It’s normal for adolescent daughters to keep pushing their parents for new freedoms. If the parents are too strict, their adolescent daughter will probably rebel by breaking the rules and stepping over the boundaries. Adolescent girls are wily creatures, and they can be very sneaky. It is therefore a good idea to allow your teenage daughter some privacy and freedom. At the same time, it is your responsibility to make sure she stays safe. So how can you help keep your adolescent daughter safe in the technologically advanced world we now live in?
1. Effective Communication
If you can talk openly to your adolescent daughter, you will increase the odds of keeping her safe. You should explain to your daughter why she must dress discreetly, and let her know exactly what young men are really like. Your daughter also needs to be aware of online predators, and understand why you must know where she is at all times. If you talk down to your daughter, she will not listen to you. Hence it is a good idea to address your daughter respectfully, just as you would another adult. If your daughter feels that she can talk to you about anything, she is far more likely to come to you if she has a problem. If your daughter scorns your advice, you may wish to look for current news articles that highlight the dangers to adolescents. This will help you prove your point.
2. Cell Phones and Internet
Twenty years ago cell phones and the internet did not pose a problem when it came to raising adolescent daughters, but times have definitely changed since then. Now technology savvy pedophiles and predators can use the web and cell phones to prey on underage girls. Parents therefore need to keep an eye out to see who their daughters are talking to. You might wish to ensure that your daughter uses her computer in the living room. That way you will be able to see what she is up to. It is also worthwhile checking your daughter’s computer to see which websites she visits. If your daughter has a MySpace or Facebook account, make sure you check her page on a regular basis. Look at the picture comments, messages, and people on her friend list. Doing this will enable you to make sure she stays safe online. It’s wise to make a habit of checking her cell phone for calls from unusual numbers too.
3. Going Out
You cannot keep your teenage daughter locked up at home throughout her adolescence. She is going to want to go out with her friends, and at some point she will ask for permission to date. Make sure you know where your daughter is going and who she will be with. Ask to meet any boy she wants to go out with. Ensure that your daughter always carries her cell phone. That way she can reach you if she has a problem, and you can call her if you need to. You might also want to make sure that your daughter always has sufficient money to get a taxi ride home so that she never gets stranded, or trapped in a situation that makes her uncomfortable. It is a good idea to check that your daughter is exactly where she said she would be from time to time. Teenagers often lie about where they will be because they know you won’t approve of where they are really going.
4. Give Punishments
Adolescent girls may think that they are all grown up, but they are not too old to be punished for breaking the rules. The punishments you used for your daughter when she was small obviously won’t work now. However there are other effective punishments that will persuade her to obey your rules. Grounding is a very effective punishment for teenage girls because they love to be out with their friends. Withholding cell phones and laptop computers also works very effectively. Remember that your daughter has to earn the freedom, trust and privacy she craves. If she insists on acting like a child, she cannot expect to enjoy the same liberties as an adult.