The director of the Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls offers parents concrete advice on how to help their teenage daughters navigate the often tumultuous teenage years.
Using examples from her own practice, psychotherapist Damour outlines seven different paths that girls must negotiate between pre-puberty and independence. "There is a predictable pattern to teenage development, a blueprint for how girls grow,” writes the author. “When you understand what makes your daughter tick, she suddenly makes a lot more sense. When you have a map of adolescent development, it’s a lot easier to guide your daughter toward becoming the grounded young woman you want her to be.” For parents who wonder why their delightful little girl has been replaced by an often belligerent, eye-rolling, disrespectful semiadult, Damour's advice will be a great help. The author identifies how girls slide in and out of childhood as they test boundaries, how hanging out with peers can create conflict as well as a much-needed new tribe, and the benefits and problems surrounding social media, including the impact of bullying. Damour discusses romance and sex and the need to talk about the ability to say no, not only to sex, but to alcohol and drugs as well. She gives parents methods to broach these difficult topics in a firm and understanding manner. She also addresses food and weight issues, mood disorders, and anxiety over test results and school performance. By giving girls a bit of privacy while still maintaining house rules, such as attending church or eating together as a family, parents respect that their daughter is shifting away from a dependent child toward becoming an independent being. Using Damour's guidance, these transitional years will be far less fraught with angst and parents will be able to create stronger bonds with their daughters.
Expert information and counsel on helping parents raise well-rounded girls.