What Not to Do When Raising a Teenage Daughter

What Not to Do When Raising a Teenage Daughter

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As a mom of 6 kids, I have successfully raised a teenage daughter and survived to tell about it.

Raising a teenage daughter was one of the hardest things, so far, that I have had to do as a parent. I will be the first to admit that I am not proud how I handled certain situations with my teenage daughter and I know now that I made plenty of mistakes throughout the years.

I have 3 more little girls that will be teenagers before I know it and I know that there are many moms that are struggling or will be struggling with the crazy moods of a teenage daughter. Even though I don’t claim to be a parenting expert, I would love to share with you What Not to Do When Raising A Teenage Daughter.

Even though I don't claim to be a parenting expert, I would love to share with you What Not to Do When Raising A Teenage Daughter.


I have never met a perfect parent and I have certainly never claimed to be one. Parenting young kids can be hard but parenting teenagers oftentimes makes you question your sanity.

I have raised 3 kids through their teenage years, 2 boys and 1 girl. Even though every child is different, I have made the conclusion that raising a teenage daughter is harder. After my experience, I have come up with a list of What Not to Do When Raising a Teenage Daughter.

  • Argue Like a Teenager: When you and your daughter are having a disagreement it’s important that you talk to your daughter like an adult and not get on their level. You don’t want to sound like a teenager when you are trying to explain to them why you made the decision that you made. I always tell my mom friends to sound professional, make your point, allow 1-2 rebuttals and then close the conversation. Your child may still continue to argue but that’s when you, as a parent, explain to them that the conversation is over and it’s time to move on.
  • Give Them Privacy: This one is important on so many levels. As a parent, I used to hear my daughter tell me to get out of ‘her room’ and to leave ‘her stuff’ alone. What my daughter failed to understand was that her room was located in my house and it was my right to search and seize. To many, this may sound harsh but in reality, your teenager’s room has many stories. Every few months, while my daughter was away, I would spend a Saturday cleaning her room. By cleaning her room, I would discover love notes, notes of frustration aimed at me, one time I discovered an overpowering smell of cigarette smoke in her closet and more. You don’t want to be the parent that ‘had no idea’.
  • Allow Their Social Media to be Unmonitored: This is a big one. When I was raising my teenage daughter, the only form of social media that existed was MySpace. At that time, MySpace was new to me so after I played around with it, I created a fake account and started to stalk my own teenage daughter on MySpace. Sound crazy? Well, I found out the latest parties that she planned on sneaking off to and I found out that she had a fresh tattoo. After I confronted her, she could not figure out how I knew. With all of the social media apps available to young kids, as a parent, you need to know what apps your kids are using and their passwords.
  • Easily Forgive: My daughter was really good at getting out of her punishment early by cleaning the house without being asked or by being very nice. This act of kindness caught me off guard and often times I blindly let her off of punishment. By not sticking with the original punishment that I gave her, she was not learning consequences.
  • Don’t Listen: Being a teenager is hard. They are hormonal, their body is changing, they are having to deal with peer pressure, along with pressure at home, so when they talk, LISTEN! Don’t interrupt them, don’t make them feel stupid, don’t ask them too many questions and sit back and relish that your daughter has chosen to talk to you.
  • Panic: When your daughter comes out of their room with thick black eyeliner or they are dressed in all black, or when they ask you if they can get a belly button piercing, don’t panic. If this or something similar happens, stop, breath, remain calm and don’t panic. From my experience, your daughter is looking for a reaction.
  • Believe Them: Every child has that friend that you as a parent would like to clone because they are so awesome. You get excited and look forward to when your daughter wants to hang out with them because you feel like a little bit of them will rub off on your daughter. One very hard lesson that I learned while my daughter was hanging out with the friend that I admired was that she wasn’t really with her friend. She oftentimes, would pretend to be at her friend’s house and instead be somewhere she knew she wasn’t allowed to be. The huge lesson that I learned was to always call the parents and confirm that my daughter was expected and that adults would be present. It’s funny because as soon as my daughter realized that I was about to call her friend’s parents, her plans would suddenly change.
  • Neglect Them: Often times teenagers will act distant, hide in their room, barely look up from their phone and will barely speak to you. It’s important that you as a parent get in their face, hug them, kiss them, tell them that you love them, and hang on to them tight when they try to pull away! Leave them secret mommy/ daughter love notes and let them know that you are there for them and that they are your heart and soul.

5 Lessons I Learned From My Mother

If you are a parent of a teenage daughter or soon will be or if you know someone that is a parent of a teenage daughter, please pin this post for later and share it. Do you have any tips that you can share to help parents survive their daughter’s teenage years?

