A December survival guide for your teen daughter
It can be a bittersweet time for parents: no more being woken up at 5am by excited cries about whether Santa has been. These days, your teenage daughter is likely to have a whole different set of questions during the festive season.
Now that she's a teen, December is all about whether she can meet her friends, who's going to the party and – inevitably – can she have a lift? And as she becomes an independent young woman, you'll naturally have some questions of your own to put anxieties to rest.
You want to make sure that she's safe and being responsible when she's having fun with her mates. And you'll also want to make sure that you spend time with her over Christmas, and that you're not just a combination of chauffeur and hotel maid to her.
So here's some of the things you might like to discuss to make sure you can have a happy Christmas together (and apart).Plan new, grown-up traditions together
Get off on the right foot for Christmas with your teen daughter by letting her help shape your new festive routine. Ask for her ideas and suggestions about new traditions you can make now that she's older.
She may not care about putting a carrot out for Rudolph any more, but maybe she'd like to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve? Lots of teenagers also enjoy shaking up the present-giving with a secret Santa, where you anonymously choose cheeky or funny gifts for one family member each.
Drawing a line between Christmas past and present may seem sad for you, but she might be happier taking part in the family festivities if they're not the same as when she was a child.Help her stay safe at parties with friends
Just like the grown-ups, teens want their own party season at Christmas. You can help your young daughter stay safe by setting out your rules and expectations if she's going to attend.
Let her know that she can only go if you speak to the host parents and you know they're going to be present. If you can pick her up, agree a time before she leaves the house. Otherwise, try to share lifts with a parent you trust. Make sure she has her phone on.
Above all, be prepared to say no if you're not happy about the party plans or you can't speak to the host. And be prepared to enforce the rules! It's better to put up with rows and a sulk at home than to worry that she won't be safe.Don't let periods cramp her style
Party season can feel like a lot of pressure for a teenage girl. An upset like getting her period before the social highlight of the year can seem like a calamity, with her wondering if she'll be able to dance or whether she can wear the clothes she picked out.
You can help by showing that she doesn't need to put her life on hold just because she has her period. With Always Platinum, the dual layered topsheet and 1,000 microcushions prevent leaks whilst ensuring she can still be comfortable, so they’re perfect for parties.
There’ll be no need to get embarrassed, and she won't need to miss a thing.Make sure she finds time for family
You've made a lot of changes for your daughter as she grows older and you're letting her explore her new-found freedoms. But that comes with grown-up responsibilities too.
So when you discuss the parties she wants to attend and the plans she's making with friends, be sure to make her commit to some special dates with the family as well. It's not unreasonable to have her at home for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and for a visit from the grandparents.
After all, once the family are all gathered together, she'll soon forget her newly-found teenage cool and start enjoying herself, just like the old days.
How do you ensure Christmas goes smoothly with your teenagers? Tell us your ideas in the comments below.