The following excerpt is from Rosalind Wiseman’s Queen Bees & Wannabes, 3rd Edition: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World, where Wiseman gives us a glimpse into the complicated lives of your teenage daughter. This book can help ignite difficult conversations between parents and teens, starting with dignity and empathy.
Rejection, Relationships, and Reaching Out to your Teenage Daughter
For parents, being rejected by your teenage daughter is an excruciating experience.
But it can really make you mad and doubt your child’s sanity when you’re replaced by a group of girls with all the tact, sense of fairness, and social graces of a pack of hyenas.
Most people believe a girl’s task is to get through it, grow up, and put those experiences behind her. But your daughter’s relationships with other girls have deep and far-reaching implications beyond her teen years.
First, let’s talk about the positives. These friendships can be the key to surviving adolescence. Many girls will make it through their teen years precisely because they have the support and care of a few good friends. These are the friendships in which a girl truly feels unconditionally accepted, understood, and sometimes even challenged when she’s doing something that’s not good for her—like dating a guy who doesn’t treat her with respect.
Girls’ friendships are often intense, confusing, frustrating, and humiliating; the joy and security of “best friendships” can be shattered by devastating breakups and betrayals. And beyond the pain in the moment, girls can develop patterns of behavior and expectations for future relationships that stop them from becoming competent, authentic people who are capable of having healthy relationships with others as adults.
But your daughter is too close to it all to realize the good and bad influence of her friends.
She needs guidance from you despite the fact that she’s pulling away. In Queen Bees & Wannabes, my job is to give you my best suggestions for what kind of guidance to give her and how that information should be presented so she listens and your relationship with her is strengthened through the process.
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