From birth to age six you are your daughter’s everything.
Daughters use what they’ve observed as a child to play “grown up” as she wears your lip stick, puts on your jewelry, and, although stumbling while doing so, puts on your high heel shoes, all in high hopes of looking just like you!
That’s the way it is until your daughter is about 12. That’s when she suddenly becomes the most unaware and out-of-touch being in the house, and you can’t get far enough away from her.
The primary way of communicating for the next five years or so is reduced to one term: “Mom!” As hormones change and your daughter gains more independence, she’s at greater and greater odds with you.
Some even vow “I hate you.”
Those are three words no mother wants to hear. Most mothers wonder why and how their relationship with their daughters could change so drastically.
While mothers are wise enough to know that their daughters are talking from a place of immaturity, anger, and, resentment those words still hurt.
“It bugs me when my mom bugs me about stupid things like pick up your clothes, take your dishes to the kitchen, get off the phone, the list goes on says 15-year old Christy. The nagging is constant and I can’t stand it. I really hate my mom right now.”
The teen years in a girl’s life is tough for both her and her mother. During that adolescent time, the daughter resents you for the very things she used to love you for: 1. Always being around; 2. Nurturing and caring for her; and, 3. Telling her what, how, and, when to do things. She now considers you to be too authoritative, thinks you need to “get real,” and feels that you’re way out of touch with whats happening with 21st century teen girls.
There’s good news! This from cuddly and cute to conflict drastic change in your relationship can be managed. Here’s how:
1. Choose High Value Battles
Every mother has boundaries and rules about everything from makeup to the type clothes her daughter is wears, dating, drugs, chores, money management, academic behavior and performance, driving, curfews, hanging out with friends, drinking and more.
While the rules related to all of these things are important, some matter more than others. An example of a “high value battle” would be risky behavior that leads to substance abuse and sexual activity.
As her mother, you have the benefit of knowing her personality well enough to pre-determine what she is most probable to do.
2. Carve Out Time for Mother Daughter Activities
While your daughter is experiencing enormous change, she still needs your love and support.
Simple time spent with your daughter helps you connect and bond. Some meaningful things you can do include:
1. Have breakfast and dinner with her.
2. Designate a mother daughter spa day using supplies the two of you picked while shopping at Target;
3. Help her makeover her bedroom.
All of these activities provide excellent opportunities to communicate and learn more about each other!
3. Don’t Neglect Yourself
It’s so easy to get caught up in the mother daughter”drama.” However, take time out to do something you enjoy on a regular basis.
Whether it’s date night with your significant other, spa time with girlfriends or a good game of tennis, focus on yourself and things that make bring you joy.
Engaging in activities that you enjoy helps you balance life, reduce stress and helps you lead by example because your daughter is watching.