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

Laughing with your teen daughter may be just what she needs

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I've been thinking a lot about laughter, smiling and joy lately.  It seems that life is often very serious and heavy.  With the emotional ups and downs of the teen years for girls, you may be feeling as if you are often on Mr. Toads Wild Ride.

When you are in the middle of difficult circumstances such as divorce, grief, loss, your daughters destructive behaviors, her failing grades, etc... life gets serious real quick.  It's easy to get stuck in it and become consumed with whatever is happening.

Black and white, all or nothing thinking and living can cause us to forget that there is actually good with the bad, happy with the sad, joy with the anger and much more.  We can quickly lose hope and accurate insight.

Over the years I've seen families lose joy, hope, the ability to laugh and much more during chaos and tragedy.  It's important to teach her how to recognize that even in the midst of horribleness, there are things to be grateful for and to find joy in even if they are small.

I think laughter and smiling easily get tossed out when life goes careening off course.  She needs to learn how to laugh in the midst of it all.  It's an excellent stress reliever and can improve your mood.  Read more about the benefits here

In this video I talk a little more about the value of laughing more with your daughter.  It's a critical life skill and one she can and should use regularly...