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Teen Daughter(s)

GregT

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Today was first day of High School. Beautiful Daughter Two is in 8th Grade.

Any advice? (intentionally broad question)

:doh:
 

DeniseM

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This is attributed to Mark Twain:

When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.

I think it applies equally to girls!

Actually there is one secret: No matter what they do, remember that all you have to do is wait them out - eventually they will grow up - it's inevitable.

Example: My very bright daughter intentionally failed 8th grade because she was mad at me - now she's a teacher.
 

Ty1on

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Today was first day of High School. Beautiful Daughter Two is in 8th Grade.

Any advice? (intentionally broad question)

:doh:

Take a deep breath. Nothing is as world-ending as it may seem.....to both of you.
 

lizap

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Still waiting on our daughter in her mid 20s to grow up..


This is attributed to Mark Twain:

When a boy turns 13, seal him in a barrel and feed him through a knot hole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole.

I think it applies equally to girls!

Actually there is one secret: No matter what they do, remember that all you have to do is wait them out - eventually they will grow up - it's inevitable.

Example: My very bright daughter intentionally failed 8th grade because she was mad at me - now she's a teacher.
 

Ty1on

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Today was first day of High School. Beautiful Daughter Two is in 8th Grade.

Any advice? (intentionally broad question)

:doh:

OH! And don't say, "When you turn 18, you can tattoo yourself from neck to toe for all I care, until then, the answer is 'No'"

Mine took me up on that.
 

tschwa2

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I am in a similar boat. My oldest boy starts high school next Monday. His brother is starting 4th grade so a way to go there.

All I can say is Lord help me and him and his teachers and the rest of the family.
 

Tia

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Our dtr is now 22 and doing well , but the years between 8th-senior year were extremely challenging . One important thing is both parents need to support each other and there had to be predictable consequences in a currency she valued.

Another friend w/older kids had said once the most trouble they had as parents was parenting styles of other parents, and at the time I didn't know what she was talking about. I do know now however.

Today was first day of High School. Beautiful Daughter Two is in 8th Grade.

Any advice? (intentionally broad question)

:doh:
 

Dori

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When our daughter started high school, it was like a different person took over her body and personality. I can't say that those years were a whole lot of fun with her, but friends with older kids told us that as she got older, she would "become human again". They were right! She has matured into a hard-working, loving adult and a wonderful mother.

Dori
 

joewillie12

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Today was first day of High School. Beautiful Daughter Two is in 8th Grade.

Any advice? (intentionally broad question)

:doh:
Drink heavily!! No just kidding.My daughter graduated last year which seemed like an eternity to get through but looking back now it flew by so quickly. If only there were no boys, dances, cars,parties, cell phones, drama, late night away volleyball and soccer games, hair, make up, new clothes and friends every week, curfews, missing the bus, detentions, surprise Sunday night reports,etc things might have been a little easier on dear old dad. Looking back I would never trade a moment of watching and being a part of my daughter's hs years. I kinda miss it now to be honest. Strap in and hold on.. its one hellava ride! ps.......college is a whole different more expensive ride but that's for another time. Joe
 

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Remember... The brain is not fully formed until you are about 25... This got us through many a conversation of, "what were you thinking?" Once you realize that the brain is still 'cooking' you look at everything they do through those eyes, which makes it so much easier to parent :)
 

ace2000

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Built in to every teenager's head is the natural instinct to fly from the nest and to rebel against their parents. You'll have to deal with that.

Think about your teachers in the past, some were hard and some were easy. You'll have to figure out what kind of disciplinarian you're going to be. If you can be fairly tough, and at the same time, continue to build influence and a relationship with them, the better it will go for you. Good luck!
 

Passepartout

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So THAT's what is up with the 13 y.o. grand daughter. I never raised any kids of my own and came late to the party. I thought she was just mentally deficient. Good to find that it's 'normal'.
 

klpca

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Have fun Greg! I think that my husband and I enjoyed our girls high school years almost as much as they did. Even though we have three daughters, we were and remain a drama free house.

Let them have choices and decisions that are theirs to make. Choose your battles wisely. Most things aren't worth fighting about. Save the fights for things that matter.

Clothes - unless it's skanky, let them choose what to wear.
Room - they live in it - if it's messy, close the door. (Once in a while, spend a quality afternoon with them cleaning it out. Take them out for starbucks later as a reward. Our only rule about the room was the "no food" rule, which seemed very reasonable to me and the girls went along with it).
School - For us, this was the priority, but we never stressed the actual letter grade. We stressed effort.