What Not to Do When Raising a Teenage Daughter

Parenting is hard. Even though I don't claim to be a parenting expert, I would love to share with you What Not to Do When Raising A Teenage Daughter.


  1. As a teenager myself, I feel sorry for any parent that needs to treat their daughter like a prisoner. My mom cares about me, and if she has concerns she will talk to me about it. However, she trusts me and has enough respect to allow me to live my life instead of living it for me. I understand that there are teenagers who are harming themselves or others and this form of parenting is necessary, but please stop stereotyping teenage girls and understand that most of us are not horrible people who need to be treated like criminals.

    • My mum has social media on her phone logged in with my accounts so she can see what I’m doing. I’m fine with this but if ur gonna do this to ur kids let them teach u how to use it so u don’t accidentally post something or like something

    • I completely agree… At first I forgot that it was a what NOT to do and I found myself agreeing to most things like privacy and private social media… I am a teenager myself and while it probably is good to FOLLOW us don’t stalk us, give us some leniency and if we get out of punishments that you set that is partly your fault because we often feel super guilty about what we did and want to make it up to you… Sure getting out of punishments is nice but that’s not usually our main objective.

  2. Marnie Schember says

    Thank you for sharing. I have a 14 year old son and 10 year old twin girls. I think we as parents, that grew up in a dysfunctional home, try and break that mold. I was really able to relate to this entire post. I am in the middle of a divorce right now and have been a stay at home mom for the last 14 years. So, I can use all the advice I can find😊

  3. Best regards to you and your family. You know what you are talking about!!! I did room searches but didn’t follow on social media and interrupted instead of listening. I did not argue like a teenager,gave lots of love notes, hugs, encouraging words and was with her as much as possible while working full time. Was far far from perfect but struggled to be present in every painful moment. Forgave too easily, was manipulated by guilty feelings and inadequate notions. She ended up addicted to Heroine and almost died twice.
    I wish I saw this post in 2013 because it’s the only one I have seen that makes logical sense.
    By the grace of God I am glad to say my daughter is now 23 and alive and well. Only God can bring a person back from drug addiction,but we as parents are responsible for keeping them safe during a very high risk time of their lives. Ask yourselves…would you let your 2-year-old toddler play on a busy freeway?
    Don’t panic,just be good to your selves and to your growing children.

    • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

      I am very sorry to hear that your family had to experience this. It is never easy. It sounds like you tried and no parent is perfect and no one can predict or prevent things like this. So happy that she has survived! I pray for continuing recovery for all.

  4. I don’t agree with going through your daughters room and stalking her. That’s all I read so far. I have a teen and I trust her until she breaks my trust. She knows I have that rule. She has even made the comment she would not mind if I cleaned her room and I have. I think searching her room and stalking her on social media breaks the trust and bond. She is a teen not a prisoner. Just my thoughts. I think if you would trust her she could open up to you and confide in you.

    • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

      It’s not stalking… you could potentially save her life. You just never know.

    • It is your responsibility as a parent to monitor her online activity and all social media. This not a trust issue it is a safety issue. You don’t need to comb through every conversation but be aware of pages she visits, who she follows and who she is followed by, and groups in general that she interacts with. I have a 13 year old that I nearly lost to suicide and self harm thanks greatly to her research (she knew a teen who did this), and strangers influencing her who gave her ideas on what to use and how to use items of self destruction. I was present and daily showered with love so it was a shock to me when she had to be hospitalized for self harm and suicidal ideation. She had learnt all the tricks of hiding and …. Well, I want to make you aware of this because I wish I was.

  5. To all of you with negative comments I wish nothing more then a teenage girl on you! Shame this is a mother that is trying to help. So what if you don’t agree. We as a society need to be nicer. Makes me wonder about the future.

  6. So basically don’t trust your teenager at all? Strong relationships are built on a foundation of trust. This seems like actually the cause of your daughter’s rebellion – your lack of faith in her. I bet if she had gotten into a bad situation somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be, she felt trapped and like she couldn’t call you for help because you would overreact to her being there in the first place.

    • Everyone and their kids are different. This speaks to many people that have teenage daughters that have a more withdrawn personality from their parents. This is pretty much on point with our own daughter, and she has no issues with coming to us with anything major going on. She knows we can take care of her and the problem. But, she does also attempt to hide some things with some of her less that upstanding friends.

  7. Uh I’m a teenager NO we don’t want you in our room you make us feel uncomfortable and weird. NO PLEASE GIVE US PRIVACY YOU EMBARRASS US AND WE JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE OR WITH OUR THOUGHTS. Don’t be all lovey dove with us we hate it. Please listen to this. Well, I hate it.

