Tune In or Tune Out?: How To Talk So Your Teen Listens

Puberty can be an emotional roller coaster, so use these tips to make the ride smooth.

The physical and emotional changes your daughter will go through over the next weeks, months and years will shape not only what she thinks of herself, but also what she thinks of her body. That’s why helping her find a way to understand and embrace those changes is so important.

Helping your daughter find the right feminine protection is one way. Another is finding ways to talk and listen. Maybe it’s watching her favourite TV show with her. Sharing what growing up was like for you. Or enjoy a few mother/daughter activities.

So take a moment to congratulate yourself on all the changes you’ve already guided your daughter through. Then keep reading for advice, ideas and expert opinions on how you and your daughter can continue to grow together.

Tune In or Tune Out?
Your daughter’s about to go through some pretty major developments—both physically and emotionally. All of which make having a normal conversation a challenge, to say the least. To keep your teen tuned in, try these ideas.

Make Time for Two
While those precious moments you’re alone in the car are a great time for talking, make special time, too. A movie, shopping, a hike in the park—find common ground and have fun.

Forget the Big ‘Talk’
The quickest way to get a teen to tune you out is to lecture. Keep your talks natural and have them often, so the lines of communication stay open. Real conversation happens in bits and pieces over days, months and years.

Listen Instead of Reacting
If your teen is suddenly ‘sick’ of everything, is that what she’s really saying? Or is she feeling frustrated, having trouble expressing herself or asking you for help?

Be Observant
What she’s reading or watching on TV may spark a conversation.

Share Your Years
Your daughter may not want all the focus on her. Instead of asking her what she’s going through, talk to her about your experiences growing up.

Four Things She’s Dying to Ask (But Probably Won’t)
Your daughter’s got a ton on her mind right now—school, boys, growing up—yet, she seems to tell you less and less every day. It’s not that she doesn’t have questions, it’s just that now, the things she wants to talk about aren’t so easy to open up about. That’s why you need to give her answers in a way that is comfortable for both of you. Here’re some of the top questions girls ask expert Iris Prager, Ph.D., at BeingGirl.
What kind of changes can I expect during puberty?

1. The main and perfectly normal changes you’ll go through during puberty include growing taller and broader (particularly in the hips), breast development, vaginal discharge and the start of menstruation.

2. What should you do when you have cramps?
Try taking a warm bath or placing a heating pad on your abdomen. Also, you might try an over-the-counter painkiller the night before you think your period will start.

3. Why is my cycle irregular? Will it always be this way?
Having an irregular cycle, as well as a changing flow, is normal during the first year or two after you start menstruating. Keeping a menstrual calendar may help.

4. What is the white stuff in my underwear?
A year or so before you start to menstruate, you’ll notice a daily vaginal discharge. During your cycle the discharge may range from wet and liquidy to thick and rope-like. If you don’t like the feel or want to protect your undies, try an Always Pantiliner.

If your teen is looking for more information, send her to beinggirl.com.


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