Anastasia, my oldest, is 17 today. And on the occasion of her birthday I want to make some random recommendations on raising teenage girls. In no particular order and with a minimum of effort- here it is:
Give your daughters a taste for elegance, modesty and propriety by emphasizing paperdolls of 18th century young ladies, movies like Emma and Sense and Sensibility, Little Women, teas, luncheons.
Teach them to make good friends; friends who are of good character, unselfish, good Catholics who are neither dreary nor dull. They need friends that have the liveliness and wholesomeness of Anne of Green Gables.
Encourage dancing to teach deportment and confidence and coordination, especially ballet, ethnic dancing, folk and square dancing and even swing dancing. Sports and physical fitness are to be encouraged because of the virtues they teach.
Make sure they learn to work extremely hard and to serve others as a matter of habit. Taking care of younger brothers and sisters, sick relatives, cooking, painting , sewing, wallpapering and gardening. Make prolife work a priority.
Encourage obedience to proper, right ordered authority- not rebellion- in attitude, clothing styles, hair and makeup styles.
Make sure they are familiar with the lives of the saints, foreign languages, musicals, operas, ballets, Shakespeare, other cultures, history, mythology, interesting current events, the seven wonders of the world, and jokes, riddles and brain teasers.
Entertaining any parenting advice from Greg Popzcak or from books authored by him
Video games, myspace, the Mall, Victoria Secret, teen magazines, make up (except for special occasions), fertility awareness or NFP, dating, romance novels, Church youth groups, Lifeteen, co-ed retreats, rebellion, profanity, crudity, vulgarity, lives of celebrities, presuming that marriage will be their path to the exclusion of a religious vocation, selfishness, vanity, "independence", freedom, too much spending money, privacy, a disrespectful attitude, gossip, bullying, making excuses or ignoring character flaws and failures. [Remember the scene in Emma when Mr. Knightley takes her to task for her unkindness] Idleness, boredom, laziness and lack of interest in those around her.
And finally, before Mass say three Hail Marys for your teenage girl's purity.