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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!