Want to ‘decode’ your teenage daughter? Don’t try to be her friend and don’t give her too much space, says top headmistress

A former headteacher has written a new book advising parents on how to raise teenage daughters. This is from the Daily Mail…

Filled with basic advice such as ‘don’t try to be her friend’, Dr Helen Wright, former president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), tells parents the importance of giving teenage girls the space to grow – but says too much wriggle room is destructive. 

‘They need time and space to do nothing – to just think and grow,’ she says in an interview with the Times.

But, she adds, they need boundaries to feel secure, to enable them to take small risks with the knowledge they have some structure in place to protect them.

Dr Wright, who spent 20 years teaching in the UK before becoming a headteacher at an independent girls’ school in Sydney, Australia, has published a book called Decoding Your 21st Century Daughter: The Anxious Parent’s Guide to Raising A Teenage Girl.

The mother of two daughters and a son told The Times: ‘If you hide your body from [your daughter], you are in effect telling her she should be ashamed of her own.

‘Similarly, if you judge people on their appearance in her hearing, you will be showing her that you are judging her critically on her appearance.’

Dr Wright’s book is billed as a collection of ‘checklists’ for what parents needs to know and do to help daughters through issues surrounding friendships, self-image, sexuality, drink and drugs and external pressures.

The outspoken teacher has previously accused parents who allow young girls to wear make-up or dress provocatively of now knowing right from wrong.

During her time as GSA president she said: ‘If parents can’t see anything wrong in dressing up their children in “Future WAG” T-shirts and letting them wear make-up, high heels and “mini-me” sexy clothing, then something is intensely wrong with our society.’

She has also previously called for GCSEs to be scrapped and said social networking causes a generation of mean girls.

Dr Helen Wright’s book ‘Decoding Your 21st Century Daughter: The Anxious Parent’s Guide To Raising A Teenage Girl’ is published by emBooks at £3.99.

More at:  Want to ‘decode’ your teenage daughter? Don’t try to be her friend and don’t give her too much space, says top headmistress

What do you think of Dr Wright’s advice? What would your best tip be for raising a teenage daughter? Please let us know in the comments or on twitter

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Categories: Parenting.


  1. susan6262

    SchoolsImprove my daughter says I’m her best friend and when she has any problems she turns to me first she knows she can talk to me

  2. batman8616

    SchoolsImprove completely agree. Teenagers push for bounderies and without them they go too far. They need parents not more friends

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