Living With Teen Daughters
Life with teenage daughters is anything but easy. Or fun. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out, scream, or run away. But there are ways to make it through those tough years, or at least with only getting a few (hundred) gray hairs.
Inevitably you’re going to fight with your teenage daughter. Just face it, it will happen. You’re going to “sync up” and both be hormonal and psycho bitches at the exact same time of the month until she moves out. So, get used to having some major fights.
Try (and I say try because sometimes it’s extremely difficult) to not yell at her. Take some deep breaths. Tell her you’ll discuss the situation later when you have calmed down. Walk away. A shouting match with a teenager who thinks they know everything is the last thing you need because face it, having a teenage daughter is stressful enough without the arguments.
Don’t Cry…or Do It Alone
She’s going to say and do some really hurtful things. You’re going to want to cry, which is perfectly normal and completely fine. But, don’t let her see that she has made you cry. That would just let her know that she has and can hurt you. Don’t give her the upper hand. Stay strong. Walk away. Close the door. Cry alone when she doesn’t know that’s what you are doing.
Love her. And let her know that you love her. She’s a teen, her hormones and emotions are going crazy. She thinks she’s ugly, awkward, unloved. Make sure she knows that isn’t the truth. Tell her you love her every day. Even if she doesn’t want to hear it, say it. Deep down she’ll always want to know that her mom loves her no matter what.
While you’re at it, make sure she knows that she’s beautiful and smart and amazing too. Build her up so that when others break her down she will remember what you tell her every day.
It’s probably been awhile since she willingly hugged you right? That’s normal. Touching her is another way to let her know you love her and care about her. Pat her shoulder as you walk by her. Hug her even if she doesn’t want you to. Put your hand on her back while you stand over her helping with homework (that you frankly don’t understand one single bit). By touching her you are letting her know that you are there for her.
Try try try to not criticize. I know this is hard, but it’s something you really need to work at. When you criticize a teenager, it breaks them down. And they are getting that enough at school and on social media these days. Build her up instead of breaking her down. Don’t criticize the clothes she likes or the way she wants to wear her hair. Remember, you’re the uncool mom and you have no idea what you’re talking about anyway.
When she talks to you, listen. Put the phone, tablet, or laptop down. Turn the tv off. Look at her, engage, and actually listen to her speak to you. Be interested in what she’s saying. Respond to her when she talks to you so that she knows you are really listening.
Be present in the moments with her. If you have multiple kids then it’s probably rare that you get time alone with any of them. So, when you get that little precious time with your teen daughter, be there in that moment. Talk to her. Laugh with her. Smile and cry together. Enjoy every moment.
Go with her if she invites you places. If she asks you to go see a movie or go out to lunch together then do it. She probably doesn’t ask for time with you a lot so when she does, never turn it down. When she has programs, concerts, competitions, award ceremonies, etc at school then go to them. Those are precious things that will only happen once in her lifetime.
Stock up on some necessities. Alcohol…lots of it.
Noise dampening headphones. These can block out that awful music she listens to (or her when she wants to argue). A punching bag…hit this when she makes you furious.
Chocolate, lots and lots and lots of chocolate. This is both for you and her.
Having kids is hard. Living with them is difficult. But life with teens is even worse, especially when they are headstrong, independent, sarcastic, smart-ass, know-it-all girls. Life goes on. Drink your alcohol, wear your headphones, hit the punching bag, and eat some chocolate. In time it all will pass…hopefully.
- Living with teens (especially girls) is difficult.
- Don’t cry, or do it alone.
- Love her.
- Use touch.
- Don’t criticize.
- Be there.
- Get the Necessities.
- Good luck and hopefully you all survive!