You thought you had a few things figured out until the teenage years hit. Now you feel like an alien came in and took over your daughter and you have no idea what is happening with her. Your mind is blown! She is a mystery you need help solving.
Here are a few things your teenage daughter would like you to know . . .
- I don’t always want you to fix things for me . . . sometimes I just want you to listen.
As a mother, “fixing” comes naturally. And often, “fixing” is the last thing your daughter wants. Instead she wants to talk about what is going on in her daily life with you without the fear of you overstepping. She wants to be heard and understood.
- Your reactions determine if I am going to be open with you.
Freaking out when your daughter confides in you about what is going on at school or in her friend group will only accomplish one thing – she will no longer be real with you. Staying calm and taking a pause before responding will only help you build an open relationship with your daughter.
- I want to be close with you.
As mothers we innately know when our kids are struggling. We can see it written all over their faces and we can hear it in their tone of voice. We desperately want to know what is wrong, but we can’t seem to get our daughters to open up. It is important to create an environment where your daughter feels relaxed and comfortable sharing. It may be a drive in the car or an outdoor activity like a hike, where your daughter wants to talk. Consistent times together will help build a lasting bond between you both.
- I want you to trust me.
Teenagers are caught smack dab between childhood and adulthood. They are often expected to act like adults while still being treated as a child. If trust has been broken, then it is important to give your daughter opportunities to rebuild your trust. We all make mistakes. We are all in need of a second chance. And mom, wouldn’t you rather your daughter make a mistake in the safety of your home than out there in an unforgiving world?
- Life is really stressful for me right now.
Our daughters are facing their teenage years in a completely different era . . . the era of social media. The peer pressure they face is different than the kind of peer pressure we faced. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a real thing they see while they scroll social media. There is pressure to present their best life online. School can be overwhelming with trying to keep up their grades. The stress and pressure our daughters face can truly be overwhelming. Be gentle with them.
- I am trying my best.
We have to remember the years we have invested in our daughters by helping them become good humans by making good choices and respecting others and themselves. They have been listening and observing us – even when we didn’t have a clue!
- I appreciate you even though I forget to tell you.
So, teenagers aren’t exactly known for dishing out “thank you”. It may be years from now, but the conversations and time you are investing in them right now are shaping them. They may not think to tell you right now. Appreciation and gratitude may come years down the road . . . but mom, (just in case you don’t get to hear it for a while) I want to tell you – you are doing a good job!