• Teen Girl Drama And What to Do About It | Sheri Gazitt | Episode 147

  • Teen girl drama showing girls with backs turned to each otherEverything is going along fine then our kids hit middle school and girl drama happens. Now there’s a daily report on who said what to whom. The big news of the day is who is mad, who is their friend, and who they sat with at lunch. While relationships are always important, the teen years are a time when girls’ friendships are essential and yet they seem to be a battleground. When teen drama shows up, parents don’t know what to do. We want to comfort our child, make pain go away, and walk them through this. Unfortunately, we tend to make mistakes. Teen coach Sheri Gazitt talks to Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler about teen girl drama. They discuss what’s happening and why. They cover the mistakes parents make and what to do instead.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “Teens say they don’t go to parents because parents make it about themselves or they blow it up bigger than it is.”

    High Points From Our Conversation on How to Navigate Teen Girl Drama and What to Do About It:

    Quote from Sheri Gazitt on why teens don't tell parents about girl dramaGirl drama starts in middle school when oxytocin kicks in and our girls are driven to look for connection.

    With these teen brain changes, the amygdala, which is all about emotions, is ruling the roost. 

    In addition to brain chemicals throwing things into overdrive, girls have to learn how to have social connections: how to have conflict, how to talk it out when our feelings are hurt, how to confront someone when we disagree. These are all skills that have to be learned.

    Girls talk behind each others’ backs, post passive-aggressive comments on social media, etc. in order to deal with things without an actual confrontation because that’s uncomfortable. Our girls are trying out behaviors that aren’t so nice. 

    We need to get away from labeling kids as mean girls. All girls have mean-girl moments.

    Moms need to think about the baggage they’re bringing into their daughter’s life. Instead of being an adult and teaching our daughter good conflict resolution skills, we end up speaking from our our teenage experience as our teenage self. A lot of moms will end up bad mouthing the other girl and building up more drama.

    When your child is dealing with teenage girl drama:

      • Put your baggage at the door—take a moment and reflect on your own life and see if you’re responding from your own teen years
      • Really listen—don’t try to fix it
      • Before offering advice, ask if they want it
      • Validate their feelings

    Teach your children how to go to someone if they’re upset with them.

    Girls are very nurturing by nature, very kind and loving. They don’t want to hurt someone, make them angry or sad so they talk to everyone else as a way of avoiding that uncomfortable moment. We need to teach them that avoiding the person and talking to everyone else actually hurts them more.

    Teach our kids to confront someone or have a difficult conversation like this:

      1. Tell them how much you appreciate them
      2. Tell them how you felt about a situation
      3. Tell them what you need in the future

    A person really likes a boy and doesn’t tell their friend. The friend could come and have a conversation like this. “I really like you as a friend and I’m glad we get to spend so much time together. But I really feel like you deceived me by going and talking to John even though you know that I like him. In the future could you just tell me if you like somebody could you tell me and we can talk it out?”

    You need to know what you want before talking to someone.

    If you had bullying or other traumatic situations, don’t share your situation with your daughter while she’s deep in it. Take a moment to collect yourself and then listen to her.

    Teens say they don’t go to parents because they make it about them or they blow it up bigger than it is.

    Kids use the terms talk and text interchangeably. Encourage your child to have these conversations face-to-face so they aren’t trying to read between the lines and interpret texts.

    A lot of them will do it via text so we have to coach them through that too. Help them see that a response that takes longer than 5 seconds doesn’t mean the other person is still mad or hates them. Help them to read carefully and not jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Ask, “Are you sure they’re mad at you?” “Can you think of another reason they may not have gotten back to you more quickly?”

    Advise your boys to just stay out of the girl drama.


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    Our Guest Sheri Gazittt:

    Sheri Gazitt interviewed on teen girl drama and what to do about itSheri Gazitt is the founder of Teen Wise, a company dedicated to helping teens and parents through the difficult ups and downs of adolescence. She advocates for teen mental wellness by advising foundations, appearing on TV and Radio shows, and writing for magazines. Coach Sheri also provides private coaching for teen girls who need help finding their inner joy, taming stress, claiming their confidence, and navigating friendships. She is also supporting moms of middle school girls through an online program.

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit http://www.TeenWiseSeattle.com

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