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Is your teenage daughter feeling a bit overwhelmed by ‘all the things’ right now?
- what’s going on around her?
- how she fits into her world?
- and how to be okay with missing something?
The fear of missing out and the fear of messing up are REAL for teenage girls.
And seem to be a hot button issue right now.
Thankfully we’re back to in-person learning here in the US, though, like every new beginning, there are some residual pandemic issues that are still being ironed out.
One of the issues I’m hearing a lot about from the teenage girls enrolled in my 90 Days to a More Resilient Teen Coaching Program is that even though they’re surrounded by their peers, they are feeling socially disconnected and lonely.
So, I was curious to learn more.
Why, even though they are physically together again, and ready for new and deeper relationships, these girls are reporting:
- a lack of confidence as to how to take the next step
- and often feel stifled by the fear and uncertainty their efforts won’t be reciprocated
Welcome back to the cultivating resilient teens podcast where you can find the full show notes and resources at cultivatingresilientteens.com
If you’re new to this podcast, I’m so you’re here.
And if you’ve been listening for a while, thank you, this is an adventure I never saw myself taking and I have to admit, it’s pretty cool to see listeners from around the world.
It Takes a Village
I don’t know about you, but one thing I’ve learned as a parent is that no matter how resourceful you are, it truly takes a village to raise well-adjusted human beings.
And maybe more importantly, you don’t have to do it all on your own.
Seriously, one of the best parts of embarking on this unexpected adventure – the incredible people I’ve connected with along the way.
So, I want to dedicate today’s podcast to two of those incredible people, Paddy and Kate.
I’ll be honest, I often write and record my podcasts after hours and was feeling a bit burned out.
But Paddy and Kate shared inspiring feedback that reenergized me to keep on keepin’ on – so thank you Paddy and Kate!
Okay, let’s get to it.
So, what does your teenage daughter have in common with other teenage girls?
If she’s like so many of the girls out there, she’s ready to develop new, deeper social connections.
The hard part is she may be feeling uneasy or questioning her expectations.
So, let’s dive into two roadblocks that may be keeping your daughter from moving forward quickly, confidently and mindfully towards her desired friendships.
Block #1 Bringing the Past into the Present
Let’s be real, it’s confusing and painful for your daughter when she feels purposely left out of a social gathering.
And if she senses a friendship is falling apart you may see her:
- shut down
- armor up
- or find herself tangled up in a slew of toxic thoughts
The hard part is, if your daughter brings her past social wounds into her present environment, it may stop her from taking the social and emotional risks she’ll need to take going forward, in order to build new connections.
However, the good news is, her wounds can and will ‘heal’ when she learns to redirect her thoughts, reconnect with what makes her happy and redesign her friendship values.
Here’s what she can do instead:
- identify 3 potential friends
- choose 2 possible activities they could try together
- find 1 thing they have in common and talk about it
Block #2 Messy Messaging
Here’s a bit of radical honesty, and I’m okay sharing that I’ve made this mistake on more than one occasion.
As a parent, it’s a natural instinct to attempt to build a protective fortress around your daughter to mitigate her fears or do whatever it takes to make her experience feel easier.
The hard part is, your loving, though slightly intrusive approach often backfires.
And here’s why.
Teens tell me that when they’re rumbling with how to handle a new situation or navigate a social challenge and their parents jump in and take the reins, they feel like their parents don’t think they can handle it.
But here’s the good news, with a little dose of honesty and simple tweak in your approach, you can avoid this roadblock.
Here’s what you can do instead:
- let your daughter her know it’s hard for you to see her rumbling with her situation
- and ask her what’s the best thing you can do to support her
And just to be clear, yes, there are times when an adult needs to intervene, so please make sure you and your daughter clarify those boundaries.
Okay, let’s quickly recap today’s key points.
If your daughter is like most teenage girls, she may be feeling socially disconnected and a bit lonely, even though she’s back to in-person learning.
The most effective way to begin to build the deeper connection she’s ready for, is to simply be aware of if she’s bringing her past wounds into her present environment and try the 3-2-1 strategy so she can redirect, reconnect and redesign her relationships.
And, if seeing her struggle this triggering for you, simply recognize that’s a natural response and try asking her what would be helpful in this situation.
Lastly, please, please, please remember that when you approach ‘all the things’ with the attitude that you’re here to learn, you can’t do this wrong.
It’s truly about learning and growing together.
Until next time, here’s to cultivating a more resilient teen.