For our part, as parents we tried to:
Have family dinner together every night. (Family dinner was difficult during high school, but have a salad earlier and push dinner back if possible. Make it a priority.) Friends were always welcome.
Praise in public, criticize in private.
Model a good sense of humor.
Volunteer in your kids school activities.
Encourage them to make good choices. (I must have said this a lot. My kids jokingly say "make good choices" to each other when they go out at night with their friends. They have even offered that advice to my husband and I when we go out :D)

My youngest graduated in 2009. Time flies! I truly miss those days.
 

SueDonJ

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Patience, patience, patience, and more patience. Pick Your Battles / Don't Sweat The Small Stuff. Present a unified front with your spouse. Learn to walk away from turmoil in the heat of the moment (when it's safe to do so,) but don't give up on consistent discipline when cooler heads prevail.

Don't set a blanket curfew - that gives teens freedom to go out and find trouble when there's no reason for them to be out. Instead know where she is and who she's with, and set a reasonable time to be home based on the plans. "Just hanging out" is a perfectly normal and necessary teen activity, but you can limit it so that she's not hanging out at the local party spot after a reasonable hour.

Grounding was the best thing I ever did for her and me. In addition to teaching consequences it gave her a chance to look from a safe distance at what she and her friends were doing, and it gave me a few nights that didn't involve worrying over the wrong choices that she and her friends might have been making. It didn't have to happen often but the threat was usually a deterrent.

Don't make her be a stranger to the pack. No matter how ridiculous you think a request from her is, consider that sometimes what everyone else has/is doing may be very important to her.

Trust your instincts. Can't stress this one enough!

The teen years are a necessity - they make you look forward to, rather than dread, the day that your young adults leave home.

Good luck! :)
 
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jme

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Tell them you love them every day. Let them know that your love is unconditional, but set overall boundaries. Not boundaries regarding clothes, music, friends (within reason), and general activities, but moral boundaries. Then tell them you love them again. Let them have space, but watch carefully and silently until there's a strong need to weigh in. Criticism and micromanaging aren't helpful, and don't neglect to spend time with them individually. Then tell them you love them again.... and remember, prayer is not insignificant.
 

bnoble

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I have a 16 year old girl who will be a senior this year, and a 14 year old boy who will be a sophomore. So far, it's been a lot less painful than conventional wisdom would have you believe!

Be open with them about things. Understand that they will do dumb things, because that is their job. Start relaxing control over time, rather than have them go from fully-enclosed to no-restrictions all at once. So, relax in areas that are unlikely to lead to permanent damage. Hard to do, I know, but so it goes.
 

Ty1on

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I have a 16 year old girl who will be a senior this year, and a 14 year old boy who will be a sophomore. So far, it's been a lot less painful than conventional wisdom would have you believe!

Be open with them about things. Understand that they will do dumb things, because that is their job. Start relaxing control over time, rather than have them go from fully-enclosed to no-restrictions all at once. So, relax in areas that are unlikely to lead to permanent damage. Hard to do, I know, but so it goes.

With the very critical caveat that boys do everything the can to do permanent damage!
 

SueDonJ

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With the very critical caveat that boys do everything the can to do permanent damage!

Does this mean what I think it means?

If so, it's best to realize that girls' hormones are also raging in the teen years. Teach that girls are in control of their own bodies, the same way that boys are. Teach that boys are responsible for their own actions, the same way that girls are. Teach that both girls and boys have the ability to say either yes or no.
 

Ty1on

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Does this mean what I think it means?

If so, it's best to realize that girls' hormones are also raging in the teen years. Teach that girls are in control of their own bodies, the same way that boys are. Teach that boys are responsible for their own actions, the same way that girls are. Teach that both girls and boys have the ability to say either yes or no.

I agree with everything you said, but one thing that we cannot change with culture is the girl being left holding the bag.
 

SueDonJ

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Another one - don't fool yourself into thinking that she's sharing every aspect of her life with you. She's not. She won't. This isn't only about not telling you the things that she's doing which she knows you would not like - it's about anything she wishes to keep private. It's normal in the process of teens developing the capacity to "own" their own actions.

Despite that, share your feelings and beliefs about any and every subject under the sun. She may not engage in a conversation with you about any certain topics, but there's nothing wrong with you saying out loud your beliefs on any topic. One-sided (non-judgmental and non-confrontational) conversations are better than no conversations, and I can't tell you how many suppers we had when the topic on the table was sex and I was the only one talking. :eek:
 

SueDonJ

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I agree with everything you said, but one thing that we cannot change with culture is the girl being left holding the bag.