    • This certainly isn’t something where I would think the writer intends to never leave a teenager alone for a minute. But in many cases, and by your previous comments, teenagers certainly need attention, love, and for them to know their parents do or will find out what is going on in their life. This is not to micromanage a teenager, but to really know their kid.

      P.S. Punctuation please.

  8. Well I’m a single dad and have had custody since she was 9 months old. And I was never married to her mom and better than that she doesn’t have 2 right to her and my daughter is 15 almost 16. I never brought girls over only late so she would not think that was that’s how life is. So here’s my BIG PROBLEM I live in ga and they have a law at 15 they can choose what parent to live with saying that her mom has never been in her life until this last year and I know she misses that mom daughter thing that she never got she has gone over there and now barely making 40,s in all classes from the time she’s always been with me and was straight A,s and all honer classes in 7 months. This has devastated me and she has came and saw me 2 times and never calls me if I did not call every day I would never talk to her her mom has no rights at all and owes 48.000.00 and child support will do nothing and the law trumps me I can’t just go grab her or I get in trouble but she’s is messing up and I can’t stop it. Any suggestions please?

    • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

      Document, document, document.. and let it ride. She will figure it out when she’s older. If you over correct her and lecture her, you will be her enemy. This is a tough situation. I’ve lived it!

  9. indiechick says

    i couldn’t disagree with this more. i belive in having a good relationship with your child based on trust. this can only happen if you accept that all teenagers are struggling with identity and relationships and what the actually point of life is. this is enough to drive anyone crazy. teenagers wil rebel. it’s only natural. and by being so strict that they can’t rebel is only more destructive then good in the long term. you should have to relationship where they can tell you anything which only works if you let them do whatever they want. you also have to trust them and give them independence or else they will despise you. all they want it independence and to be treated maturely.

  10. I was a teenager who pulled the wool over my parents eyes and I’m lucky I got pregnant at 19 to give birth at 20 or I’d probably be dead. Of 4 kids, I’m the only high school graduate who also graduated with high honors. Who also had both of my children with the same man, who in the end, put his hands on me. I left with a 1 and 2yr old and never looked back. He has been in and out of prison pretty much since I left and is a meth addict.
    I remarried and he adopted my girls. I have a18 year old and a 16 year old daughter, and this is exactly how I raise them. If you actually read the article it’s not about complete control. My oldest doesn’t really need the strict monitoring, but she does live in my house and knows I will search. I recently found marijuana and 3 bowls in her room. I didn’t freak, I locked them up in my safe and waited until we had to have a talk because she smelled like cigarettes and dad found cigarettes in her car, that we got for her. There was no punishment, just you will not, while your under my roof, driving my car. See my girls and I have a good relationship, they can talk to me about anything.
    My youngest needs the relationship this article outlines. My husband is the panicking parent a he sees himself in her, self destructive. This panicing and knit picking has caused sneeking, lying, binge drinking to the point of poisoning, thank God the cops busted that party. In clean sweeps I have uncovered bottles of vodka, empty containers, pot, pipes, clothes I’d never let her wear. She’s not a bad kid, she was being bullied, she needed to be heard, she needed to not be judged, or compared, she needed dad to lay off and only have quality time. With the parenting in the article, mom parenting, She’s back on track, getting good grades, a varsity cheerleader, getting ready for her softball season (her and dad’s bonding time). She grounds herself from her friends who party, which leaves her home a lot. But, I got my girl back, I was able to let her get her license after she proved life was worth living sober.
    I’d like to add my girls are always on the damn cell phones, so I send them a selfie of what I’m doing and they always send one back, proof of their company and what they are up to. Also, I’ve done so good, I have a 18 and almost 17 yr old virgin. Because yes, we do have a wonderful relationship, they come to me with almost everything, if not to me, to eachother. They know I’ve been there, I’ll give them the tools they need to get through anything. Good luck and don’t jugde, it will bite you in the ass.

  11. Hmm, perhaps you and your daughter needed this kind of relationship. I don’t know. All I can say is that if I were the teenager, many of these hints might lead me to be in reaction and rebellion mode as opposed to practicing being responsible for my own choices. Maybe we start with tight reins on our children and preteens, and then loosen or tighten according to the teenager’s behavior. Maybe your hints are useful when reins must be tight. I have a young daughter, so I have no experience raising teen daughters, but I thank you for opening conversations.

