Special Developmental Stages of Girls
Ages 9 – 12
Forming an Identity as An Achiever
Ages 13 – 16
Skill Building for Self-Esteem
Reflection topic: Observe how your daughter is showing you through her actions and words that she is grappling with developing her own identity.
Look beyond the tendency to be upset with your daughter’s changes and view them as negative. Too often parents don’t like their girls talking bad about other girls. This is part of contrasting themselves with others and choosing qualities that they want to keep or discard. Rather than saying, “That’s not nice to say”, work on becoming part of the conversation. Check your fear which can create inner dialogue such as, I don’t want a mean daughter, I don’t want her to be a bully. I don’t want her to be without friends.
Learn how to avoid blocking communication with your daughter. Learn how to be an accepting listener so then the two of you can evaluate the friend situation, for example, that is worrying you together. This takes the perspective of being her ally rather than her adversary. You can find many resource articles in my blog section Parenting with Emotional Intelligence.
Dr. Sally Archer states in Interpersonal and Identity Development New Research Directions that in order to achieve an identity a person must:
contrast self with others
sort through identifications
choose those that seem to fit
discard those that don’t
integrate the identification into a unique individual
Women and Men’s Typical Conversation Goals
We all have both capacities.
Reach Consensus Show Superiority
Solve Problems Give
What is your experience about typical conversation goals of men or women? Do you think women are more versatile? Are certain conversation goals more acceptable in different settings? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
©2014 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Certified Parent Educator since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children of all ages. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking and private parenting coaching sessions. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and writes the Middle School Mom column for the Parenting on the Peninsula magazine. She works with parents of 4 – 25 year-old children. Contact Cynthia at bridges2understa.wpstagecoach.com, cynthia@bridges2understanding,com, or 650. 679.8138 to learn more about creating the relationship you want with your children.