I was talking to a father of a teenage daughter (13) and a teenage son (15) who was having trouble with parenting his daughter. He was finding it difficult reasoning with her, while communication with his son was easy and enjoyable. The tension with his daughter was bringing pain to the parenting relationship and it was also upsetting his wife.
It was apparent that dad had accommodated his son’s change into adolescence because he remembers that he also was once a teenage boy. However he wasn’t ready to change gears for his daughter, as he wanted to protect her by keeping her as a young girl. Understandably she was not responding to being treated as a child, rather than as a maturing adolescent. Tension was the ensuing result of their encounters and both were withdrawing emotionally, much to dad’s heartache.
Parents need to change gears in the manner in which they communicate with their pre-teens & teens when hormones hit. They must transition from being the “benevolent dictator/parent” to becoming their teen’s wise advisor & eventually their trusted friend – not their “policeman” who simply wants to over-protect.