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Untangled by Lisa Damour PhD

My guest today is  Dr. Lisa Damour, a psychologist and director of the internationally renowned Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls. Lisa pulls back the curtain on the teenage years and shows why your daughter’s erratic and confusing behavior is actually healthy, necessary, and natural. Her  book Untangled Guiding Teen Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, an instant New York Times best seller, explains what’s going on, prepares parents for what’s to come, and lets them know when it’s time to worry. I am excited to speak with Lisa today about her book and dive a little deeper in one of the chapters.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why Lisa wrote the book
  • Helping parents and teen girls prepare for the future
  • Teenage development is not a personal affront to parents

Preparing for the future

  • Requirements and concerns have changed over last ten years
  • These changes are not in alignment with normal development
    • Creating stress for parents and teen girls
    • Can create parents to be too involved
  • Many colleges to choose from, so not a crisis unless parents want teen to attend their school or believe only a few good colleges

Power Struggle with homework

  • Allowing teen daughter to receive consequences for her choices in completing assignments or preparing for school tests
  • May need to rule out learning disorder or attention issues
  • Parents have choice of negative outcome or positive outcome depending on what they say or do
  • Lisa shares with parents in giving themselves permission to make these “mistakes” when daughter is in middle school vs waiting until high school
  • Allow your daughter to feel disappointment
    • Teens can struggle with perspective and here is where parents can support her as she moves through this temporary feeling/moment in her life
  • Normal development for your daughter to place autonomy over majority of issues
  • Leverage becomes about removing freedoms/privileges
  • Using her desire for autonomy to help leverage because you can’t “make her” do anything

Tips from Lisa

  • Not taking your daughter’s journey into teenage land as personal
    • Can feel like a breakup” because when she was younger she would laugh at your jokes then around 12 or 13 she no longer thinks your funny
  • Normal development can be challenging and hard
  • If she could rename the book she call it “It’s not about you” because teenage development can seem like a personal affront to parents and its not
  • Parents give yourselves permission to grieve the loss of this change in your relationship with your teen daughter because it is a loss
    • Seek support from friends and colleagues during this stage of life

I hope you enjoyed this episode with Lisa. We only touched on a small portion of her book. Part of the reason I have guests give book recommendations and I review them is I know not everyone has access to mental health services. I also know if your family isn’t needing professional help at this time, then being able to pick up a book, get some ideas on what is working in your family and maybe some areas to change that has research to back it up can be helpful.  This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio.

Lisa’s Information:

Website: www.drlisadamour.com

Book (Affiliate link): Untangled Guiding Teen Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood