Tell someone you’re currently raising a teenage girl and the apologies will come fast and furious. Teenage girls get a bad rap as emotional time bombs with other people assuming parents would rather deal with toddler tantrums than aloof teen girls that are seconds away from becoming unhinged. It’s entirely possible I’m raising a unicorn, but my daughter is not a drama queen, and you couldn’t pay me to raise a toddler again.
Maybe that sounds like a humblebrag, but it’s not. My daughter and I don’t always agree and we can both be emotional nightmares, but we do meet in the middle more often than not. Here’s how we’ve limited the teenage drama in our house so I don’t have to get nostalgic for the years that were entirely adorable but also exhausting.
The pressure to sit at the “cool kids” table
Whether you’re an adult or a teenager, no one wants to be left out, but the key is defining where you want to fit in. One time, a fellow student tried to insult my daughter by telling her the people she hung out with were “weird.” Instead of questioning her choice in friends, she turned to her classmate and said, “Thanks.” My daughter already thinks she’s cool, she doesn’t need it validated by people she doesn’t like. Honestly, I’ve never been more proud of her for knowing exactly who she is and holding firm with an epic clapback.
My parents just don’t understand
We don’t. Which is exactly why my daughter has a therapist. As a family of three, I realized pretty early on that two parents outnumber one child and in most disagreements it could feel like we were ganging up on her. It was also important to me that my daughter have someone without any skin in the game to help her work out issues with her parents.
Braces as a rite of passage
A mouth full of metal makes for an amazing visual for teen movies, but in real life, they hurt, are pretty restrictive, and may break. I considered this when my daughter’s teeth began to shift and her orthodontist recommended we take action. Instead of braces, we decided on Invisalign clear aligners. Invisalign treatment times are now up to 50% faster.* I also learned my daughter was 2x more likely to have higher self-esteem during the process when compared to braces.** All of this was good enough for me to decide against braces.
Zits are ruining my life
I was hoping my daughter would be blessed with her father’s history of clean skin, so of course she wasn’t — instead she got my backne. From middle school until my early 20s, I think I wore a bathing suit enough times to fill one hand of fingers. I felt so embarrassed and grossed out that I never told my own mother, and she never seemed to notice. I soldiered through, hiding my back until I was old enough to do something about it myself. Acne steals your confidence as a teen, and I didn’t want my daughter avoiding tank tops on hot days or swimming with friends. With a dermatologist’s help, her breakouts are under control and her life isn’t ruined — not by zits anyway. She can’t ever say that.
Bathing suits are the worst
The bathing suit section is where body confidence goes to die, and nowhere is this felt more acutely than as a teen girl. When I was a teen, I used to think bathing suits and bikinis were for skinny girls and everyone else had to wear T-shirts over their suits for fear of being mocked. It doesn’t have to be this way, though — every body is a bathing suit body. Whether thin or large, apple or pear-shaped, short or tall, backne or clear skin, every body gets to enjoy the sun, splash around in water, and walk around like a rock star with their toes out, shoulders bare and sunnies dimming the rays. Over the course of my daughter’s life, I’ve worked really hard to be a model of body confidence by not putting myself down or focusing on numbers as a gauge of self-worth. Turns out, my daughter was listening. I’ve never seen her demure at the pool, cover up with a T-shirt, or hesitate to jump in. Years of small conversations went into making this happen, and I’m constantly shocked she was actually paying attention.
*With weekly aligner changes, compared with two-week aligner changes.
**Data on file at Align Technology.
In the hands of an experienced doctor, Invisalign clear aligners can be used to treat simple to complex straightening cases.
This post was sponsored by Invisalign clear aligners, the most advanced clear aligner system designed to transform your teen’s smile and life. No other clear aligner is backed by the data and experience of 4 million cases.