How to End Teen Girl Drama
Teen girl drama is much more than just an annoying behavior -- it's behavior essentially built into her DNA. An article published in a 2007 issue of "The Journal of Family Practice" notes that upon reaching puberty, a teen girl's brain is more prone to stress and polarizing emotions so that dealing with your teen daughter is a lot like riding a seven-year roller coaster. If your teen is constantly causing drama or reporting issues with her friends at school, take it all with a grain of salt while helping your teen stop the madness and regulate her friendships -- and her emotions.
Stay calm and ask that your daughter do the same, suggests psychologist Laura Kastner, co-author of "Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens," in an interview with NPR. When your teen reports drama that has hurt her feelings or made her feel ostracized by her friends, it's tempting to get upset or join forces with your teen to become dramatic, but that won't help the situation. One of the benefits that your daughter gets from drama is your attention 1. Ensure that you give her positive attention by using the complaint as a catalyst for communication, rather than reinforcing the drama.
Talk to your teen about what happened and most importantly, why. If she complains that a friend wouldn't sit with her at lunch, get the scoop on how that made your teen feel and why she's really upset. This gives your teen a chance to open up to you and you'll get more of the facts, which will help resolve the drama.
Ask your teen to take responsibility for her part in the drama by using "I" statements. She might come home crying that "Sarah was so mean to me in math class -- I'm never speaking to her again!" Instead of commiserating, ask that your teen think about her part in the issue and change her complaint to a statement that uses "I" instead. For instance, "I didn't listen to Sarah when she wanted to talk to me and then I felt ignored when she did the same during math class." This helps both you and your teen see both sides of the story and come up with a suitable resolution.
Discuss possible solutions that would help remedy the situation. Let your teen lead the charge by brainstorming ways to stop the drama, suggests psychologist Irene S. Levine in an article for Psychology Today 1. If your teen isn't ready to think of solutions and is still blaming the other party, give her some time to cool off before attempting the conversation again.
Report behavior that could be constituted as bullying to the school, the other girl's parents and other authorities, even if -- especially if -- your daughter is the bully. Name-calling, cyber stalking, covert bullying in the form of lies, rumors or encouraging social ostracization or playing nasty pranks on other girls are all forms of bullying that can cause serious girl drama. Bullying can be serious and especially detrimental to girls and it requires more attention to make the behavior stop immediately.
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