14 Ways To Improve Your Relationship With Your Daughters
As Mum to 4 daughters, two of whom are teenagers , one a pre-teen and one still to embark on this crazy hormone trip, I’d like to think that I’m pretty well experienced raising daughters in general. After all I have been doing it for over 18 years.
Let me tell you though, even with all that experience behind me, I still feel like I’m on a constant learning curve.
Each age group has their specific challenges.
Just when you think you have nutted out your tween daughter, she goes and does something stupid…. Like turn into a teenager. Then you are back to square one all over again.
The thought of my girls turning into teenagers was indeed a scary thing. I had heard all the horror stories from other parents with teenagers. They were dealing with hormones, surley attitudes, disrespectful behaviour, underage drinking, the fight for independence …. the list goes on and on!
I don’t know how I have managed it but I seem to have been so lucky with the 2 teenage daughters that I have raised so far. They are really good girls, respectful and considerate.
They help out around the house and babysit their younger siblings without complaint. I very rarely have to speak to them about their behaviour and they take their studies very seriously.
You might all be thinking, yeah right, no teenager is that perfect
You would be right. I’m not saying they are perfect, we definitely have our moments (especially when it’s “Shark Week”, and yes, we are all synchronized).
They can have very quick tempers, be extremely lazy and sometimes have mouths like sailors.
All in all though, I am extremely lucky. But is it really luck, or is it the way they have been raised? We all know that all children are different, even those born within the same family.
How can you increase your chances of evolving your pre pubescent pre teen daughters, into acceptable teenage daughters?
Communicate every day. Talk to your daughters every single day and I mean every single day. Find out about their about their lives, what they did that day. Ask them if everything is alright.
What does she need from you? Sometimes teenagers just don’t know how to voice their wants and needs. They may indeed think that what they want is just out of reach and it’s best not to mention it at all. You will be surprised to find that what they want most doesn’t cost money, it may simply be your time and patience.
Ask her opinion, especially on your own fashion sense. She will feel important and her thoughts valued if she knows that you will come to her also for advice. You don’t have to take it, but ask all the same.
Make time to spend quality time together. Go to a movie, to dinner or lunch. Spend an afternoon watching Netflix or teaching her a life skill. To tell you the truth it won’t matter what you are doing, she will value the time you are spending together, just as much as you will.
As they get older their social lives will become even busier than yours. Still make the time, even if you have to schedule a date and time in advance.
Don’t be afraid to talk about the “icky” stuff. Regardless of whether you put your head in the sand, she is going to get her period and there will be boys sniffing around.
If you are open and honest with her and not scared of the big topics, she won’t be either. Boys are going to start hovering, they just will. Don’t issue her with ultimatums, threaten future boyfriends with shotguns (even if you are kidding).
Don’t embarrass her in front of them by whipping out the baby photos or telling embarrassing stories. You want her to feel comfortable. You want any potential boyfriend she brings home to be comfortable in your house.
The last thing you want her doing is sneaking off behind your back. You want your home to be one that she feels safe and secure in bringing friends home to meet you.
It’s much easier to keep an eye on things when they are under your roof, than leaving you wondering where they are and who they are with.
When you have a disagreement, make the first move to resolve it. Remember you are the adult. You will never win an argument with a teenage girl. They will also want the last word.
Be the adult and the bigger person and mend the bridge first, because hell will freeze over before they do.
Listen to her opinions. Respect her beliefs, even though they may differ from yours. If you have done your job right then she is an independent, free thinking person and that should be encouraged.
Listen to her. Even if you don’t have time, make the time. Trying to get a teenager to open up is next to impossible. You have to take your chances where you can get them.
Put yourself in her shoes. Remember you were a teenage girl once. How did you feel? What was your relationship like with your mother? Is it one you want repeated, or are you learning from your mothers mistakes?
Forgive her. She’s going to screw up. Let her know if she’s upset you or hurt your feelings. Believe it or not sometimes they have no idea how they made you feel and 9 times out of ten, once they do they will be remorseful.
Remember that she is an individual. Her hopes and dreams are not your own. Do not live all your unfulfilled expectations through her. This is her life to succeed in, not yours to relive.
She may not want to go to university. She may want to become a plumber or electrician. Maybe a beautician or hairdresser and you know what? That’s ok, because her happiness is more important than your missed opportunities.
Set boundaries. Even though she is growing up and venturing out on her own, she still needs to understand the basic rules that apply to everyone living in the home and abide by them. Including texting you to let you know where she is and what time she will be home.
Let her know that you are not checking up on her….but we worry and it’s just common courtesy.
Don’t gang up on her. If you are having a disagreement, don’t bring in another party to weigh in on the conversation. This is between the two of you, settle it this way.
Once she’s of drinking age, have a glass of wine together. Apart from teaching her that alcohol is ok to drink in moderation. It can be nice to sit down and just have a chat with your now adult daughter.
Hug her and often. Tell her how much she means to you and how proud you are of her. In the hustle of everyday life, sometimes we forget to tell those closest to us just how much we cherish them in our lives.
Make sure she knows and often.