Silent Love…

Silent love…. That feels so much like my dad…

My dad was not mute  – he simply hardly ever talked. I mean, hardly ever talked about things that really mattered. May be, it was only with me. Probably, it was only because of my gender. No, he did not mind my gender. I suspect he simply did not know how to talk to me, because I was of a different gender. All the gender-based stereotypes did not make it easier for him either.

He probably thought (or was told) that women knew better how to bring up daughters, that women knew better what makes girls happy – after all, they are the same gender, they are from the same planet Venus. I wondered about that sometimes. We seemed to be from very different planets with my mum. In fact, at times it felt like we were from completely different galaxies.

Mother and teenage daughterFrom http://www.sheknows.com/

Interestingly enough, it seemed to be obvious to everyone else that I was a true daddy’s daughter from the moment I was born into this world. I looked like him, I saw the world like him, I was quiet like him. Even my hot temper and tendency to over-react or get over-agitated over minor things, I bet,  came from him, as well as my rebellious free-thinking mind.

Daddy-and-DaughterFrom http://www.changeyourthoughts.com.au

 I also never behaved like a ‘typical’ girl. Things that mattered to other girls, like pretty dolls and fancy dresses, were hardly ever touched in my room. Shopping, cooking and girlish chats never interested me either.

In fact, all females in my family were puzzled and not sure what to do with me. My nanna’s announcement on my 30th birthday expressed that frustration so well: “Eureka. Finally I got it – you are simply not a girl. We thought you’ll eventually turn into one once you settle with a family and children. Alas, it only made you worse…”

I could not stop laughing: it took 30 years for the nurture to finally give up on changing my nature…

Агния Барто, Павел Барто - Девочка чумазаяFrom http://www.livelib.ru

Though my dad hardly ever talked, I could always feel a very strong invisible bond between us. Looking back I can clearly see now how much he was trying to do for me, quietly, silently, behind the scene, like a true guardian angel. I can clearly see now, how much he influenced me as a person,  shaping my nature without forcing me into a stereotypical mold. I can clearly see now how we was trying to give me choices in life – choices to ensure I’ll be happy. I can clearly feel his silent love…

From http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

THE END

Lemon Beauty

Anger2
From http://www.zdorovieinfo.ru

“Do you have any lemons?” asked Victoria reading one of the popular women’s magazines.

“Lemons? In the middle of Russian winter? What do you need lemons for?” I wondered.

“Not me, but you. You always were more adventurous. Let’s trial this on you first.”

“Me? Trial what?”

“The best beautifying detox treatment”

“Beautifying you say? Then you need milk not lemons.”

“Why milk?”

“Don’t you remember – Cleopatra used to beautify herself by bathing in milk. I wonder what my folks will think if they spot me in a bathtub full of milk,” I giggled.

From http://www.care2.com

“No, no. Milk is out of fashion now. Besides, how are you going to get so much milk to your bathtub, without even mentioning the cost? Lemons are the way to go now … and apple vinegar,” said Victoria with authority in her voice.

“So are you expecting me to bathe in a bathtub full of apple vinegar juggling lemons?” I laughed.

“No, no. You don’t need a bathtub at all – you can stay in bed watching TV.”

“That sounds better. What about lemons and vinegar?”

“It is very simple – we’ll get you wrapped in a sheet soaked in vinegar, then will cover you with lots of warm blankets. You’ll need to stay like that for a few hours drinking a cup of hot lemon drink every ten minutes. I’ll get the drinks ready for you.”

“You must be joking! Where did you get these crazy ideas from?” I laughed.

“Not crazy at all. Look at this article – all Hollywood stars are doing that.”

“They must be growing lots of lemons in Hollywood then!”

“Come on. You try that first and then I’ll have a go,” said Victoria.

From http://janasjournal.com

I completely forgot about this conversation, when Victoria came to my place with a bag of lemons.

“Look, I’ve spent all my monthly income on these lemons. You surely can’t say no to such sacrifice. No one else is at home – perfect timing. You go first. Where do you have spare sheets?”

“That’s not my cup of tea, Victoria,” I tried to object.

