Your daughter loves you… for sure… but if you’re currently at a point with your daughter where you feel like she hates you… if you’re in conflict and banging heads… I want to share this story with you because sharing stories is how we connect and learn from each other… when we share stories we see ourselves in each other…
Last year I had a Year 10 science class for one term. I hated them. They hated me. We absolutely DID NOT GET ALONG. From the first lesson… they were rude… they spoke back… they refused to do any work at all… I got angry and frustrated at them… they blamed me and their other teacher when their exam results were atrocious… I tried… I really did… they hated me…. I hated them…
I get along with lots of classes … and this was the second top science class… that’s why I was so frustrated at them because I expected more… I knew they could do better….
Part of my stress and anger and frustration also came because I’m not actually a science teacher… I’m a maths teacher and I’m not confident with lots of the science content…. I felt a bit inadequate and like I wasn’t doing a great job… I didn’t present the material in an engaging way… and then I got angry at them for not being engaged…
Is your daughter unsure what she wants to do with her life?
“What are you going to do when you leave school?” can incite quite a stressful response for some young people.
But for the ones who have a definite answer – I’d actually be more worried.
Jumping into a whole career plan with no exposure to what that lifestyle actually involves is DANGEROUS.
I did a whole Commerce degree with the plan to be an investment banker before I even considered the reality of work only being available in big cities, corporate offices, and valuing shares all day.
The number one thing all teenagers need to do when they leave school is – GET LOST!!!
Spend some time not knowing – regardless of how uncomfortable that may make them feel.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with so much to do that it seemed impossible?
On other days have you felt a sense of emptiness and boredom?
Do you prefer to feel boredom or hurriedness?
I usually prefer hurriedness. I like to feel creative and productive and in the flow of getting things done and achieving. Perhaps I have even linked my sense of worth to how productive I am. Sound familiar?
We have a whole world and society that values productivity. That pays those who produce, that thrives on economic growth. GDP simply being a measure of how much money is spent by the country as a whole on goods and services. It doesn’t measure care, love, nurturing, connection, peace, or happiness. No. Our measurement of success as a whole country is based on our consumption.
For those who find themselves unemployed because of economic downturn, injury, illness, or mental health reasons this can hit hard. “You are of no worth to us if you are not contributing to the economy”, the system says. I have two friends at the moment who are unable to work because of injuries. One has a partner with money and assets which are a buffer. But she’s still going to work on crutches. The other is a health professional who has gone from a professional wage to trying to survive on $250 a week from Centrelink. WTF???
Have you ever been to a counsellor?
I hope so. Because we all have challenges and we all need support. And as much as I hope you also have family and friends around you to be that support, sometimes talking with a professional who is objective and can take a bird’s eye view is really helpful.
When I was at uni I went to a few sessions with one of the counsellors. This service was available at no cost to students.
She was helpful. She taught me decision making strategies and she helped me realise that I was avoiding making some decisions because I was scared of failure. Helpful.
I think she was a qualified social worker. Or maybe a psychologist. I can’t remember.
I’ve also been to one session with a counsellor referred to by the education department. Teachers get a certain number of free sessions throughout the year.
Does your daughter feel confused about her future?
Would you love to see her living her life on purpose?
What do you feel the benefits would be? Do you imagine that she would be passionate about her work and contributing to her community? You probably realise that living her life on purpose will mean she values her health more, avoids excessive use of drugs or alcohol, and is generally mentally healthy.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the state of the world… by the statistics and stories of violence and abuse against women… by the slow slow slow move towards gender equality in leadership and economic participation… by the fast rates of environmental destruction… the ever increasing bizarre weather events…
I’m a bit behind the times. I don’t watch the news of read anything except the local independent paper. I find out from the kids at school and other people I chat with about what’s going on in the world. I also study social work and social policy. But this – I totally missed it!
I was busy organising Radiant Woman last year and have been getting ready again for August this year. And I’ve been finishing my Masters, which has included researching girls’ Rites of Passage. And it’s through this research that I’ve started discovering the social impacts of menstruation for girls. Now did you cringe a little when you read that? Did you inwardly groan and say, “menstruation – do we really need to talk about it openly???” When I spoke with the CEO of the Rites of Passage Institute about what I’ve been discovering in my research about girls’ Rites of Passage and mentioned that including something about menstruation was an important part of it – that was pretty much his reaction.
In the wake of International Women’s Day (IWD) this week, this article focuses on the biggest issues facing teenage girls in Australia at this time. I work at two different high schools, one of them for IWD gave a short talk on assembly about how being a feminist is not a bad thing and that IWD is not about the students at this school but about women in other countries who do not have access to healthcare or education. The other high school I work at organised a whole assembly with local feminist speakers and female leaders to educate and inspire the whole school population about issues currently facing girls and women in our own community. I like the second school’s approach better!!! I’ve also attended camps and programs for teenage girls where a significant part of the story being told by the facilitators is about how good we’ve got it, compared to women in other countries. Yes, we have access to healthcare and education, but are we really satisfied?
Do you have a daughter?
Would you like to support her through the changes she faces growing up?
From child to adolescent... and from adolescent to adult...
Would you like to be supported through this time of change in your relationship with her?
Do you want to make this tumultuous and risky time as smooth and safe as you possibly can?
Rites of Passage programs are a powerful way for you to support your daughter, and yourself, through this transition...
I've spent the last 6 months researching girls' Rites of Passage programs in Australia and around the world...
So wherever you are, whatever age your daughter currently is, and whatever challenges you are currently facing... hopefully one of these programs will suit your needs...
Have you ever felt like things have been going amazingly and then bam - everything goes to smash?
I’m guessing yes. Since this is a typical pattern. Things are going well, for example in your relationship with you daughter and then - something to criticise, something to worry about, or a fight breaks out.
This is totally normal, and totally changeable.
I’ve done the same thing in my relationships -beautiful connection and a great time and then – a fight!
Why? Because we have an internal upper limit – we can only cope with so much joy before we sabotage ourselves and bring ourselves down to where we are comfortable.
So how is this changeable? Firstly, you need to recognise how you sabotage yourself. Criticism, worry, and squabbling are common methods. Then you need to expand your capacity for joy, abundance and success.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the current world crises?
Do you sometimes feel that there’s no point even trying to do anything positive because it’s impossible to do it all? And whatever you do sometimes you’re actually going to contribute to the mess?
I feel like this often. I think most people do.
But I’ve discovered something so powerful that really does have the potential to change our whole community for the better.
I watched an amazing Ted talk yesterday titled “Tying the Threads of the Past to the Future” by Darcy Ottey. She talks about a village in India which had lost its cultural and community connection. They were no longer practicing the rituals which brought them together. Alcoholism, poverty, and a lack of a feeling of belonging were major issues.