When I reflect back on my teen years, one thing that definitely stands out is how my mother and I used to get into little spats. I am sure it had to do with my constant mood swings or thinking I knew everything at the immature age of 17. At 17, I thought I was old enough to be independent and thought that I was Miss Know-It-All and I was right about everything. I would purposely go against my mother on what she said (even if I agreed with her) just to prove how “smart” I was.
One saying that rings over and over in my head from my teen years is, “just because all your friends are doing it doesn’t mean you are.” I always got that reminder that my mom was still in control of what I could and couldn’t do.
Are you the mother of a teenage daughter? Looking for new ways to both communicate with your daughter and parent effectively? This is a challenging time for both parents and their teens, and there are a lot of ways to strengthen the mother-daughter bond, minimize the mother-daughter conflict, and actually enjoy the teen years (instead of praying for college years to come faster). Check out the conflict prevention tips below:
Secrets to Maintaining the Mother-Daughter Bond
Choose your battles.
Sometimes it is easier to let the little things go and stay focused on keeping your daughter safe and out of trouble.
Whether it’s girl drama with friends or boy trouble, just listen and be supportive. Avoid giving advice and instead, ask questions to help her figure out what she wants to do. Together you and your daughter can work through the conflict.
What feels like an effort to help can instead be taken the wrong way and lead daughters to feeling hurt and inadequate.
Encourage self-expression with limits.
Don’t pressure your daughter to think she has to make the same choices you did at her age or follow in your footsteps. Encourage her to develop her own interests, style, and to find her passions.
Set reasonable limits.
I believe it is a natural things for teens to push their limits and what they can get away with -- especially when a teen is maturing and developing into a woman. Being too strict can encourage rebellion and setting no limits can cause harm to her as she enters the real world with no rules or limits. Find a happy medium and involve your daughter in discussion with rules.
Set reasonable consequences.
Teens will rebel -- be prepared for it. Set and communicate reasonable consequences. Discuss when a rule is broken and review what the penalty is for breaking that rule. When the punishment is over, insist on an apology, accept it, and move on. No need to discuss the issue over and over again.
The one thing I give my mother such credit for is she never judged me. I always felt like I could come to her with anything or bring my friends home without her judging them. Teens deal with so much pressure and anxiety at school and from the media. The last thing they want to do is come home to be judged by mom. Show your understanding and express your love.
Be a positive role model.
Do what you say so that your daughter can follow your words and actions.