“What tea? You won’t be getting any tea – only lemon drinks. Come on, it won’t take long – only a few hours.”

Ignoring my objections, Victoria pulled out an old sheet and soaked it in apple vinegar. Five minutes later I was all naked, wrapped in the stinky wet sheet, trying to warm up under a pile of blankets. Victoria turned the TV on.

“Enjoy while I get the first lemon drink ready,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

“Enjoy! Do you really think it is enjoyable to be wrapped in that stinky sheet?” I shouted to her.

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” responded Victoria with authority in her voice, bringing me the first cup of hot lemon drink.

From http://www.coconutmagic.com

Lemon drink was nice and it did help me to warm up a bit. The second drink was OK. After the third cup I had enough.

“Look, I had enough of these lemon drinks.”

“Beauty requires sacrifices,” repeated Victoria. “Still 10 more cups to go”.

“Ten more cups!!!”

“Yep, wait here, I’ll make another cup of lemon drink,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

After three more cups I could not tolerate this any longer.

“Victoria, I can’t drink it anymore. I’m bursting.”

“Hm, that’s a bit of a problem. This article does not say anything about that. You’ve done one hour only. You need to wait for another hour. Beauty requires sacrifices,” she said disappearing in the kitchen.

девушка с лимономFrom http://krasotavnytri.ru

After three more cups I could not wait any longer. As soon as Victoria disappeared in the kitchen to make another cup of lemon drink, I jumped out of bed and, still wrapped in the wet sheet, rushed into the hall to get to the toilet.

To my horror, right at that moment the front door flew open and my brother came in with all his mates from engineering Uni. Without a word, I dashed past them into the bathroom and locked the door. A few minutes later the whole flat burst with roaring laughter: the lads discovered the copy of the women’s magazine with that ‘beautifying’ article….


From http://heavenonearthindia.wordpress.com

That night dad joined us for dinner.

“You look particularly beautiful tonight,” he said to me with a wink, “Would you like another lemon?” he asked, taking a lemon out of his pocket…

I could not stand lemons for the rest of the year and women’s magazines – for the rest of my life after that day.

From http://pikabu.ru

THE END

The Scare of Giggle Monsters

From a special report about giggling girls,
written by an adult man.
😉

From http://jdstonetalks.wordpress.com

“It starts innocently enough: a chortle here, a guffaw there. We’ve all had a chuckle or two in our lives, resulting from biological and social pressures that most of us outgrow, or at least learn to suppress. However, an increasing number of adults are coming forward to express their concerns about a dangerous trend that appears to be infiltrating the lives of teenage girls across the nation—fits of giggles that, in the eyes of this reporter, are no laughing matter.

cakelaughmix.jpg
From http://knowyourmeme.com

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes just last week at the movies. A pack of teenage girls sat behind me, remaining quiet through the previews and the first four or five minutes of the film—until someone on screen told a joke, and they broke out in laughter. Laughter! At a film! I was appalled, so I gave them a look, but they continued to laugh at every joke in the film. It was like they thought they had the right to have fun. In public!


From http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com

Apparently, the movies aren’t the only place where teenage girls have been laughing up a storm. The giggle fits have infiltrated our malls, our restaurants, our amusement parks, and even our schools, where they’re hidden from teachers on their cell phones through the usage of clever, adult-proof textual codes like “LOL” (an acronym that means “laughing out loud”).


From http://www.travelingschool.com/

Teenage girls are laughing with alarming frequency, and experts aren’t quite sure how to pinpoint the cause—or the cure for—their happiness.

From No Laughing Matter: What is happening to our teenage girls

Are you scared of giggle monsters?

😉

THE END

Patriarchy with a beaming smile

Russia, 1990s

хохотушка
From http://www.photosight.ru

When it comes to patriarchy, Victoria was a real guru.

“I fully support patriarchy,” she used to say. “Alex can make all the decisions as long as he is implementing them while I’m enjoying my book.”

Victoria loved reading. She had books everywhere in her flat, even in the toilet.

 ***
From http://www.photosight.ru

This definition was complemented with a very sophisticated framework of all the DOs and DON’Ts of respectable girls under ‘patriarchy’.

