While it takes two people to make a baby, these two baby-creators don't necessarily both take part in the rearing of the child. Though a classic family unit with a mom and dad may be the ideal set up for child rearing in the eyes of many, often parents must face the challenges of parenting solo. If you have survived the early years and your daughter is now a teenager, you may feel that the hard work is out of the way. Such is not the case, many parents of teens would argue. Teens bring with them unique challenges. Before your teen daughter catches you off guard, equip yourself with the know-how necessary to successfully raise her up to adulthood, all on your own.
Set and Maintain Limits
Teenagers are often too eager to exert their burgeoning adulthood, leaving them bucking against your rules and trying to usurp your authority. Instead of relinquishing your control too early, keep reasonably tight reins on your teen girl. Don’t allow her to pressure you to eliminate the rules she has so long followed. These rules will keep her safe and reduce the likelihood that she makes life-altering mistakes as she takes her first tentative steps into adulthood. Particularly when you are a single parent, it can be tempting to become more lax as you are so busy with other things and, as a result, struggling to enforce rules. Don’t allow your hectic, single-parent lifestyle to leave you letting up on the rules warns MayoClinic.com. If you do, you may regret the choice.
Know Her Friends
As your daughter moves into her teen years, her friends will have more and more control over her life. Dedicating some energy to getting to know these chums is a worthwhile effort, suggests the Centers for Disease Control. While you don’t want to follow your daughter around and hide in the bushes to spy on her and her schoolmates, you should talk to her friends with regularity and try to get a sense of who they are and what they value. If you can, encourage your teen daughter to build up relationships with friends who have healthy habits and cut off ties with those who are all-about engaging in risky behaviors.
Develop a Tough Skin
Teen girls can be quite mean, even to those they love. Prepare yourself to be on the receiving end of some mean comments as your teen daughter navigates the choppy sea of adolescence. As a single parent, you will likely receive more than your fair share of backtalk as there is no other parental unit to absorb approximately half of the sass your teen girl will dispense. Don’t allow these comments to hurt your feelings, suggests Evelyn Resh for Oprah.com. Instead, continually remind yourself that your teen girl’s hormones are going haywire and that she does love you, despite verbal evidence to the contrary.
Reach Out For Help
If you find raising your teen daughter all alone a challenge, you aren’t a failure -- you are human. Instead of suffering in silence, reach out to others. Call on friends and family members, particularly those who have raised teen girls as they have been through the gauntlet and come out on the other side. If you don’t have any existing friends or family members to turn to for help, join a local chapter of Parents Without Partners, suggests Amanda Morin for Education.com. This group is full of people who are experiencing the same ups and downs of single parenthood as you and, as such, can likely offer you advice or, at the least, empathize.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images