Michelle Mitchell
Parenting Teenage Girls in the Age of a New Normal
Ark House Press, Mona Vale, NSW, Australia, 2017
ISBN-13: 978-0648084525

Parenting Teenage Girls

 

"Focused on teenage girls, Parenting Teenage Girls in the Age of a New Normal is a helpful guide to aid parents (particularly mothers) as they negotiate these, at times tough, but vitally important, formative years."

Raising teenaged children be a confusing and difficult time for parents, not to mention one of loss as your child moves from being completely dependent (or relatively so) to starting to find their own identity and forge their own way in life.

Focused on teenage girls, Parenting Teenage Girls in the Age of a New Normal is a helpful guide to aid parents (particularly mothers) as they negotiate these, at times tough, but vitally important, formative years.

Author (and mother of two) Michelle Mitchell has divided the book into five sections covering ‘Disrepect’, ‘Social Media’, “Sexuality’, ‘Moods’ and ‘Drugs and Alcohol’ and for each one provides eight practical strategies to help address issues which may surface.

These include everything from how to speak to your teenage daughter (not yelling but “soft and close”) to putting limits on the use of social media (one strategy involves buying a tool box to lock up smart phones at night) and a detailed guide on how to respond if self-harm is an issue.

It’s a detailed look inside the mind of a teenage girl in the digital age and while it might not have all the answers, it certainly provides a starting point for many of the issues parents might encounter. And it's not a lot of do's and don't's but framed more as a sharing of ideas.

Brisbane-based Mitchell has the cred to back her suggested strategies – a former teacher, she founded Youth Excel, a charity which aims to help young people make the right choices and has become a well-regarded expert in her field.

Her book is sure to be an asset to any parent looking for some help in raising girls - it's the sort you might sit on the shelf and dip into now and again. And if you don’t think you do need any assistance, then a glance at the ‘Snapshot’ pages Mitchell has included in the book - showing data on everything from the percentage of teenagers who have experienced some form of sexual activity (69 per cent) to the number of texts the average teenage girls send a month (4,050) – may change your mind.