Give her a summer of love, light and empowerment

Spend quality time with a few fun, memorable and empowering things to do with a teenage girl this summer

Disneyland, horseback riding, cooling off at the swimming pool, and playing arcade games. We’ve done them all. The first day of school is just around the corner but there were still a few more things I wanted to do and share with my teenage daughter this summer.

I came up with a few fun and memorable things you can do with a teenage girl during the summer, while at the same time, offering her opportunities to make her feel good about herself, learn how to calm her fears, feel confident, and remember she’s important and always loved—everything a teenage girl needs to know when her world seems like a roller coaster ride with some unexpected twists and turns:

Teach her how to handle life’s stressful moments

Peer pressure, homework, middle-school or high school drama—the teen years can put a lot of stress on her young mind and heart. Show her some of the best natural ways to relax, calm down, and deal with life’s stressful moments.

Check out the fragrance and cosmetics stores at the mall and introduce her to the pleasures of enjoying a warm, relaxing bath by picking out some luxurious bath bombs or her favorite scented body washes, shower gels and lotions. Pour yourselves a cup of chamomile tea and remind her to savor the fragrance with every sip. Create a playlist and pick soothing, relaxing songs you both enjoy. Do some relaxing yoga stretches together. Remind her of the power of slowing down, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and taking a deep breath.

Remind her she will always be surrounded with love

One lazy summer afternoon, my daughter and I watched home videos filmed the day she was born. She saw how family members and friends couldn’t wait to see her for the first time—everyone wanted to hold her in their arms and share their love.

All that love continues to be shared through this day. Always remind your daughter the love of family and friends will always be there for her when she needs it and will also be there to lift her up and catch her when she falls, no matter what she goes through in her young life. She’s been surrounded by love from the day she was born and always will be, especially during times in her life when she might feel lost and alone.

Watch family home videos together or scroll through your online photo library or hardcover photo albums highlighting gatherings with friends and family through the years. Have her pick out a cute memory board to hang on a wall in her room so she can pin photos and other memorabilia to remind her of fun times, accomplishments or other special moments with family and friends.

Acknowledge that she’s not a little kid anymore

She’s discovering a new side of herself and wants to establish her own identity. Her interests are changing and she’s ready to shed off anything that’s cute, glittery or pink. Say goodbye to Kidz Bop and the Disney Channel and say hello to Sia, Twenty One Pilots and “The Vampire Diaries” series of novels.

Take her to one of the PG-13 summer blockbuster movies. Read parent movie reviews from Common Sense Media to make sure the message and content is aligned with your family’s values. Take her to the mall or beauty supplies store and have one of the beauty technicians show her the proper way to apply makeup or find the best shades for her skin tone. Look through trendy hairstyles on Pinterest together for a fresh new look to start the school year.

Let her show you the ropes

During her period of self-discovery, she’ll be passionate about exerting her independence and proving she knows better than you. It’s all part of the process of trying to become her own person.

Build up her self-confidence and let her feel empowered by asking her to show you the ropes on things she’s an expert in – how to use keyboard shortcuts on your laptop, posting Instagram stories, using one of those popular apps to apply dramatic filters to your photos, drawing the perfect eyeliner wing, or dancing a Pas de Bourrée.

And finally…

Make a no-bake cake

Because you really don’t want to heat up the house by using the oven on a hot summer day. Plus, it’s amazing how much easier it is for her to open up and talk freely about insecurities, fears, struggles, dreams, goals, relationships and more while you’re busy combining the pudding mix and Cool Whip, laying the graham crackers on the baking dish, pouring the pudding mixture, then beautifully arranging the berries on top. No conversation can go sour when you’re whipping up a delicious sweet treat you both can enjoy. The No-Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake by CakesCottage.com was super easy to make and will be something I hope my daughter will want to continue making with me as a summer tradition.

There are a lot of other options for things you can do with a teenage girl during the summer. Whatever you decide to do, try to make it a summer filled with love, laughter and precious moments that will give her courage and confidence as she sails through the new school year and the unpredictable, uncharted waters of her young life.

And if for some reason you only have time to do one more thing before her summer break is over…at least make the no-bake cake.

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