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Quelling The Tempestuous Storm That Is My Daughter

Jan 29, 2008
Teenage girls are just a nightmare! I've been trying for a year now to 'understand' my daughter. She's lippy and belligerent, thinking she's grown up and knows everything and the next minute she's crying in my arms like she did when she was 5 years old.

I've tried talking to her, picking the right moment like you do, explaining the hormone changes she's going through and reassuring her she'll get over it. All I get for this is a mouthful of abuse.

I've tried ignoring the tantrums and I've tried grounding her for bad behaviour which was certainly more trouble than it was worth! I've tried rewarding the good behaviour with shopping trips but they usually dissolve into stroppy show offs about her body phobias.

The only time I've seen my daughter relaxed and happy in the last year is on our visits to the beauty salon. It's as though just the sight of a therapist's beauty uniform is enough to calm the storm. We lay back and relax while they pamper us with massages, manicures and facials and I can understand why she likes it so much.

What I don't understand is when I sit and listen to her talking to the beauty therapist, she sounds so in control and grown up, no tantrums or answering back. This is where she is happiest at the moment.

Coming up to her GCSE's, I see a window of opportunity in her moods to discuss which direction she wants to take and present her with the local college prospectus. She's actually smiling - in fact, she's ecstatic.

Inside, she's found a beauty therapists course and instantly decided this is where her future lies. I see a little glimpse into the grown up woman my daughter's soon to be.

Of course, it's not going to come cheap but this is my daughter's happiness we are talking about and, thus, the peace and happiness of the entire family. I invest in a beauty uniform for her of tunic and trousers, along with all the potions, lotions, brushes and towels she needs, all personalised of course.

I felt so proud the day my daughter went off to her first day at college. It wasn't a complete solution to the hormonal tantrums, she would get home exhausted from her day, change out of her beauty uniform and the old Angela would be back, stressing about how tired she was. However, it did give her something to focus on and she began to change before our eyes.

Angela worked hard at her part time job outside of college too. She was helping out at a local beauty salon but became increasing dissatisfied. I said it was because all she did was go to college and work and didn't give herself any leisure time but she said this was because she was saving for something.

Within six months of leaving college, Angela had secured funding from her bank and found a small shop to rent. She set up her own beauty therapist's salon and was absolutely in her element. She carefully shopped around, making the most of her loan. The day she received her own personalised beauty uniform through the post her face was a picture I'll never forget.

She purchased towels, bathrobes and beauty equipment to kit out her salon in her own way and I have to say, she did an excellent job. A year later, I watched her take on her first employee, supplying her with another of the beauty uniforms she was so proud of.

While I let her assistant show off her skills by working on my manicure, I couldn't help but smile as my daughter soothed the nerves of a fractious teenager with an Indian head massage.
About the Author
Parenting expert Catherine Harvey looks at the use of beauty uniforms in college and the workplace. To find out more please visit http://www.matrixuniforms.co.uk/Beauty.51/
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