  12. Did you read this? DId you actually read it?

  13. As a teen myself..I have to say this is terrible advice..
    Not all of us want piersings and are disrespectful.. Like I just want to have a conversation with my parents were they say there proud of my hard work and not disappointed in that one time I did not give 100% or made 1 bad choice .. And shit with respect…people make a picture in our parents brains of respect and I can tell you its not true.. Respect is listening to each others opinions..and if you don’t agree then just explain why… We’re still learning..and it would help if you tell us why you said no..instead of saying “because I said so” …We love you parents..A lot..and we appreciate you..but all we ask is for you to believe in us..and LISTEN… And show us you love us please..

    Thank you for taking the time to read this
    Lots of love

  14. In my personal opinion, it’s just advive. All children are different. It might work on some and it might not work at all on others. It doesn’t mean she’s wrong. I’m a daughter and believe me my growing up was not easy. But I didn’t use that as an excuse to be angry at my mother. Instead, I worked and studied hard to become a professional. There are different ways to raise a daughter. The truth is we have to be very protective and alert to their surroundings and whereabouts. So stop looking for flaws and appreciate that at least someone is willing to give advice of issues that may or not be your situation. Nobody is perfect.

  15. These are good simple rules to stick to. The most important thing is to nip bad actions the minute they start. I am 67-years old. Too many parents from my generation thought being their children’s friends was more important than being their parent. Always remember: You are the parent. You aren’t perfect. You know more about life than your children. Your children won’t always like you. Do your best. Always do what you think is right.

  16. This is good advice. I have a step daughter who is going to be 20 soon, and I wish we had had these tips years ago. We basically let her do almost anything she wanted and now she’s a drug addict, sex addict, and constantly in and out of jail. So please tell me how this is bad advice. Of we had simply kept better tabs on her social media maybe she wouldn’t have turned out this way. We listened to all these parents saying that they need to be able to breath and do their own thing and not to hover over them. I won’t make the same mistake again. I have a 16 yr old son and I’ll be darned if he follows in his sister’s footsteps. Instead of putting the author down, why not be the Parent. Your in charge, not the child. Your not supposed to be their friend, your supposed to protect them and nurture them. And guide them to become good productive members of society.

  17. I love your advice and think being a PARENT is much more important then being a friend. I think some people are reading your words wrong and I see exactly where you are coming from. I have learned the hard way that teenagers may be up to a lot more then we think!!

  18. oh my goodness this is terrible advice. Basically you’re telling us assume our teenagers are unpredictable, disrespectful, untrustworthy, delinquent, and out to get us…..and treat them as such.

    I find this type of parenting to be very disrespectful and detrimental to a mother-daughter relationship. I’m not saying throw all caution to the wind, but at the very least give them a chance and trust their judgment. teenagers aren’t always the idiots you’re picturing them to be.

  19. This is awful. My mother treated me like this as a teenager and our relationship still suffers for it. I was completely isolated and friendless throughout high school because I was unable to spend time with peers without constant and humiliating monitoring that no reasonable teenager was interested in subjecting themselves to. I was refused a lock on my door which ultimately led to a sexual assault by a “family friend” staying overnight who I couldn’t deter from entering my room. She rummaged through my things to read diaries, which I no longer keep, despite their therapeutic effect, because I couldn’t trust that they wouldn’t be used against me. I hope for the sake of your other children you reconsider the harmful lack of consideration for your daughter’s autonomy. She should have the freedom to express herself via cathartic notes or to have personal relationships in which you aren’t a third wheel/observer. The only thing you are accomplishing here is pushing your daughter away. You won’t get to snoop through her personal effects when she leaves for college and by then you’ll have set the stage for a relationship where she shares nothing with you because you’ve been too busy trying to catch her in a lie to listen to what she’s actually saying. At the very least, please don’t encourage others to foster this kind of toxic dynamic with their own children.

    • Danielle S says

      Right on Laurie! We don’t raise youth that turn into reasonable and responsible adults by not allowing them to practice some of those responsibilities. We also treat them with respect….some of these suggestions are things I wouldn’t inflict on my even younger daughter. She talks to me openly and honestly about a variety of things as does my grown son. My goal is to raise a person that can think for themselves and make the right choice…if parents don’t allow children the chance to do this and foster a postitive relationship based on respect it won’t happen. Believe me, you can’t fix that relationship later.

      • aimeefauci@gmail.com says

        Did you take the time to read this? I have this strong feeling that you didn’t. No disrespect but if you read a lot of the bullet points you will find we actually agree. Your comment is interesting to me.

    • Laurie I couldn’t agree more. A lot of the advice in this article is very harmful.

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