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Is friendship drama causing major emotional distress for your teenage daughter?
Welcome back to the Cultivating Resilient Teens podcast where we’ve talked a lot about how teenage girls are passionate problem solvers.
But, as you know, there’s another side to the coin.
So, we’re going to bravely and compassionately explore what the other side looks and feels like because if your daughter feels emotionally wounded or is utterly confused and in tears by her friend’s behavior, we want to help you through this.
It’s not unusual for my clients to talk about increased friend drama this time of year, as Springtime seems to invite a sense of newness, adventure and increased opportunities to socialize outside of school and home.
And unfortunately, shifting friend groups can cause uncertainty and drama.
Sometimes to the point where parents step away from work and clients stay home, even when they don’t want to, because they’re in rough, unchartered territory, like:
- ghosting them for unknown reasons
- saying unkind or disrespectful things
- dissing their choices or choices they’ve made
- dropping them from the friend group without explanation
Situations like these often cause teenage girls to be really hard on themselves, so in podcast Episode #18 2 Key Elements Your Daughter Needs to Design Healthy Social Scenarios we tackle a topic that’s sometimes overwhelming and painful for teenage girls – how to build authentic, fun and healthy friendships.
Podcast Episode #18 is part 3 of my 4-part series, based off my Signature Coaching System, 4 Steps to Cultivate a Resilient Teen, so you may want to go back and listen when you’re finished with this episode.
Because as Dr. Christine Carter shares in her book, The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction, “Connection is the most important predictor of happiness that we have. It’s the most consistent finding that we have in a hundred or so years of research. Our overall wellbeing is predicted by both the breadth and depth of our real-life connections.”
2 Key Ingredients
And, because it’s important for me to be transparent AND remind you that tough, humble situations can also offer deep personal opportunities to grow – when you’re ready – I want to share a quick story with you.
Once upon a time I was asked to talk to a group of teens about the importance of creating a more cohesive group environment because, as Dr. Carter’s research shows, authentic connections help everyone thrive.
But I mistakenly assumed that because the coaches desired a more cohesive environment, the athletes did too.
Needless to say, it didn’t matter how well constructed my message was, there were two key ingredients missing:
So, before you guide your daughter through the tumultuous teen-girl-friendship-waters, pause and ask yourself:
- Is she ready to look at all the angles and problem solve?
- How can you create a safe and trusting environment for her to share her vulnerable story with you?
Sometimes, the “meltdown” is already in progress (so to speak) and you need to let her fall apart and then, when she’s calm and clear, reflect on what’s happening.
Develop a Strong Sense of Self
If she’s not ready, hold a space for her to feel loved, just as she is.
And then, when she’s ready, acknowledge that no matter how out of control her situation may feel, she is not powerless.
In any given social situation, your daughter has the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self.
Podcast Episode #16 Does Your Teenage Daughter Need a Strong Sense of Self to be Successful in Life? is a fan favorite, probably because building a solid personal foundation allows your daughter to recognize how she:
- sees herself
- what she thinks about herself
- and how she talks to and about herself
And how your daughter THINKS, how she uses her mind, is truly her greatest superpower.
As renowned brain coach, Jim Kwik reminds us, “These times can define us, diminish us, or develop us.”
So, let’s help your daughter see where she can effectively use her superpower to gain a sense of control and build her resilience.
My private coaching clients and I often talk about HOW to talk to your friends, because, as you might imagine, words matter.
Sometimes my clients tell me that they can “influence” how their friends think, feel and react.
And perhaps there’s some truth to that.
However, trying to influence a friend’s thoughts and feelings is risky business.
Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
What’s important is to learn how to effectively say what you mean and mean what you say.
There are essentially four styles of communication:
Simply stated, the assertive style of communication “allows a person to communicate her feelings honestly, directly, and openly when appropriate. It lets you set limits with others about what is and what isn’t okay with you, and to discuss what you need in order to get along. You can ask for what you want and need without compromising the rights of others. People know who you are, what you think and feel, and what you need to form healthy relationships.”
As you might imagine, learning how to be a confident, assertive communicator is a life skill that must be learned and practiced regularly.
But, oh, it’s worth it because it comes in handy in so many social situations.
So, if your daughter is experiencing friendship drama that’s causing emotional distress, now may be a good time to develop a strong sense of self and build her resilience by becoming an assertive communicator.
If you’re ready for tips specifically tailored to help your daughter, go ahead and Book a Strategy Session
Just head over to my website, cultivatingresilientteens.com and together we’ll get clear on what you need and find strategies that’ll work.
Okay my friends, here’s wishing you a beautiful week and a very happy Easter, if you celebrate that holiday with your family.
I look forward to connecting with you next week.
Dr. Christine Carter shares in her book, The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction
Quote: “These times can define us, diminish us, or develop us.” | Jim Kwik | Author of Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life | Founder and CEO of Kwik Learning
Quote: Assertive communication “allows a person to communicate her feelings honestly, directly, and openly when appropriate. It lets you set limits with other about what is and what isn’t okay with you, and to discuss what you need in order to get along. You can ask for what you want and need without compromising the rights of others. People know who you are, what you think and feel, and what you need to form healthy relationships.” Page 94 | Book: Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens | Author Earl Hipp