.Part 2 – Parenting tips – 2013
TALKING TO YOUR DAUGHTER IN A LANGUAGE SHE UNDERSTANDS
Ever feel like you’re talking to your daughter in a different language?
Why is it that teenage daughters and mothers tend to fall out over the smallest things?
One minute you think you are giving a compliment, the next your daughter is flying off the handle.
Miscommunicating is a widespread problem between daughters and mothers.
Your daughter is hypersensitive at this stage and even suspicious of at least some of the things you say to her. It is a tricky time and even offering a compliment or a simple observation may be taken the wrong way – leaving you feeling like you cant say anything right. Try not to take it personally; it takes time and patience to be on the same page as a teenage girl.
Tips to help improve communication with your daughter;
Be specific it’s always easier to misinterpret what someone says, so its important that your choose your words carefully. If you are offering her a compliment, be as specific as you can so she doesn’t misunderstand your true meaning.
Signal first if you want to offer some criticism or guidance, signal it first to soften what you’re saying, for example: “This might be something you wont like me saying, but I think it can come across as rude if you…………..
Take time to talk especially when it comes to conversations and comments about appearance. Its critical to fully engage with your daughter, signaling to her that what she has to say is important to you.
Pay close attention when your daughter is talking if you’re halfway through an email or watching TV, stop what you are doing to show that you care about the conversation. If it is something you can’t switch off, like driving in the car or dealing with another one of your children ask your daughter if it can wait until later. Say “I really want to talk about this properly, would you mind if we continue later when I can give you my full attention?”
Take your time over your words next time your daughter flares up at something you say, take a step back and think about exactly what you said – even write it down if you can remember it. How specific were you? Was there too much room for interpretation? How could you rephrase it better next time?
Be big enough to say sorry have you ever let something slip out that was unnecessary, hurtful or incorrect? If you say something that could have hurt your daughter in any way, don’t let it fester – say sorry. This not only helps with your relationship but will also show your daughter it is ok to make mistakes in communication once you can say sorry.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother never did.”
The relationship between mothers and teenage daughters is a difficult one. Try to remember how you were feeling when you were the same age – what upset you – what made you feel insecure – what made you happy. It is very easy to forget what being a teenager is like.
Learn as you go and ask advice from others going through the same stage. It is always comforting to know you are not ‘the only one’ with a difficult teen!
But always remember, to your teen, although she may rarely say it, you are the most important person in her world, her safety net when all else is confusing her. She needs your relationship to be open and trusting. It is not easy but it is most definitely worth making the effort.
“Love your mother, the most beautiful person on this earth. Our best critic, yet our strongest supporter.” (A teens thought!)