These tips come directly out of the 3rd edition of Queen Bees & Wannabes.

  • Some girls seem to tell their parents everything. Some girls don’t. Always remember that a girl can tell you a lot of details about what’s going on her life and still be selective about what she tells you.
  • So it’s important to relax. You don’t have to know everything about your daughter, her friends, the conflicts she’s getting into, and every single thing she’s receiving or posting online to have a good relationship with her and give her the guidance she needs.
  • When you pick up your daughter from school, don’t ask her a ton of questions to get her talking and don’t get mad if she answers “Fine” and “Nothing” to your well-meaning inquiries. Just like you, she needs to decompress from her day.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. If your daughter tells you kids are teasing her, here’s a suggestion of what you can say: “I’m sorry, and assumptions, can you tell me a little more specifically about what’s happening, so I have a better idea of what you’re dealing with?”
  • Girls don’t tell their parents about a problem because they think the parent will magically fix the problem. Girls tell their parents about a problem because they want to be comforted and listened to.
  • Girls in general are starting puberty at earlier ages and this impacts their friendships. So no matter when your daughter “starts,” it’s important to talk to her around the age of nine about how going through puberty will affect how she and her friends interact with each other.
  • Your daughters’ selfies tell you a lot about the image she is trying to project to the world. Does she have a signature pose that she uses in all her selfies? Does she take multiple pictures so she can choose the “perfect” one? The image she chooses to present to the world tells you all you need to know about how she wants the world to see her.
    • Think about what photos YOU have posted of yourself online. Are you trying to show the world that your life (and your kids) are perfect? If you asked your daughter, what would she say you’re conveying in those photos?
  • Don’t stalk your daughter’s online activities – a solid relationship is far more effective than spying software in helping her behave responsibly online.
    • If you want your kids to sign and abide by a Technology Contract you can’t just download one from the internet. A good technology contract is created in partnership with everyone in the family and that means that everyone in the family (not just the kids) follows its rules. At what age does your daughter need to get a cell phone? If she rides public transportation or a school bus, she needs one for safety, or to document anything crazy that went down. But that doesn’t mean she needs the fanciest smart phone and if she cracks the screen or goes over her data plan, she needs to pay for it.