Create a Great Relationship with Your Teenager

A great relationship with your teenager may sound more like a dream than a reality, but the crazy thing is… it can actually happen. How do I know? I am living proof. Now the fact that I have twin, teenage daughters..yes I said twin teenage daughters means I pretty much have my doctorate in this subject. Now, am I saying I have all of the answers. Nope, but I can tell you how I got here in hopes of cutting your learning curve.

Your teenage daughters can be the best gift that you have ever been given; unfortunately, you may not feel that way right now. So, I want to give you a few things that I did which worked for me in helping to ensure I had a great relationships with my teenage daughters.

  1. Do you guys argue? Well of course you do, silly question. How do you handle those arguments? Do you actually listen to them or do you do all of the talking. My daughter, Mariah, once told me how frustrating it was because I would always cut her off. Although, they are children, I still needed to respect her and her opinion. Once, she realized I was actually listening to her and wanted to hear her side of things, we were able to have more constructive arguments. Yes we still disagree but at least we get somewhere with those disagreements now.

I think I gained the most respect from her when I admitted I was wrong. OMG, it was one of the hardest things I had to do, but after talking with her I realized I was wrong. 

  1. Do things with them ON PURPOSE! I cannot stress how important this really is! We get so busy with work, managing the house, the kids etc, we sometimes forget that our teens need us now more than ever. Just this summer, one day, me and the girls realized we had a free weekend, so we filled the car up and did a weekend trip to New Orleans. I checked the internet and got a really great deal on an awesome hotel on Bourbon Street! We went to the WWII history museum and the Whitney Plantation. We created memories, while strengthening our bond with one another. It meant a lot to them that I put things on the back burner for them instead of making them take a back seat to my stuff.  As they head back to school, why not ask them one day about picking them up and taking them out to lunch. We often find time for lunch meetings so why not schedule some time with our teens. When the last time you have done something on purpose with your teenager? Even if they seem like they don’t want to, do it anyway. It may seem strange at first but they will appreciate your effort one day.
  2. Simply ask them. What do I need to work on to have a better relationship with you? In turn, let them know what you feel they can do to have a better relationship with you. Now, at this moment, they may not really see the importance of having a relationship with you. Instead of actually talking sometimes, you may want to text. I know it seems less personal but let’s face it that’s how teens communicate these days. If I see a hairstyle that I think would look nice on them, I will send it to them. We may send each other little jokes that we find funny. It’s really the small things that count. Remember, you are the adult, so we have to be the ones to take the high road and make more of the effort, but trust me it will pay off.
  3. Do you have the teenager who is so ready to get out of the house and live on their own? We did a neat little activity one day. We pulled out the apartment guides and had them pick out an apartments, if you really want to make it real, take them out to look for apartments. We even looked for cars, car insurance, food, furniture. Those things add up really quick! Once they start computing the numbers they will learn really quick the benefits of living at home. My children are actually looking forward to leaving and going to college but one of the things I have taught my girls is to enjoy the process and not focus on the outcome so much. Enjoy this time as a teenager because you have the rest of your life to be grown. You can go forward but you cant go back.

Again I am not in anyway saying that I have all of the answers but I really enjoy being the mother of teenage girls. I love the fact I have an awesome relationship with my teenagers. Now I am very clear this could change at any moment but for the current moment I love it and hope that it stays this way and if anything changes please someone remind me of this article so I can read it and take my own advice!

Back 2 School !!!

Wow! Doesn’t it feel as though the kiddos just got out for the summer and now it’s time to get back in the swing of things. So, if you want to have an awesome fantastic school year, then here is your guide.

  1. Get organized….. Go through their clothes and see what they can fit and what they can’t. This way, you will know what you have to buy and not buy. Now, you might be that cool mom who buys all new school clothes. Rock on girlfriend, do your thang….. But, I have 6 kids, we have not ever bought all new school clothes. We even asked our teenagers what kind of school shoes did they want last year and they replied, we are cool with what we have! Yes, I was shocked as well. Needless to say, please go through and check and see what your inventory is looking like. If you want to share the love, get on your local facebook groups etc and let them know you have uniforms your child has outgrown, bless someone else!
  2. A week before school starts, ensure your child is back on schedule. Children thrive off of routines.
  3. Chances are, your child’s school calendar is already out. Call over about 2 homegirls who children attend the same school. Have them each bring 2 bottles of wine. Then, you guys pour a glass or two and then commence to putting all of the days off, activities into your phone…. Trust me it’s so much more fun this way!!!
  4. Before the school year starts, have a family meeting. In this meeting, discuss your expectations for the school year individually and how the group can support each other. Talk about different incentives you will get for meeting certain milestones. Make sure you post these somewhere.
    1. Ask them, how involved they would like for you to be this year. Did you over do it last year, did they want to see you more this year.
    2. How many times do they want you to come and have lunch with them.
    3. Let them know how excited you are for the school year.
  5. HAVE FUN!!!!!! There are so many empty nesters out there who have told me how they yearn for these days again, how they didn’t realize how fast the kids would grow up. How do you make it fun.
    1. Make it a celebration
    2. Create a ritual…. Do you cook a big breakfast, walk to school, shoot just ask the kids what they would like!!
    3. Give them a sticker on their hand, they can look at it all day and know you are with them every step of the way. Who cares,they are teenagers, they secretly like stuff like this!!