“What do you mean you need to go because Ivan is waiting for you? He can wait. Respectable girls DO NOT come on time – never ever,” she would say with a tone of authority in her voice.

From http://romanvinilov.ru

Victoria was not only always late. She also kept forgetting her stuff and then was frantically phoning Alex with her usual pleas: “Alex, Alex, can you please go to my flat and get that book, you know, that red one. It is on my desk, somewhere in a big pile of books. Not the red one with psychology stuff – the red one with the genetics lecture notes. It has a DNA on the cover.  Whose DNA? I don’t know whose. I mean a picture of DNA that looks like a twisted ladder…. And yes, yes, I do promise to activate my ‘memory gene’ next time. …Please, please, get this book to my uni ASAP… ”

From https://weirderthanyouthink.wordpress.com

An hour later Alex would magically appear at our university with forgotten books, pens, pencils, lunches, hats, scarfs, gloves and other very important items required ASAP. Not surprisingly, Alex became a “permanent feature” at our Uni. Everyone thought that he was studying with us.

Even in her own flat Victoria could never find her own stuff. “Alex, Alex, where are my skis and my boots?” was the first thing we heard when we got to her place to pick her up to go skiing. “I also need warm woolen socks. Remember, my red ones with blue stripes. I was wearing them when we went skiing last year. And my hat – no, not that green one. The blue one with a yellow pompon…”

Somehow Alex always managed to magically retrieve required items, even though it was not his flat and it was not his stuff.

From http://clairewentthere.com/

“Now, Alex and Ivan – you can go outside to get the car ready. We’ll come down in a second.”

Twenty minutes later Victoria was still at home, applying her makeup or brushing her hair.

“Victoria, come on. We need to go. The lads already look like icicles. It is 15 degrees below zero outside,” I said, peeking out of the window.

“Respectable ladies always DO get lads to wait longer,” she gave me a wink. “Just wait and see…”


Darling, I’m on my way… – still waiting…

Right at that moment the door flew open. Angry Alex rushed in, picked Victoria up and carried her to the car while she was pulling silly faces over his shoulder giggling all the way.

“You see,” she whispered in the car with a giggle. “I was carried the whole way to the car, while you were left walking downstairs. Learn the magic of DOs and DON’Ts, ” she gave me a wink.

From http://www.liveinternet.ru

“Poor Alex,” I chuckled. “I wonder how long he’ll be able to tolerate your ‘patriarchy’ ”.

“That’s not my problem. He was the first who started it,” was Victoria’s reply.

We all knew how it all started. Alex and Victoria were living in the same apartment block and were studying at the same school. One day at school Alex dared to pull Victoria’s ponytail – that’s how it all started.

At first, displeased Victoria enrolled into Aikido classes to defend her ponytail. Not sure whether it helped to protect the ponytail, but a few months later Aikido was banned by Victoria’s parents as her school marks started steadily sliding down.

Aikido-less Victoria quickly resorted to her unbeatable weapon – a beaming smile.  And it has worked incredibly well. Not only Victoria’s ponytail was left in peace. She also did not need to carry her bag to school and back home ever since – her bag kept Alex’s hands away from her ponytail I guess.

Boy pulls girl's hair
From http://lwgsummerland.wordpress.com

Only once we saw this beaming smile fade on Victoria’s face.

“He is gone to see his first love,” she said, bursting into tears.

“What first love?” we could not help it and burst into laughter, “The one that was sitting next to him on a potty at a creche? Don’t think he’ll be able to get away from your ‘patriarchy’ that easily…”

Sure enough, the next day the beaming smile was back on Victoria’s face and we have not heard of that first ‘potty love’ ever since.

From http://www.parenting.com

After graduation, Victoria and Alex got married and a year later they had a beautiful little girl – a spitting image of Alex with Victoria’s beaming smile. Seven years later I gave them a ring.

“I have a bride in making for your lads,” giggled Victoria.

“I bet all complete with your ‘patriarchy’ and all the DOs and DON’Ts”, I chuckled.

“Trust me she did not need much help from me with that. It must be in her blood. She is a real little princess – even in this tender age. Totally spoilt by Alex.”

“And where is Alex?”

“He is renovating our flat.”

