Either way, don't take it personally when it comes; handle it calmly and firmly so she gets the message.
5. Stand Your Ground
When your daughter does rebel, make sure you stand your ground. Don't acquiesce because she gives you those big, innocent puppy dog eyes; she knows what she's doing and she is trying to persuade you. But if you make it known that rules are rules, she will push past them less, as long as you don't push her away. It's all about balance, so make sure your daughter knows you've set up these rules out of love, but also that you can't be walked all over.
6. Push Her to Try New Things
Some teenagers are inherently lazy and need to be pushed to try new things. At the start of high school, your daughter may just want to be a wallflower, do nothing special, and coast through the next four years. If that is the case, you need to encourage your daughter to try new things and explore her talents. Doing so will not only enrich her high school experience, but also make her more desirable to colleges. She may resent you for it at first, but ultimately she will be grateful.
7. Be Trustworthy
If you don't want your daughter to keep secrets from you, you need to present yourself as a trustworthy person. If she overhears you gossiping to your friends or spouse constantly, she won't feel comfortable confiding in you. Make sure she knows that you can keep a secret, and that if she ever needs anything you won't judge or mock her. Of course you know that you'd love your daughter no matter what, but she might not know that yet. It's your job to prove it to her.
Raising a teenager is no simple task, it involves a lot of factors but above all it involves respect, trust, love, and balance. With these tools, you can establish rules your daughter will be willing to follow and raise an independent young woman. What other ways have you prepared for your daughter's high school years?