Teenage girl.

Does that make you think of drama? Angst? Moodiness? Emotional Rollercoaster? Wouldn’t it be great if our girls could just be happy all the time?

It turns out that one of the biggest blocks to your daughter’s happy state is her Addiction to Drama. Believe it or not, our Addiction to Drama is as powerful as a narcotic because drama produces a jolt of adrenaline— an increased heart rate, heightened senses, increased strength and feelings of power.

Yeah! Who doesn’t want that?

As with any chemical rush, normalcy pales in comparison to the surge drama provides. That’s unfortunate when you are trying to explain the negative side of gossip to a thirteen-year-old who is feeling included for the first time.

It also explains:

  • why kids can’t get off the X-box
  • why children binge series
  • why nice people silently watch bullying
  • why siblings pick fights or needle each other
  • why gossip never dies
  • why cyberbullying is even a thing

(On the positive side, Addiction to Drama explains why our youth so passionately champion important social causes).

As long as the chemical rush is being provided, your daughter’s Addiction to Drama will persist… unless you interrupt the pattern, and substitute something else.

Start by explaining to your teen what goes on with her body when there’s an exciting incident at school. She’s capable of understanding what adrenaline is and what it does. It turns out that understanding the machinations of what’s happening to her help your adolescent make better decisions. That constitutes an interruption. Now all you need is a substitution.

It’s not necessary to have a 1-to-1 drama substitution, like in a recipe. Jolts of adrenaline can happen anytime and anywhere, and still affect the overall body.

If the only rush your child feels is related to hearing gossip, she has no incentive to let it go. However, if she gets a charge from gossip, and another one from shopping, and one from zip-lining, and from competing, and from dancing, and from laughing, and from a sleepover, and from a good book, and from hanging out with her best friend, and from skating, etc., the relative importance and impact of the gossip’s adrenaline jolt diminishes. Other activities crowd it out.

Schedule a time to brainstorm drama substitutions together with your cherub.* I don’t recommend you try coming up with a bunch of ideas for her on your own. Her Addiction to Drama has to be replaced by things that float her boat— that matter to her— not things you believe will matter to her. So, help her generate a list. And then, find ways to surprise her with an item from her list here and there. That will get her adrenaline going!

While you’re at it, take a pause for the cause and look at the level of your own Addiction to Drama. Are you a news junkie? Do you crave reality TV? Do you love commiserating at work? Although this is one of the few areas your daughter will indulge in whether you do or not, if your Drama Meter points to “high,” you better believe your daughter will mirror your example. If you can calm the drama in your life, she will learn that she can, too. You’re the one she wants to be like, so give her something worth imitating. You’re Awesome!

*For more ideas on how to broach subjects with your tween/teenage daughter, check out my upcoming book, How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door.

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