“Victoria, come and help me, please,” I heard Alex calling in the background.

“OK, Victoria, it looks like you need to go. Alex is waiting for you. I’ll call you again later.”

“Wait, respectable ladies never respond to the first call.”

“Lena, Lena,” I heard Victoria calling to her daughter, “Can you please take this lolly to daddy, give him a big hug and read him a fairy tale.”

“That will keep Alex busy for the next 15 minutes while we are having a chat,” giggled Victoria. I bet she also gave me a wink…

From VKontakte.ru

Related posts: 

THE END

Private Mousen

( Ukraine, 1980s )

Boys
Photo by Shrike

I always loved my summer holidays in a small coal-mining town in Ukraine. I stayed there with my Ukrainian relatives living in a flat on the top floor of a three-story building with a big fenced yard. There were always lots of kids playing in the yard.

Unfortunately (or, may be, fortunately) there was no girls of my age there – only boys, but we managed to get on quite well, playing war games and chasing each other.

They called me Private Mousen, as I always was as quiet as a mouse. There was no other ‘privates’ in our battalion – only half a dozen of generals and a few spies.

Boys3
From Photosight.ru

I did not need to wait long for my first assignment. One morning the spies disappeared in our kitchen. Soon they came back and whispered something to the generals.

“Hey, Private Mousen. We’ve got a special assignment for you. Come here!” – I came closer to the generals. One of them rushed outside and got some yucky-grey mud from the nearest puddle.

“You need some camouflage,” – he explained, spreading a thick layer of mud all over my face. I wrinkled my nose.

Boy2
Photo by 
Ekaterina Babash

“That’s good. Now, here is your gun,” – he gave me a big stick. “Your post is behind the door. You should wait there quietly until someone comes through the door. Once you hear someone coming, you need to jump out and shout ‘Hande Hoch’ as loud as you can. We’ll wait there,” – he pointed at the distant corner not far from the front door.

I hid behind the door, listening attentively to any sound. Soon I heard my grandma coming. I jumped out and shouted at the top of my lungs: “Hande Hoch”.

Poor grandma shrieked in horror, jumped on the spot and dropped a huge pot of beetroot soup on the floor. A big red spot started spreading all over the carpet.

I burst into tears, spreading dirt all over my face and clothes. Generals and spies burst into laughter and rushed outside.

Alerted by all the noise, my aunty jumped out of the kitchen with a broom in her hands and started chasing boys around the yard to the surprised looks of all the neighbors.

5
From Photosight.ru

“Just wait for your dads to come home and belt your cheeky bottoms, you rascals” – she shouted, angrily waving the broom at the boys. “And you, little devil in skirt, you are going straight to the bathroom. I wonder sometimes about the kind of upbringing your mother is giving you!!!”

 1

I tried to mumble something in defence of my poor mother. She was surely doing all the right things. Every day after school I had various activities: piano lessons on Mondays, singing on Tuesdays, ball room dancing on Wednesdays, athletics on Thursdays, and gymnastics on Fridays.

By the time I was getting home to finish my homework, I hardly had any energy left. And if that was not enough, every Saturday and Sunday my mum used to take me to various museums and theaters. I still remember endless hours I spent in philharmonic halls, listening to the classical music.  Or queuing for hours to get in the Hermitage and then walking through endless Hermitage halls with all the paintings and artefacts. No time was left for friends and fun.

Tiger
Tiger Mum

Being a teacher, my mother was always at the cutting edge of all the learning theories, testing all of them on me. When she was pregnant with me she was listening to Bach to ensure that I’ll turn into a tall beauty – no luck. I always was the shortest in the family. I wish she danced Lambada instead – then I would surely have turned into a 90x60x90 model or a movie star 😉

Star
Marilyn Monroe

Though Mozart she played after my birth to make sure that I’ll always be cheerful probably did the trick – still laughing.

7
From http://pricolisty.ru/

She surely could not do any more ‘right things’ with me – not unless there were 48 hours in a day!

Dance
Photo by 
Maxim Slugin

My auntie however was not convinced. She quickly washed me, dressed me nicely, brushed my hair and left me outside on a bench under a tree. “Be a good girl,” – she said, giving me a book and disappearing in the kitchen.

