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The Princess Bitchface Syndrome  : Surviving Adolescent Girls - Michael Carr-Gregg

The Princess Bitchface Syndrome

Surviving Adolescent Girls

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Published: 3rd July 2006
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Published: 3rd July 2006
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In this hard-hitting book, Michael Carr-Gregg focuses on the special trials of raising adolescent girls today: what to do when your previously quiet, loving daughter becomes a restless, rebellious stranger who behaves like a responsible adult one day and a vampish brat the next.

Part of the problem is that girls are becoming sexualised earlier, and their physical development is shooting ahead of their cognitive capacities. By the time they turn 13 they look like they're ready for anything – but they're not. Yet, argues Carr-Gegg, many parents are surrendering their authority and allowing their daughters to be fast-tracked into pseudo-adulthood. We appear to be losing it when it comes to parenting our girls and it's time to grab back the reins.

This book is a must-read for every parent with an adolescent daughter.

About the Author

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is one of Australia's highest profile psychologists and an internationally recognised authority on teenage behaviour. He was the founder of the world's first national support group for teenage cancer patients, CanTeen, and has been Executive Director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne's Department of Paediatrics and a political lobbyist. He is currently a consultant psychologist to many schools and national organisations, including Reach Out and beyondblue.

Carr-Gregg has been a regular on Melbourne radio 3AW, the resident parenting expert on Channel 7's Sunrise since 2005 and a regular on its Morning Show. He has written several bestselling books on parenting, including Surviving Adolescents, The Princess Bitchface Syndrome, Real Wired Child and When to Really Worry, and is the 'Agony Uncle' for Girlfriend magazine. He has won many awards for his work.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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The Princess Bitchface Syndrome
 
4.3

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Relevant (6)
  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Informative (5)
  • Deserves multiple readings (4)
  • Well written (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

      Reviewed by 6 customers

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      5.0

      The "Bible" for parents with girls!

      By Mum of Teenage Daughter

      from Sunshine Coast, AU

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Understand
      • Informative
      • Inspirational
      • Relevant
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Reference

        Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

        This should be read by every parent. It is informative and written in a way that is easy to understand. Many "light bulb" moments were had reading this book. It just makes sense! I have recommended this book to so many parents and they all love it.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Excellent read - very well written

        By Ally Cat

        from Central NSW

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Informative
        • Relevant
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

            Great reading for parents of teenage girls. Very well written & relevant to todays children.

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            Very useful for parents of teenagers

            By Aspiring Writer

            from Gold Coast

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative
            • Relevant
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Special Needs

              Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

              Useful as a reference book

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Very Helpful

              By Teddy Bear

              from South Australia

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Easy To Understand
              • Informative
              • Inspirational
              • Relevant
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers

                Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

                I found this book very helpful with my 12 yr old daughter.

                Comment on this review

                 
                5.0

                A book for every teenager's parent

                By BASNZ

                from Adelaide Australia

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Understand
                • Informative
                • Relevant

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Special Needs

                  Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

                  Gives a great insight into the behaviours of the young female teenager and ways to deal with them and keep your sanity and your family

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  4.0

                  What you need to know

                  By Geckogirl

                  from Adelaide

                  About Me Casual Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Understand
                  • Relevant

                  Cons

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                    • Reference

                    Comments about The Princess Bitchface Syndrome:

                    Easy to understand, some great ideas on dealing with those difficult situations!

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                    A mother's story

                    I think I would call her the stranger who arrived to replace the other person we knew – we now have the both of them living with us in one person happily. Her key characteristics were an absolute will of iron, able to undertake secret missions, able to self-destruct at a moment's notice, moods like Melbourne's weather, able to home in on my own concerns about my parenting, use my own words and display any number of my own characteristics.

                    I was her main target and she would hurt me terribly, mostly deliberately, and sometimes inadvertently. Her aim was to be her own person in any way she wanted, regardless. The air was fraught with enormous emotional storms. She was thoughtless about the effort people put in, and her own worst enemy in terms of not doing what would seem to be a good idea.

                    Opposition was at all costs until we were all exhausted, but I had no idea what she would do next – just the opposite of anything we came up with. This daughter was delineating herself almost desperately and I think she was also confused. She would remain loving when the storm blew through, and meant well.

                    I think she was frightened by the world and her own power. She was confounded by and resented her sister's time of strife later – which incidentally was nowhere near as difficult for me – it was more of a passive resistance and the argument was between the sisters. I had given up resisting and suggesting, something I had learnt from the earlier experience. I also sympathised with both, but did not comment on either party. It was eight years of hell and even writing about it now I find that we remember events differently – it is as if they were different incidents or times for both of us. I think moving house, spending too much time at work and having my elderly parents (who were ill at times) in the house made it harder for all the family.

                    However, she fought with Grandma too on one occasion and I remember being between the two of them while they were arguing, and hearing myself from two eras thinking in support of one, 'Good point'; and then supporting the other – thinking, 'Yes, that's true, too.' It was like two parts of me, or two voices I could relate to.

