Raising a teenage daughter can be one of the most rewarding and frustrating experiences of a person’s life. It can be easy to just want to take care of everything for them–you don’t want them to fail or mess up, after all. But here’s something you probably don’t want to hear about raising a teenage daughter: you need to let them make mistakes. NPR recently published an article discussing why parents need to let their children make mistakes.
Raising a teenage daughter “right” means teaching them to deal with failure
As much as we–parents–want to shield our babies from mistakes and tears and failures, it’s very necessary for them to experience all of those things. It’s how they learn to cope as adults. When raising a teenage daughter, it can feel easy just to do things for them, make all the decisions, and guarantee that everything will go smoothly–but that won’t do anything for your daughter. You won’t always be around and she needs to know how to deal with tough situations.
You can try to shield your daughter from making mistakes and feeling the sting of natural consequences, but in the end, it’s going to happen eventually. If you do her homework for her, she’s not going to learn the subject and she’s not going to pass the exam. If you pick up her room for her, she’s not going to know how to do it in college when she’s alone. This is why it’s dreadfully important to let your daughter make mistakes–it shapes who she’s going to be as an adult.
Knowing how to cope prepares her for the future
Few people think about how they developed the ability to cope with failures. Some develop unhealthy ways of coping, like drinking or doing drugs; some develop healthy ways of coping, like looking at what went wrong and learning from it. You can help guide your daughter towards the healthy coping mechanisms.
If she doesn’t understand her homework, offer to help–but do not do it for her. If she decides not to study, she’s going to have to deal with the bad grade she gets on her exam. You can help her through something like that by offering up study methods and how to manage her time more wisely.
Asheville Academy can help
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other behavioral or mental issues.
For more information about how Asheville Academy helps struggling adolescents, call 800-264-8709 today!