Book
Photo by Artbanka

A magic place: there wends his way
The woodsprite, there’s a mermaid sitting
In branches, there on trails past knowing
Are tracks of beast you never met;
 On chicken feet a hut is set
With neither door nor window showing.
There wood and dale with wonders teem;
At dawn of day the breakers stream
Upon the bare and barren lea,
And thirty handsome armored heroes…

‘Thirty handsome armored heroes’ did not keep me waiting for too long.

6
From http://fotki.yandex.ru

“Private Mousen! What are you doing here?” – I heard a whisper from the nearby bush. “Come here. We have something special for you.”

I left my book on the bench and peeked behind the bush.

 “Look at these wonderful caterpillars. It was a hard job to collect so many caterpillars for you!!!” – they attempted to throw a few caterpillars on me.

They surely knew that I was scared of all these yucky creepy creatures. I sprang to my feet and rushed away, chased by all the generals and spies.

After three circles around the yard, driven by fear I managed to climb right to the top of the tree. I looked down. Everything started spinning around. I closed my eyes and clung firmer to the tree trunk.

“Where is the Russian Princess?” – I heard my uncle asking, pointing at the book on the empty bench. Moving a few steps away from my uncle, boys silently pointed to the top of the tree. Quietly swearing and waving his fist at the boys, my uncle climbed up the tree to get me down.

Uncle
Photo by Lena Urazaeva

Next day my uncle put on his new white pants and took us by bus to the pond. The pond was quite deep even a few meters from the shore, and I could not swim at all. Boys wanted to get to the little island in the middle of the pond.

“Come on, Private Mousen. You can do that. Just kick your legs and move your arms like this and that,” – unfortunately, I definitely was not an innate mermaid.

“OK,” – said my cousin. “I can help you. Just hold on to my waist and kick your legs as fast as you can, and I’ll move my arms. We will be able to get there together at no time at all.”

I followed his advice.

“Three, two, one, go!!!” – I started kicking vigorously, while holding to his waist, and we both went right to the bottom of the pond.

My uncle jumped into the water and pulled both of us out. Yucky brown water was pouring down his new white pants. He was silent the whole way home.

 Boy4
Photo by OOH

“Let’s count cars,” – suggested my cousin to break the boring silence. “I’ll be counting Ladas, and you will be counting Volgas. Who will get the most is the winner.”

“One, two, three…Start” We started counting cars.

“What are you counting?!” – exclaimed my cousin indignantly. “That’s not even a car, but just a tin can!!!”

‘A tin can’ was a nickname of another Soviet car “Zaporozhez”. I could only blink my eyes, as all the cars looked pretty similar to me. They all had four wheels after all.

“Ok,” – my cousin scratched his head. “I have an idea. I will count Ladas and you will count … red cars.”

2
Photo by Jaroslav Toporkov

The following day we had a surprise – someone has left a big 24-kg kettle-bell in the yard. All the boys crowded around it. Then they got an idea. One of them rushed to the little ant-hill in the corner of the yard and got a jar of ants.

“OK, guys. We will take turns in lifting this kettle-bell off the ground – whoever fails must eat an ant from the jar. Private Mousen, you are first.”

I came to the kettle-bell and grabbed it with both hands. I pulled it up as hard as I could, but it would not move at all. I tried again and again – it did not help.

“Well, here is your ant,” – my cousin put an ant on my hand. “You need to eat it now, or we are not playing with you anymore.”

I closed my eyes and put this ant into my mouth.

“Close your mouth and chew,” – ordered my cousin.

“What is in your mouth?” – my uncle appeared in the yard.

I silently pointed at a jar full of ants.

“Yuck, spit it out! Who gave you that?”

“That was just a game, uncle.”

“A game? OK, lads. Your turn to lift this kettle-bell. Come on, guys.”

None of the boys could lift it either.

“Watch out, lads. Or you will be eating ants next time,” – he warned the boys, picking up the kettle-bell and carrying it away.

3
Photo by Olga Kochedykova

We started getting bored.

