Monday, June 18, 2007

Will Your Daughter Be Okay? Five Easy Ways to Tell…

Parents of preteens and teenage girls worry about their daughters. These five signs can tell you if your child is on the right path.

Parents of daughters have always been concerned about who and what their daughters see as they grow up. These parents wonder if their children will manage to survive the preteen and adolescent years without getting caught up with the wrong crowd, hurting her reputation with any wild or crazy antics, and most importantly by simply staying true to herself and her upbringing.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to tell if your child is on the right track.

1. Her Friends
One of the most obvious ways to check up on your daughter is to see what sort of friends she has. If her friends show a rather disturbing lack of control or a vocabulary fraught with terms you had hoped your child would never hear, there may be a problem.

Hanging around with lots of different people is just as typical as a tight group of girlfriends, but see who exactly your daughter spends most of her time with and then very discreetly check up on them and their parents. Peer pressure is rampart at this age, so it’s crucial that you be playing with all the knowledge you can.

2. Her Shows
Some shows will be popular with teens and preteens regardless of content. However, you as the parent should be monitoring what exactly she is watching and what message she is getting out of it. Is your ten year old more tuned into Desperate Housewives than Miley Cyrus? If so, perhaps you need to invest in blocking software or at the very least watch some episodes together to see exactly what messages your offspring may be receiving.

3. Her Heroes
We all look up to someone, even if we do it unconsciously. Who is your daughter most interested in? Does she try to dress like her friends? Is she interested in carrying the latest bag Paris was spotted with? Does she seem to want to follow in her mother’s footsteps? The person leading your child may not be the best role model.

Quality role models like Miley Cyrus are harder to find, but they are out there. Discourage interest in young stars that seem to have a hard time holding it together or who encourage wild partying and other activities you’d be uncomfortable with your own daughter participating in. Discreetly help her find someone to copy who is more palatable.

4. Her Grades
The age old stereotype of girls not being as bright in school is still alive and well. Dumb and ditzy seems to get boys on television and movies, so your daughter may be buying into that myth. If her grades are slipping it might be something as simple as needing a tutor in math (which you should provide, but you might avoid letting her pick her own if he is under the age of fifty) or it could be a symptom of something much more serious. It is worth investigating, regardless.

5. Her Clothing
It may seem trivial, but if your daughter is dressing more like a club regular than a preteen school girl, you need to step in. Fashion is very important to young ladies, but certain fashions are simply not appropriate for school or girls under the age of eighteen. The wrong clothing can send and reinforce the wrong message. When shopping look for fashionable yet age appropriate outfits like the clothing worn by the Olsen twins or Miley Cyrus.

Above all, just remember, that all of the signs above may be pointing one way, when your daughter is heading another. Very little is permanent or long lasting at her age, so do all you can to help guide her in the right direction, then sit back and enjoy the ride.

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