Raising Teen Girls
Girls with dreams becoming women of vision...

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Insights into the mental health and well-being of teen girls...

The myth of the perfect parent

Parenting might be the most difficult job you will ever have.

The amount of unknown is ridiculous.  The fear, almost unbearable.  It's one thing to parent a younger child.  You might actually have some control.  Parenting a teen girl is like being in the Twilight Zone.  This beautiful, loving daughter has now turned into an alien... who acts like your sister... who drives you bonkers.  On top of that you are now realizing you have very little control anymore... oxygen mask please!

If there is one belief I encounter on a regular basis from parents (especially moms) is this belief that you must be THE PERFECT PARENT.  Your daughter communicates this to you regularly when you mess up.  Your mother gives you an earful about all that you are doing wrong.  Our culture communicates the 10,000 things you need to improve and change to be the best mom ever.

This belief of the perfect parent permeates all aspects of raising teen girls.  Your daughters often expect you to be perfect.  It's exhausting and unrealistic.  One of the things I help girls understand is that parents are human and ALL humans make mistakes.  There are no perfect parents just like there are no perfect kids.

Can I just give you permission right now to stop trying to be the perfect mom?

She doesn't exist.  That standard is impossible and will only cause you to feel frustrated, stressed and anxious.  This doesn't help your daughter.  In fact, she needs to see you make mistakes, mess-up and be human.  It teaches her that it is OK to make mistakes and still survive, maybe even grow and learn from them.  This is one of the best gifts you can giver her.

I encourage you to learn to have A LOT of grace with yourself.  Also, get help.  Make sure you have a solid support system with teachers, family, counselors, friends and others who can walk this parenting journey with you.  You can't do it all.

Remember, just because you feel you need to be perfect doesn't mean it is true.  This is a false belief that needs to be challenged and changed!!