For this generation teen pregnancy is not as much a stigma for teen girls as it was for ours, and teen boys are statistically more likely to support their children (even outside of "shotgun" marriages.) Whether it's a good or bad thing that they're more accepting of their bodies' natural instincts can be debated, but of course no parent wants their teen to have to deal with such an adult issue before they're ready.

I believe, though, that it's not a good thing to teach girls that they and not the boys will be held responsible for mutual actions. "Good girls don't, and boys don't respect bad girls" is a tenet that IMO harms girls much more than it helps them.
 
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DeniseM

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Remember... The brain is not fully formed until you are about 25... This got us through many a conversation of, "what were you thinking?" Once you realize that the brain is still 'cooking' you look at everything they do through those eyes, which makes it so much easier to parent :)

Don't underestimate this: Combine it with new found freedom, puberty, and peer pressure, and kids WILL make some dumb decisions. No matter how much you love them, and trust them, it's naive to believe that they can handle all situations. That's why you are there, to be the mean parent and protect them from situations that they aren't ready for yet.

This is the other thing I'd do - confiscate the electronic devices at bedtime. A huge number of high school students are sleep deprived because they "can't" resist the lure of their cell phone at night. Then they go to class and can't do their best because they are exhausted. I'm not exaggerating. It's a big problem in High Schools.

I saw this every day:

A student would come dragging into class looking unwell.

Me to student: Are you OK, are you sick?

Student: No, I'm just tired.

Me: Why is that?

Student: Someone was texting me all night.

Me: Why didn't you turn your phone off?

Student: Oh, I couldn't! It was important!
 
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SueDonJ

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Don't underestimate this: Combine it with new found freedom, puberty, and peer pressure, and kids WILL make some dumb decisions. No matter how much you love them, and trust them, it's naive to believe that they can handle all situations. That's why you are there, to be the mean parent and protect them from situations that they aren't ready for yet. ...

Yes! You can't be her friend and her parent. She has friends; you be the parent. Believe me, the day will come when she's been parented all she can be, and you'll not want to hear the things she's telling you now that your relationship has developed naturally into a friendship. These days I sometimes find myself saying, "I don't want to know! Please can't we still have some boundaries!"

This is the other thing I'd do - confiscate the electronic devices at bedtime. A huge number of high school students are sleep deprived because they "can't" resist the lure of the cell phones at night. Then they go to class and can't do their best because they are exhausted. I'm not exaggerating. It's a big problem.

Oh, that's a good one! It's one thing I'm very thankful for, that cell phones and the internet were just coming onto the scene when our kids were young teens. It must be so difficult for parents these days to control electronic activity when it pervades every aspect of today's culture.
 
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Ty1on

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Another one - don't fool yourself into thinking that she's sharing every aspect of her life with you. She's not. She won't. This isn't only about not telling you the things that she's doing which she knows you would not like - it's about anything she wishes to keep private. It's normal in the process of teens developing the capacity to "own" their own actions.

Despite that, share your feelings and beliefs about any and every subject under the sun. She may not engage in a conversation with you about any certain topics, but there's nothing wrong with you saying out loud your beliefs on any topic. One-sided (non-judgmental and non-confrontational) conversations are better than no conversations, and I can't tell you how many suppers we had when the topic on the table was sex and I was the only one talking. :eek:

Absolutely 100%. This is the second wave of developing as an independent self, the first being the "No" stage. It's important that they learn consequences through trial and error. The best you can do is try to police the trials with the worst potential consequences, like experimentation with alcohol and drugs.

Just like in leadership, there is a lot of listening involved in parenting a teenager. They can say alot with few words if you really listen and you detach yourself from the emotional way they say them. When my first wave of kids was in their teens, I talked at them like I had done in their formative years, with mostly disastrous results. I've already started doing less talking and more listening with my 6 year old, and yet I still understand that when she is in her teens, it isn't going to be an after-school special where we have a lot of heart-to-hearts, or even that I'm going to be able to pry her thoughts out of her about important concepts and decisions. I've also learned that just because a kid rolled their eyes at you doesn't mean they didn't hear you.

As far as my young daughter and teenage years and being left holding the bag, me and her mom are giving her a healthy respect for her body and coaching her about being assertive, starting with friends at her age now who try to control the relationship. But just in case that fails, I have a Mossberg in the gun safe. :p
 
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