They really do grow up fast! It seems like only yesterday that your baby girl’s world revolved in a small sphere. She depended on you for even for the simplest things, and you lovingly catered to her ever whim. Now, all of a sudden that baby girl is a young lady. Baby gifts have been replaced by mobile phones and makeup. And, as with most teenagers, she is no longer so excited to have Mom prying into her life all the time.
Your teen may want to be left alone, but she actually needs you in this stage of her life, just as she did when she was a toddler. You may no longer have to dress her up or feed her, but she’s looking to you for support as she makes her way to self-discovery.
Teenage life is full of tough situations and decisions never before encountered. She may now be obsessed with her self-image, but it means more than just picking which headband looks better with which dress. You’ve been there yourself, and that puts you in a key position to help her learn the principles of reaching important goals in life. But remember, it’s more than just telling her what’s right and wrong. I’m sure you have noticed that your teen watches what you do more than how she listens to you. It’s important to keep in mind that your example can be very influential to her.
In the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey shares habits to help your teen navigate through teenage life with your help:
She is no longer the little girl with the fancy hair accessories. She needs to start learning how to take control and responsibility for her life. Being proactive means that you know you are responsible for your own happiness or unhappiness, and don't put the blame on others for your own actions or feelings. This is the key to unlocking the other habits.
Begin with the End
It may seem too soon, but it will be very helpful to her if she knows now, what and where she wants to be in life. If she is unsure about her values and goals, she is likely to wander around and waste time. Covey suggests that you help your teen create a personal mission statement to guide her decision-making processes.
First Things First
Once your teen learns how to manage her priorities and her time, she will be able to focus on and complete the most important things in her life. This will help her live life according to what matters to her the most.
Life is not always fair, but learning to create a win-win atmosphere will foster in your teen the idea that, in any situation, both parties can arrive at a mutually beneficial solution.
Understand, then be Understood
Even though we are creatures with the most complex brains, many people fail to understand things, and feel misunderstood. This is because most of us do not listen very well. Teaching your teen to seek understanding first will ensure that she gains the most important communication skill—active listening.
You achieve synergy when you work with others to create something better than what you could have done alone. Through this habit, your teen will understand that it’s not always “your way" or “my way. " Sometimes, she can find a “better way” when she works with others.
Renew and Strengthen
The road ahead is ripe with challenges and opportunities. Every now and then, she should take time to renew herself. By doing this, she keeps her self sharp and can deal better with her life. It will do wonders for her personal fulfillment if she regularly renews and strengthens her body, brain, heart, and soul.
Rachelle Salinger is a freelance writer whose two passions in life are: family and fashion. This mother of two loves to stay on the loop of the latest trends in hair accessories and the best baby gifts in the market. She currently writes for No Slippy Hair Clippy, purveyor of the finest non-slip hair clips for girls of all ages.