The teen years can be filled with drama, from theatrically adventurous outfits, to emotional meltdowns, and from show-stopping social media calamities, to episodes of depression and even self-harm.
Young women are vulnerable but often shun help. Find out how to be there when your budding woman-in-the-making needs you (even if they are convinced they don't !)
Top specialist psychologist delivers new practical, immediate strategies for parents of potentially difficult, rebellious, or irresponsible teenage daughters. Dr Sarah Hughes has modern, helpful advice and tips for every situation, whether your teenage girl is selfish, procrastinating, dieting, on social media, going to parties where there might be drugs and alcohol or just won't get off her mobile phone. Skip the Drama also covers heavy issues such as depression, sex, body confidence and self harm, so caregivers will be equipped to face any problems that come from living with and parenting a stressful teenager. Supported by real-life examples, studies and the latest research into the adolescent brain, Hughes' solutions will help mothers and fathers grow a stubborn, reckless or challenging teenager into a well-adjusted, respectful, and self-sufficient young woman.Chapters include:
When Your Daughter's Selfish
When Your Daughter's A Procrastinator
When Your Daughter Wants to Diet
When Your Daughter's A Drama Queen
When Your Daughter Won't Get Off Her Phone
When Your Daughter Starts Going to Parties
When Your Daughter's Struggling with Body Confidence
When Your Daughter's Wardrobe Starts to Change
When Your Daughter Gets a Boyfriend (and you're worried about her having sex)
When Your Daughter's The Queen of Dodging Responsibility
When Your Daughter Wants to Use Social Media
When Your Daughter's Moody (and possibly depressed)
When Your Daughter's Cutting (or she knows someone who is)
Dr Sarah Hughes completed her clinical training at the University of Sydney and holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in child and adolescent anxiety disorders. Sarah is the founder of Think Clinical Psychologists, and has 10 years of clinical experience.
Skip the Drama
Author: Dr Sarah Hughes
Question: How would you describe Skip the Drama?
Dr Sarah Hughes: Skip the Drama is a parenting book that focuses on practical, straightforward strategies to help parents survive the teenage years. It goes beyond the usual general advice - things like 'help your daughter to have a positive body image' or 'if your teen is depressed, help her to feel supported'. This advice is helpful to a point, but too general to really make a significant difference. Skip the Drama gives parents detailed and specific guidance on a range of adolescent issues – both general issues like excessive phone use and selfish behaviour, but also increasingly prevalent mental health issues like disordered eating, depression, and cutting. It gives parents a clear idea of what to do when these issues arise. The wrong delivery can ruin a really effective strategy, so Skip the Drama also gives parents tips on how to implement these strategies – what to say, what not to say, and how to say it – so they actually work.
Question: Who did you write Skip the Drama for?
Dr Sarah Hughes: Skip the Drama is for parents who're struggling with difficult teenage daughters. It is for parents who want to know what they need to do now in the teenage years to help their teens grow into happy, self-sufficient, well-adjusted young adults. It is also for parents who're gearing up to face adolescence and want to up-skill ahead of time so they make it through relatively unscathed.
Question: What inspired you to write Skip the Drama?
Dr Sarah Hughes: In my private practice work I work with lots of parents who are having issues with their teenage daughters, and lots of teenage girls who're having issues with their parents. A lot of the time the conflict I see is based on misunderstandings and miscommunications. I wanted to write a book that would help parents to be more effective in their parenting. The same issues arise time and time again, so the book was really inspired by the conversations I have with parents on a daily basis.
Question: What signs do parents need to look for in their teenager especially regarding depression?
Dr Sarah Hughes: One of the difficult things about teenage depression is that common symptoms of depression - things like moodiness and irritability - can be dismissed by parents as normal teenage angst or laziness. All teens are likely to be moody and bad tempered at one point or another, but as a general rule, if symptoms like this are out of character and don't seem to shift, they could be a sign of something more. Other symptoms to look out for are things like changes to sleep and appetite, your teen seeming bored and disinterested and not wanting to do the activities she usually enjoys. Also look out for her wanting to spend more time alone - even at the expense of time with friends.
Question: At what age does a parent need to tackle the topic of sex?
Dr Sarah Hughes: Sex can be an awkward topic of conversation, but it's an important one - especially for teenage girls. Your daughter needs your help to learn about sex - and not just the obvious things like the risk of pregnancy and STI's, but the emotional aspects of sex as well, like how sex can impact a relationship. The earlier you start talking to your daughter about sex, the more prepared she'll be. Talking about sex isn't going to make her start having sex. Her friends will be talking to her about sex whether you are or not. You're not going to put any ideas in her head by bringing it up. Talking to about it will help her to have the information she needs to make a carefully considered decision about what she is and isn't ready for.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
Skip the Drama
Author: Dr Sarah Hughes