10. Positive Self image. With images of teen models and stars these days it is amazing that girls are not all anorexic and emulating their “role models” bad behavior. I believe that beauty comes from within. Work on your daughters feeling of self worth before worrying about looking like an Abercrombie Model “who most likely isn’t wearing any clothes” or a Disney Princess whose gone bad.

9. The “s” word, try and keep an open mind and ear when you talk to your daughter about sex. I have always had a very open relationship with my daughter and told her I wanted her to be honest with me if she had any questions; I would rather her come to me no matter how embarrassing, rather than have her get information or misinformation from a friend. Remember if you don’t talk about it most definitely does not mean she isn’t thinking about it and putting your head in the sand is not the solution!

8. What things are important to her? Listen, encourage, and show up! Is she interested in school politics, sports, or saving the world? Whatever it is be interested, support her anyway you can even if it is just showing up for a game or an event! This will mean the world to her, she might not tell you but believe me she will feel it in her heart.

7. What is your daughter doing after school? Is she keeping up with her homework or coming home and spending 3 hours in front of the TV watching Sponge Bob Square Pants. You need to teach her responsibility so that when she gets her midyear grades you aren’t surprised with her failing exam scores. Sometimes you need to be proactive and “ask” again “I know said holding your breath” about her grades. How is she doing? Is anything difficult? Might she need some extra help, all asked in the most supportive way.

6. The boy factor- Is she one who “loves” boys? How do boys react to her? Does she chat with them on facebook? Get one! Know what she is doing !! If she is involved in after school activities, stop by a game or go to a show. Just promise her; you, or in our families case, my husband won’t embarrass her.

5. The girlfriends: Know them, all of them… Encourage your daughter to have her girlfriends come over so you can meet them and get to know them. There is always one in the bunch you will need to keep your “eye” on. Sit down and talk to them as a group to see “What’s new in school?” “Who is the latest heart throb?” “What things are going on at school” It is amazing what you can learn when you sit down and listen! Notice I didn’t say jump in the conversation or become part of a “fight” because there will be lots and lots of fighting and drama with girls, unfortunately it’s in the genes somehow but be there to understand the dynamics of the group and where your daughter fits in.

4. Eat Healthy: It really is monkey see monkey do… Not that I’m saying any of you are monkey’s. What I’m saying is when you are out with your kids; set an example of what you know is good nutrition for them, needless to say eating at McDonald’s 7 days a week is not! So if you work, pack a lunch or at least a snack of veggies and fruits, so your teen will follow suit, hopefully!

3. Set Rules and let them know there are consequences: Texting and driving, do I dare have to say drinking and driving, to me these are both the lesser of all evil! No No No! I don’t think I need to say more…

2. What is going on in her daily life? In this day and age where our teens spend hours and hours online or texting on the phone; know who your teen is chatting with. If you have any suspicions that she is being bullied step up, and for pete sake, step in and help her. Cyber bullying has gone way out of this world to the point where teens are taking their lives. Keep the lines of communication open be there to listen and support her but always be the “mother” or “father”!

1. Know and understand sometimes what she says is not actually what she means! As I call them “the three dreaded words”; I hate you! Is not what she means… She means I’m frustrated… I’m scared… I don’t know what to do… just listen to me and… help!

Now I don’t claim to be a psychologist or anyone with any kind of medical background, I’m just a mom who has been there through those “wonderful years” we call teens, and the good news is I’m Still Standing! And so will you!!

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