THE CHALLENGE: Just looking for tips on how moms with daughters handled the transition from best friend and sweet little girl to attitude, argumentative and mean teenager. I’ve accepted that I have to loosen the reigns and let her try to figure out who she wants to be on her own while trying to provide guidance. Even though my guidance is not perceived well with her cause “I know nothing about anything” in her eyes. I keep reminding myself that I once was a teenager myself and this too shall pass. I also know that I’m not the only one who has or will go through this with their daughter. Just looking for suggestions on how to cope with these changes so that I’m not so miserable and feeling like I’m constantly nagging her.
NOW WHAT: I really love that you are trying to let her figure it out. That is amazing as some parents think the parenting job is to control them. They are looking to find out who they are and sometimes they see us as a road block. These days our teenagers are connected more to their peers than to us parents. It is mostly because they have constant connections with them (Facetime, social media, texting, etc.). Which leaves us parents excluded from their life, We cannot compete with that because that is 24×7 access. They have much to much in common with them than they do with us. But honestly, it does hurt seeing our innocent children turn into teenagers. Years ago when we were teens we didn’t have this type of exposure to our peers. We would see them in school and maybe speak on the House Phone (with a wire) I am not that old. However, when they get connected with their peers they are influenced by the groups beliefs, values and well most likely lack of respect for parents. Hey if my friend is putting down her parents, I should do the same so I fit in. The more they are influenced the more they will be mean to us. So what is the problem that needs to be solved? Ask yourself some questions. What am I going to accomplish by asking her a million questions? Can we have a conversation without me giving advice? Can I just listen and agree with the challenges she is facing without trying to rescue her? How can I try to understand her world? How can I show her I had challenges when I was her age and provide her with guidance without sounding like a broken record? When we try to give them guidance they just hear more noise. How can I show her that I am human and have feelings and am vulnerable? How can I find a way to become her friend (find a way to play the game that her peers are playing). What does she like to do, to eat? Can we spend some mom and daughter time together without, questioning, lecturing, judging or trying to rescue her? What do I need for me? What makes me happy? Our teens are going to do whatever they are going to do. Trying to control their lives will not work. I understand how it feels when they are becoming independent (we could do without the drama) but that is the stage they are in. We can love them or control them. We can’t do both. Whatever you do will be the right decision for you and your daughter.🤘
THE RESPONSE: thanks so much for your post!!! It’s great advice!! That’s the one thing I knew I’ve been trying to do and it wasn’t working which was to control her. I’ve since realized that I can’t do that. I gotta cut her some slack. I think me taking a step back, asking the questions you suggested will definitely help! I’m definitely just going to love her and hope that one day my actions will be her guidance. Thanks again for taking the time to offer this advice. It means ALOT!!
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Warriors Of Life Institute
Transformational Parent Coach, RelationSHIFTER, Teen Mentor, Part-Time Comedian & Author