“OK, let’s play ‘squirrels on the tree’,” – suggested my cousin. “I’ll be chasing and tagging you. You need to jump on something to keep your feet off the ground to avoid being tagged.”

We started playing. I was trying really hard to run to the nearest bench, but my cousin was getting nearer and nearer.

“I’ll help you,’ – shouted one of the oldest boys picking me off the ground. He ran with me to the bench. We almost reached it, when he tripped over and fell. I flew right onto the ground and smashed both knees. I burst into tears with blood dripping from my knees.

“Stop crying,” I heard his whisper. “It does not hurt much, as the blood takes all the pain away.Trust me, it is much worse, when it is not bleeding, as all the pain stays in your body then. Also, the air slowed down your fall, so you did not hurt yourself as much as I did, as I was closer to the ground and the air could not slow my fall that much,” he said with a moan.

He did not have a single scratch, but his words were so convincing, that I stopped crying at once and started comforting him instead.

Plaksa
Photo by @Geroin

A few days later we heard that thieves has stolen some marinated gherkins and tomatoes from the sheds at the far end of the yard.

“I have an idea,” – my cousin said. “We should catch them.”

We spent the whole day digging holes in front of the sheds. Then we got some rope, made loops and hid them in the holes. We covered the holes with leaves and grass.

“Well done, guys. Private Mousen, you’ve got a very important assignment. You will be the first to trial our traps!”

I ran to the sheds, fell in a trap, rushed out, got my foot caught in a loop and crashed onto the concrete path in front of the sheds. Now I had not only bleeding knees, but a bleeding elbow as well.

“Private Mousen. Couldn’t you just pretend!” – hissed my cousin. “My mum has already used all the iodine on disinfecting your battle wounds!”

 “But that would not be a real trial, would it…?”

4
From Photosight.ru

Unfortunately, we did not catch any thieves while pickled gherkins kept disappearing from the sheds.

“Well,” – said my cousin, scratching his head. “Who will stay with me on night watch?”

I was the only volunteer. We sneaked a big jar of juice from the kitchen and a pack of playing cards. We played cards until midnight. We peeked out of the window. The night was clear with bright stars scattered all over the sky.

“I’m feeling tired,” – said my cousin – “I need a little nap. Let’s take turns. I’ll be first. Keep an eye on the clock and wake me up in an hour. You can have an hour nap then.”

He hid under the blanket and fell asleep. I did not know what to do. I tried to read a book, but my eyes kept closing and I kept drifting off to sleep. I went to the bathroom and dipped my face in cold water. It helped to wake me up a little bit. I pinched myself. I tried to skip and jump,  and frolic around the room, keeping an eye on the clock. At last an hour was over. I woke my cousin up and climbed under the blanket.

When I opened my eyes, the sun was shining. My cousin was fast asleep. I did not speak with him for the rest of the day.

Photo by Elena Krivenkova

The summer was over. It was time for me to go home. But looking out of the train’s window in the darkness of the night I saw the smudgy faces of the generals and spies.

9
Photo by Serge

* * *

Differences

True, though I still have never progressed to either a ‘general’ or a ‘spy’.
And who cares? 😉

Girl1
From http://www.mytwintasticlife.com/

THE END

Raising Teen Daughters: Tips for Fathers

Father

From No Longer Superhero

At a time when girls are under unprecedented assault from our increasingly sexualised culture, there’s at least one very welcome change – we’re finally waking up to the vital importance of dads.

According to Steve Biddulph, today’s fathers spend three times as long with their children each day – talking, playing and teaching them – as the fathers of just one generation ago. Girls with an involved dad have been found in many studies to do better at school and have higher self-esteem. They’re also less likely to become pregnant too young or have problems with alcohol or drugs. For a girl, Dad is her personal ambassador from the Planet Male. If she has a good relationship with him, she’s unlikely to settle for less from the other males in her life, or allow herself to be manipulated.

Too many fathers however still fail their daughters, whether because they were confused about their role, or just too busy, or – worst of all – not sufficiently interested. There’s no escaping the fact, that even terrific father-daughter relationships can come under stress when girls reach 13 or 14 and start developing into young women…

These days, fathers are far more aware than they used to be of the dangers of sexual abuse. This has led to a new problem that probably affects most dads: they start backing off from their teenage daughter and neglect to give her hugs. Some fathers will even stop spending as much time with their daughter, or become irrationally angry with her.

