Very recently I heard an interview on the Australian Broadcasting Company with Michelle Mitchell. She talked about teenage girls—what they think and how parents can best work with them. As you will see, she has researched these girls in Australia, which shows how common these patterns are. I want to share her thoughts with you and refer you to some websites as well.
Mitchell says that this generation of teenage girls is different from earlier generations. Because they have so much sophisticated technology they are able to keep more things hidden from their parents. They can create a hidden world where they only talk to people like themselves. They live in a more sexualized world with drugs and alcohol; moreover, there is more extensive bullying than in previous years.
She says that teenage girls still need their parents, regardless of what they say or how they act. Girls, she goes on, act and appear more mature than they really are. They may also be impossible at times, screaming that their parents are the worse ever, that they have no freedom, and everyone else gets to do the things that they want to do. Mitchell advises parents to hang on and withstand these tirades and abuse. One can hope that daughters may be venting, and then will use any restrictions so that they don’t have to participate in dangerous activities. The idea for parents is to get their thirteen year olds to be fourteen the next year, and the fourteen year olds to be fifteen, and so on.
If things get too out of control, of course, take your daughter to a therapist and have the family participate. Meanwhile, do searches on Mitchell. Here’s one address: http://theteenagertimes.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-your-teens-and-tweens-wont-tell.html