The tips provided in this article aim to help you better understand your teenage girl, as well as how to create a deeper connection with her.
How do you as a Mother Impact her Life?
The relationship between a mum and her daughter is special, but can become challenging during the teenage years.
According to a number of studies, the relationship between mother and child is one of the most important indicators of mental health problems. We mention mums only here because as mentioned in the studies, most children spend more time with their mum so they influence them the most.
The influence of behaviour and mindset of parents on shaping the character and behaviour of children is crucial. This does not mean that as a mum you have to be perfect; perfection does not exist and your kids are not expecting you to be.
As parents and especially as a mum, the most important things to do is to lead by example. For example, if you make a mistake in front of your teenage girl instead of avoiding the topic or being embarrassed, talk about it openly and freely and learn the lesson with her. What she needs the most is to see your human side.
Maybe you have that feeling of losing or being disconnected from her, however you are still her role model even though she might not express it. Teenage girls tend to become distant with their parents, but keep in mind that she still watches what you do because it is her reference, her barometer, in case she needs anything.
The World of Your Teenage Daughter
Quite often we think about how hard it is for parents to be around their teenagers, forgetting how hard it is to be a teen and navigating through this time of growth.
The teenage years are as challenging for your daughter as it is for you to be around her! Her whole world is changing in a split second, she is not a little girl anymore but she is still a long way off being an adult.
Her life was based on play and all of a sudden, she needs to deal with hormones, emotions, the rapid changes in her body, and also her relationships with her friends.
Your teenage girl is becoming a young woman and we all remember how hard it can be. Between the periods, the drama with their girlfriends, their hormones, school, and their first crush, it can be quite overwhelming to navigate in these uncharted waters.
It can also be frustrating to see your daughter spending a lot of time in her room or with her friends. This is because she needs to create her world and to feel safe; she needs a space where she can be fully herself without being scared of being judged.
Even though as a mum you want the best for her, she feels safer with her friends because she can talk to them openly. It is important to keep in mind that she has a lot of questions and she does not know what she can share with you or not. Teenage girls are experiencing a lot of things and as parents we want to protect them, but our role is to let them know we are here for them but we cannot stop them from making mistakes. It is all part of growing up.
Create a Connection with your Teenager
Here are some tips to help your create and maintain a connection with your teenage daughter:
- Listen to her: From time to time, you will have the feeling that her life is full of drama and you won’t always understand her stories or even her feelings – but it is her world, and it is important to her.
- Involve her in decisions about her: Your teenager needs to know that her opinion matters and she is not a child anymore. Even though you are still her mum, she needs to know that she can make her own decisions and you will support her.
- Give her some affection in her own way: We all know how quickly teenagers can be embarrassed in front of their peers. Your daughter is not a little girl anymore so there is no need to express your love to her in front of her girlfriends. She will reject you which can lead to conflict.
- Respect her friends: You do not need to like all of them but if they are important in your daughter’s life, it is better for you to know them and to keep an eye on what is happening, so that if she needs to she can talk to you.
- Create a safe place where she can talk to you alone: Mother/daughter time. She won’t ask for it – but she will need it! It will be your best opportunity to have a nice chat about her life but more importantly about some girls’ stuff. If she comes to you and asks you some questions about sex for instance, do not close the chat because you do not know what to say. Take your time and explain to her that it is hard for you as well, but you are happy that she trusts you enough to talk about it.
- Rules at home: Being close to your teenager does also mean that she needs to respect the house rules, and to know the consequences if she does not. She still needs you as a guardian and to guide her.
If you are feel overwhelmed by the demands of parenting your teenage daughter, reach out for help. It is a complicated time but it doesn’t need to be painful, you can go through it with her and guide her in a positive way.
Ana studied psychology overseas, and is able to provide counselling and therapy in both English and French. Her goal as a counsellor is to help her clients achieve their goals and overcome barriers in their personal and/or professional lives, utilising psychological strategies such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.