Skin Care Tips for Dads and Daughters

As the father of a young girl, one of these days—if you’re lucky—your daughter will come home one day worried about the size of her freckles or a mole on her forehead. No, I don’t mean you’d be lucky if your daughter had a skin issue; if your daughter wants to talk with you about her skin (or any other aspect of how she looks), you be on the receiving end of the biggest compliment you might ever get).

Because the skin is one of the first places we see minor blemishes, it’s often the source of major concern—and panic. Here’s some information on common skin conditions that might have your daughter running to you for advice, along with some tips on what to tell her. .
[Read more...]

How to Understand and Relate to Your Teenage Daughter

understanding your teenage daughter

understanding your teenage daughter

Raising girls is no easy feat, especially when that girl hits her teen years. That doe-eyed, daddy-adoring preteen who would talk your ear off and bat her eyes to get an extra scoop of ice cream is now filled with complicated emotions, and she may lash out and challenge your authority. No matter how much she pushes you away, teen girls need their parents to supervise (from a distance), support and most importantly, talk to them as they face these new challenges of growing up. The best way to get through the emotional teenage years is to understand what’s important to her and figure out how to relate.

Let Her Assert Her Independence

She is certain to test the limits and boundaries from time to time, but research tells us that teens do best when they are allowed to have and express their own points of view, even if they differ from yours. Just keep the lines of communication open and stay closely connected to her world, so you can help her navigate the path to discovering who she is. Allow her to decide such things as:

  • When and how to change her hairstyle
  • What she will wear (within reason)
  • When to do homework
  • How to decorate and organize her room and personal space
  • Whom to invite to parties
  • How to spend her allowance

Respect Her Privacy

No snooping. As she gets older, her personal space and belongings become more important to her and if she feels intruded on, she will feel the need to hide things and become closed off. Instead, let her know she can trust you to respect her privacy, as long as she has and continues to earn that respect.

Understand That Social Standing Matters

Things like style, popularity and image may not matter to you, but they are top of mind for your daughter and her peers. Don’t minimize what is important to her by dismissing her concerns about these things. You don’t have to get her the latest fashions on demand—that’s what an allowance is for, right?—but listen to her and help her find an appropriate resolution.

For example, if your daughter complains that her best friend is not talking to her and she has no friends, telling her to simply find new friends probably won’t help. It’s unlikely to be a viable solution and can leave her feeling like you don’t understand or can’t relate. Instead, encourage her to give you the details of what caused the riff and identify a solution to reconnect with the friend and get back on common ground. However, If the situation becomes worrisome, voice your concerns in a serious but nonjudgmental manner and discuss the serious nature of bullying, so you can identify next steps if it is truly a harmful situation.

Give Her the Right Tools to Be Successful

There are a few rites of passage that she needs your help reaching, no matter how much she acts like she doesn’t. Help her succeed by providing her with the right tools, and then give her the freedom to use them. For example, when it comes time for her to learn how to drive, help her study for her permit, enroll her in driver’s ed or teach her yourself. And when she’s applying to colleges, offer to proofread her essay and tour prospective schools with her. You can help her choose which college to go to, but then remember: The ultimate choice should be hers.

Mothers Who Can’t Love

[amazon asin=0062204343&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Susan Forward, author of Mothers Who Can’t Love.
Topic:
A healing guide for daughters
Issues: The old cliche says that women marry their fathers–turns out, they marry their mothers; five types of mothers who can’t love: (severely narcissistic, overly enmeshed, control freak, mothers who need mothering, mothers who betray and neglect); recognizing the links between past and present–and how to make lasting changes.

Dads Raising Daughters

[amazon asin=1440545456&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Brian Klems, author of Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl.
Topic:
A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters.
Issues: Learning to love pink, tea parties, and painted nails; thinking ahead to her first crush, dating, marriage; why having daughters is the best.

Girls, Girls Everywhere and Not a Boy in Sight

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have twin daughters, and are now expecting our third child–another daughter. I feel terrible about thinking this way, but when we found out the new arrival was going to be another girl, I was disappointed. It’s as though having a third daughter reduces my value as a man (I’m quite sure my in-laws, who were hoping for a boy this time ’round too, feel exactly the same way). This probably makes me sound like a terrible person, but I was really hoping for a jock. Is there anything I can do to move past this internal struggle?

A: The first thing you need to do is stop torturing yourself. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows that fathers of girls are any less masculine than fathers of boys (and I say that as a Marine Corps veteran with three daughters). Although most parents wouldn’t admit it in public, there’s a ton of research that shows that a majority of dads—and moms—do have a preference. And that preference is usually for a boy. Men often hope for boys because they aren’t quite sure what to do with girls. And women often hope for boys because they want their husband to be happy. After the first child, though, most parents say they want the next one to be the other sex. So you’re not alone.

[Read more...]

Could Child Abuse Cause Cancer?

There’s no question that for many children, being abused increases their risk of anxiety, depression, academic and behavioral problems, and other mental health issues. But a researcher at Purdue University (in Indiana) just found an unexpected link between child abuse and cancer. Kenneth Ferraro, a sociologist at Purdue’s Center on Aging and the Life Course, and his colleagues found that frequent abuse by a parent increased a child’s risk of developing cancer as an adult.
[Read more...]