Pre-teen years are moments of unique exasperation, and for girls, it’s specifically a little too much. They seem emotional, as oestrogen spikes continue steadily. The preceding spark grows into a more intense phase where girls usually have to fight with the gender norms that are a threat to it.
Expectations come into play— which convince them to make decisions that they wouldn’t otherwise. It’s difficult to choose between ambition and popularity— embracing femininity standards, or rejecting them. There are too many critical decisions to make.
These challenges and tensions are there for every teen, but for girls, they are a bit more distinct. For example, there are researches that prove that girls are more vulnerable to plummeting self-esteem, as compared to boys.
What parents can do is to prepare their girls for the teenage trials by teaching them all the ancillary skills that can help them pass through this rough phase smoothly.
Here are the 4 skills that you need to essentially inculcate in your daughter before she turns 13.
1. How to express and respect feelings
Popular stereotypes are skewed towards girls (and women) making good decisions when they are touched with feelings. They are also believed to be good at expressing them. However, this doesn’t hold true and can have harmful effects. When women get occupied by their emotions, it’s very hard for them to make decisions.
We so easily make a connection between emotions and girls’ natural tendency to deal with them, and in making such stereotypes, the teachings of emotional intelligence are alienated from the girls.
2. How to feel compassionate
Research reveals that girls experience more interpersonal stress than boys. That means, they have higher chances of ruminating negative feelings inside them. This can lead to higher chances of depression amongst girls.
You need to prepare your girls for any kind of setback by letting them practise self-compassion. Parents job is to teach their daughters how they can deal with failures without torturing themselves up. So when contingency training will be provided, instead of getting disappointed, they will practise self-kindness.
3. How to deal with friendships
One of the biggest setbacks in girls’ lives is the falling friendships and relationships. Girls are told that friendships are the most important aspect of their social lives and that’s why they always try to work on making new friends. It’s a very big opportunity for parents to teach their daughters a lesson of life. For example, if your daughter’s friend doesn’t save a seat on the bus for her, you need to tell them how to deal with it, and that their friends wouldn’t be there for them every time.
Parents should tell their daughters to have reasonable and rational expectations from friendships.
4. How to deal with bullies
No parents want to confront with the situation where their kids are being bullied, or have either become one.
It’s challenging under both circumstances as there are so many factors involved like friendship, communication and emotional intelligence of the parents and also awareness with the digital world. Girls have tendency to bully, because they don’t possess the tools to acutely deal with their emotions. And if they are bullied, they feel annihilated and powerless.
Parents need to set an early tone for their kids as to what is acceptable and what’s not in their social life.
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