7 Do’s and Don’ts for Riding the Roller-Coaster of Your Daughter’s Emotions

By Joanna Teigen  

7-dos-and-dontsThe teen years can transform your calm, easygoing daughter into an emotional mess! One minute she’s excited about tomorrow and the next she’s stressed and insecure. She’s lively and cheerful with her own friends, yet quiet and standoffish with yours. She’s eager to fill her schedule with new activities in the morning, but closes herself in her room by dinner. Her energy and attitude can change without warning.

It’s hard to know how to respond to our daughters’ mood swings. Here are seven do’s and don’ts as we ride the roller coaster of our daughters’ emotions.

DO: See the big picture. Our girls are in the process of growing to maturity—they don’t have it all figured out yet. In time they’ll be less reactive to little things. They’ll understand the cause and effect of their choices. They’ll become less self-focused, realizing they’re not the center of the world. Have patience and trust that the sensitive, unpredictable girl in front of you is on her way to growing up.

DON’T: Belittle her feelings. Even when she seems irrational, her distress is real. Criticism, shame, or teasing will only deepen her struggle. By giving her room to feel angry, anxious, or just ‘down’, she’ll learn it’s okay to be authentic. She’ll avoid the pitfall of putting on a fake smile to please other people.

DO: Stay steady in the storm. Her strong feelings don’t have to stir up anxiety or anger in you. Let go of any guilt or pressure to “fix it.” Avoid the traps of self-blame and depending on her happiness for your own.

DON’T: Relax your house rules. When emotions run high, she doesn’t get a free pass to slam doors, smack her brother, or disrespect you. Skipping school or homework on a bad day will only compound her stress. Keep her present for family activities and church attendance. Stand firm in your expectations so her feelings don’t rule her life.

DO: Show compassion. Look for ways to give comfort and reassurance. Bring back the habit of tucking her in at night with prayer and a hug. Build one-on-one time in your schedule to have fun and take a break from the stress. Post uplifting Bible verses on her bathroom mirror. Fill a bubble bath or invite her for a walk after a rough day. Speak words of kindness, affirmation, and hope into her life.

DON’T: Ignore her physical well-being. Fatigue and poor nutrition make it hard for any of us to cope. Hormonal fluctuations through the month impact her energy and outlook. Build in time for sleeping in, home-cooked meals, and enjoying the outdoors. Stay current on checkups with her doctor. A healthy body will support healthy emotions too.

DO: Pursue help if she shows signs of self-destructive or risky behavior. Find out if she’s suffering from bullying or traumatic events. Take concerns about depression, alcohol or drug abuse, or eating disorders to professionals who can provide the care she needs.

Take heart in knowing God cares for your daughter with grace and love. Cover her in prayer each day, trusting him to see her through.

Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living. (Psalm 116:7-9)

Before You Post, Ask Yourself…

By Kim Chaffin

before-you-postImagine you are standing in front of 500 people. There are 1,000 eyes watching you.   With all of their attention focused on you, would you start saying things like W#%, L^%@O, or any other four-letter words that would make your grandmother’s jaw drop? Would you get into a seductive pose? Would you pick a person out of the crowd and bully them in front of all those watching you?

I would like to believe that if you found yourself in that situation you would be very careful about what you said or did in front of those 1,000 eyes. Can you imagine what the crowd would think if you bullied someone in front of them?

I recently spoke to a friend who had asked her niece similar questions. When her niece said, “no”, my friend shared some wise words with her that I want to share with you.

“If you wouldn’t say those things in front of a bunch of people, then why would you say it on Facebook?” She asked.

Just because you can’t see the people who are looking at your photos or reading what you post, doesn’t mean it isn’t a reflection on you.

In front of a crowd, you would see people’s brows clinch in horror or you might even hear some gasps from the people watching and listening to you. Behind the computer, phone or iPad there is a false sense of security that anything goes because no one is really watching.

That is not the case at all.

Just because you can’t see the looks or hear the gasps, people really are watching you, and what you post on social media is a reflection of who you are.

My friend is the wife of a police officer and when she shared with me what she told her niece, there was a detective and crime scene investigator in the conversation with us. The detective shared with me that it is amazing what law enforcement can find on the Internet. It is one of the first places they go when investigating a crime. He said if he can see what is out there, so can colleges and future employers.

So let’s start over.

You are sitting alone in front of your computer. You can’t see who is watching you but there are several sets of eyes that see what you are posting. Anyone who looks at your post has their attention on you. Would you say things like W#%, L^%@O, or any other four-letter words that would make your grandmother’s jaw drop? Would you get into a seductive pose, snap a photo and post it? Would you bully one of your peers for all those on social media to see?

Before you post something on social media ask yourself if you would be comfortable saying or doing it in front of a crowd, think about and then delete it, if needed.

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