This sends out a confusing, hurtful signal: ‘He doesn’t like me any more; he’s weird and uptight around me. Some girls react by thinking they’re at fault themselves; others try to turn themselves back into little girls again by acting cute and helpless rather than increasingly adult and confident.

Even if a father copes well with his daughter’s changing appearance, he can find that without meaning to, he’s frequently pressing all the wrong buttons and making her fly off the handle.

That’s because, somewhere around the age of 13, a girl seems to become mentally unstuck. We shouldn’t really blame her.

At this age and stage of development, her body is trying rapidly to rewire her pre-frontal cortex – the most complex part of the brain, which controls both her ability to calm herself down and to pay attention.

Meanwhile, the part of her brain called the amygdala – the centre of impulsive and emotional reactions – can take over in a flash if she’s feeling pressured, distracted or stressed.

One minute, she can be kind and caring; the next, she can be thoughtless and self-obsessed. She may make promises but forget to keep them.

She can lose all perspective, become wildly over-emotional and cave in to undesirable peer pressure. This is normal – but most fathers find this stage very trying….

First: remember that your daughter loves you and would miss you for ever if you died. Second: bear in mind that she can often find you very irritating. That’s because you tend to criticise and find fault with her, and you do it at the worst times…

The truth is that she’s searching for her own identity, and acutely sensitive at this time to any of your attempts to control her. So when you lose it, she double-loses it, and everything goes haywire.

Daughters have to be treated gently. Accept that sometimes she’s unhappy with you. Ask her what you’ve done wrong but don’t try to defend yourself when she tells you – that’s a male reflex, and it doesn’t work with girls.

Instead, see if you can work out what emotion lies behind what she’s saying. Is she sad (i.e. because you’re going away again), angry (you didn’t keep your word) or afraid (you drive too fast)? Then, even if you’ve been a faultless father thus far, try doing something radical: admit that you could actually change a little to accommodate her. If you can make changes to your behaviour, or do something that she’s asked you to do, it will make her feel less powerless and help her to realise that her feelings count.

The biggest mistake men tend to make when fighting with their teenage daughters is to use ‘you’ accusations. ‘You don’t help around the house.’ ‘You’re lazy.’ ‘You’re not going out in that dress!’

‘I’ messages work far better because they take heat out of a situation by exposing our vulnerability.

For example: ‘I was worried when you didn’t get home at the time you agreed. I need to know I can trust you.’

This is not an attack, because it starts with ‘I’ and not ‘you’. It invites a teenager to be caring, rather than to defend herself.

Even: ‘I’m angry because the kitchen was a mess, and I had just tidied it up’ is better than: ‘You messed up the kitchen!’

Note that I’m not suggesting for a moment that you let your daughter get away with slovenly, dangerous or disrespectful behaviour.

Fathers who are cash-rich but time-poor often buy expensive gifts and hand out wads of money; they may also arrange for others to do all the household chores. The end result is a grown-up girl with an emotional age of two who thinks nothing of having tantrums if they help her get what she wants. Such terminal self-obsession, is a dreadful fate for any girl because one day she’ll eventually collide painfully with reality.

The best cure is to begin imposing boundaries – softly but firmly – and to demand that she starts pulling her weight.

Finally, the father of a teenage girl must bear in mind that he’s a male role model – at least to her. That means dressing well, smelling good and refraining from telling rude jokes in front of her.

Adolescent girls have acute sensibilities: even if they swear and tell gritty jokes themselves, they don’t like to see their fathers behaving in a similar way. They’re also hyper-alert to the way you behave with other females.

So treat all women with courtesy and kindness, and you’ll help her set the bar high for the boys and men in her own life. Modern womanhood is tough: all too soon, your daughter will need to become self-reliant, clear-thinking, emotionally strong, good with people and responsible for her own life. A good dad gives her a head-start that lasts for ever.

Adapted from: Raising Girls, by Steve Biddulph

Daddy
From MotivationalTwist.com

THE END