                    Introduction

                    Many people picking up this book for the first time might find its title distasteful. So I feel the need to explain where it came from – an experience recounted to me by a 30-something friend of mine called Nikki, who was enjoying a fairly 'robust' relationship with her teenage daughter. Nikki was particularly envious of a friend who insisted on waxing lyrical about how quiet, helpful and studious her own adolescent was. Then one day Nikki attended a school morning tea and, with a slightly heavy heart expecting the usual rant, ambled over to the mother of this paragon of virtues and asked politely how her daughter was. Nikki was more than a little surprised at the response: 'You mean Princess Bitchface?'

                    Clearly, the puberty fairy had arrived and left a very special type of teenager under this parent's pillow. . .

                    Of course, there are plenty of teenage girls who rise early, shower and get ready for the day without being disagreeable. But listen to parents and teachers, as I do on a regular basis, and you would have to agree that there are indisputably some girls whose behaviour seems for a period of time like a direct emotional assault.

                    So, is it just teenage girls who behave in this manner? Well, pretty much. The reality is that while young boys often start off by being more demanding and labour-intensive than girls, there is no doubt that girls reach higher levels of complication as they get older. Many parents discover how difficult parenting really can be when their daughters hit puberty and become entwined in intricate adolescent peer relationships, which can have a domino effect on the home front. Teenage boys tend to be less involved in emotional complexities.

                    I've decided to call this manifestation 'the Princess Bitchface Syndrome'. In psychology, the word 'syndrome' refers to a collection of signs or symptoms that together form a condition with a known outcome, or which requires a special response. In my view, precisely such a collection of signs and/or symptoms exists not just in the Australian community but across the western world – an instantly recognisable adolescent female who transforms almost overnight into a rebellious stranger who behaves like a responsible adult one day and a spoiled child the next.

                    Talkback radio switchboards across Australia neared meltdown in February 2006 after two 14-year-old girls were charged with dragging a disabled 53-year-old taxi driver from his cab, bashing him to death and stealing his vehicle and mobile phone. The girls were also allegedly involved in an armed robbery a day after his death. Where, it was plaintively asked, were their parents, and what were these girls doing wandering around the suburbs of Sydney at 2 a.m.?

                    In the past decade, boys have (for good reason) grabbed the psychological limelight. Yet you don't need to be the Agony Uncle for a teenage girls' magazine to realise that life for our young women is tougher now than ever before. Divorce rates are up to almost 50 per cent, the average length of new marriages is 11 years, and the number of children in care has jumped 70 per cent over the last decade because of increased reports of neglect and abuse. One in four young women has been a victim of drinkspiking and/or sexual molestation. Anxiety and depression rates are rising too: 11 per cent of our girls routinely engage in deliberate self-harm, and underage drinking kills one teenager and results in more than 60 hospital admissions each week.

                    Planet Girl is in crisis. There is something terribly wrong when, in counselling sessions, 13-year-old girls wring their hands about whether they are satisfying their sexual partner, or when 10- year-olds write to magazines reporting that they have lost their virginity and can't understand why 'he' doesn't return their calls. By the time girls turn 13 they look like they're ready for anything. But they're not.

                    As a society we appear to be losing it when it comes to parenting our girls. More and more young women seem to be in charge of their own lives, more worried about pleasing their age peers than listening to or respecting their parents. Right across Australia, battle-weary parents are raising the white flag and beating a hasty retreat from the fray.

                    Every week in my office I witness girls who are empowered to the point where the adults in their lives feel helpless and ineffectual. Adolescents' wish lists become must-do lists, because to deprive a child of an iPod (let alone make them attend a 'boring' family function, church or carol service) is seen by many as akin to cruelty, neglect and abuse. This generation is enmeshed in a culture of getting and spending – and there can be double trouble where parents have divorced, separated or blended, because if one parent doesn't buy for the child, the other will.

                    In the current environment, it is politically incorrect to suggest that parents are responsible for this state of affairs – because this is 'parent bashing' and induces guilt. But surely we have an obligation to make healthy choices that will guide our daughters, socialise them and eventually teach them to be independent. If we don't perform this role, who will?

                    This book, then, is about parenting with intelligence, with a loving but firm hand. While it is counterproductive for parents to be in the faces of their daughters 24/7, it is vital that you are supportive, make them feel safe, valued and trusted and, above all, that you know where they are, who they are with and what they are doing.

                    This applies to young people of both genders, of course: they need boundaries and rules if they are to learn right from wrong.

                    You cannot parent the most vulnerable generation of teenagers in our history via mobile phone. In other words, it is time to get a plan, develop a strategy and get involved.

                    ISBN: 9780143004660
                    ISBN-10: 0143004662
                    Audience: General
                    Format: Paperback
                    Language: English
                    Number Of Pages: 184
                    Published: 3rd July 2006
                    Dimensions (cm): 16.7 x 13.8  x 1.3
                    Weight (kg): 0.15
                    Edition Number: 1