Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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GeneralHealth Info

Communication with Your Daughter

Our Mission Statement emphasizes that the primary goal of this web site and Double Sunrise, Inc. is "to enhance the health of young women and their families." Current research of women guides our motto "Keeping Connected…in order to grow."

Parents want to communicate with daughters. And although young women may appear to have other priorities on their minds, studies show that adolescent women see parents as extremely important an communicators about factors that affect their health. Parents sharing health information (with values and love) are in the best position to impact their daughter's health and safe passage into adulthood.

While many topics are difficult to talk about during adolescence, health care is one that is acceptable because it falls within the girl's definition of a parent's responsibility to discuss i.e., menstruation and the hazards of alcohol and drugs. DoubleSunrise offers tools to parents in the form of workbooks, tip cards, kits and articles with the purpose of helping to initiate the first step of parent-daughter discussion. Laying a simple but important foundation, our tools also are to support open lines of communication for parents and daughters.

Some things to keep in mind that promote good communication:

  1. Create a special time for you and your daughter to be together. It becomes obvious, with time, that it's a time for you to connect and talk. It could be a car ride, or asking her to help you fold clothes. It could be going for an ice cream or to a movie.

    Apart from all the pressures of each of your lives and the everyday issues, a special time encourages the expression of feelings and ideas. It can be a time to respect each others views, tolerate differences, and offer praise for good points. It is a time to avoid judging, criticizing, "third degree" questioning. It is a time to be courteous, calm, and open-minded.

    Let this be a time to set a good example. It can be a time to give your undivided attention and to listen. Listening is an art, and achieving listening skills inspires openness and trust. Some general rules for effective listening are:

    • Listen with the intent to understand, putting aside your own issues. Don't just wait for the moment in the conversation to interject yourself.
    • Don't pretend to listen by just responding with phrases such as, "Yes, right" or "I see (understand)". Work on listening to the whole message, not just selective pieces.
    • Develop skills for empathetic listening. Research demonstrates that this is key for communicating with those you care about. Understand the others frame of reference and actively listen for the feeling she is conveying so you can respond to the true meaning of the words.

    Listening is very difficult to do. Really work to overcome some of these pitfalls and see how trust evolves and the quality of the interaction improves.

  2. Choose only the important issues when taking a stand. Choose times when you allow your daughter to learn by doing, even when choices and methods may differ from your view. Allow increasing independence within limitations of their safety and well being, pick your spots when it's safe to go along with a decision that may not be in your opinion, the best. We all learn a great deal through our mistakes.
  3. Respect the adolescent's privacy. Give space to her when she is in a bad mood and sends out vibes that she needs it. Try to share her feelings of sorrow or joy when she's ready to talk. Respond to her feelings as well as her words. Provide undemanding love.

Good luck in this very important area. Be patient. It takes time, but it's worth the consistent effort. Let us know what works for you. We can learn a great deal from your experience.

Keeping connected in order to grow

The information contained in this website and/or provided by DoubleSunrise, its agents, servants and/or employees is general health information for educational purposes only. This site does not and cannot provide medical advice or a diagnosis for any person who requires direct medical care and this site should not be used as a substitute for medical care and/or the advice of your personal physician or professional healthcare provider. Specific medical questions you have about your medical condition, treatment, care or diagnosis should be presented to your own professional healthcare provider. Medical information changes rapidly and while DoubleSunrise frequently updates the content of this site, some information may be out of date. You agree that it is not your intent to establish a physician-patient relationship with DoubleSunrise, its agents, servants and/or employees.

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