Julie got the Memo

5 ways to strengthen the bond with your teenage daughter.

 

My daughter and I have a unique relationship, 15, that’s the number of years that divide us.  We have definitely grown in our relationship as mother and daughter and while being a teen mom was difficult, being a mom to a teen seems to be much more challenging. Over the years I have realized that there are plenty of things that keep our relationship solid. I am going to share 5 of them with you.

 

  1. Honesty – I know, we aren’t supposed to overshare with our teens but I have to come to realize over time that the more honest I am with her the more she gets it. And by it, I mean everything in general. Why can’t we upgrade our phones? Because I don’t have the funds to make that happen right now. She understands were not in financial crisis but that right now is not the time for that. Why am I cranky? Because I’m on my period and I just don’t have the patience right now. She gets it and respects it.
  2. Don’t Sugarcoat things – I don’t go out of my way to soften the blow in regards to life and reality. Too harsh? No, her teacher’s aren’t sugar-coating anything for them as they shouldn’t and life is surely not going to do it for her. She has a thick skin and it takes a lot to break her. I am the type of mom that tells her how it is. Why can’t she borrow my shirt? Because her boobs are bigger than mine and she’ll stretch it out. It’s not giving her a complex when I sit down and explain the reality of it. We’re not all shaped the same. Why can’t we get fast food? Maybe because we’ve overdone it this last week and we need a break. Again, it’s not about giving her a complex, it’s about letting her know that her body is and will react to the fast food influx.
  3. Understand her – They live in a different time. If we’d had the power to face time at our age…God only knows. All the questions and curiosity they have can be answered by the phone they can’t live without. Remember that your situation as a kid might differ from hers. For example; I grew up having both my parents and 2 siblings. My daughter has only ever lived with me, had an absent father most of her life and no siblings. Things are not the same and if I take the time to remember and understand that it makes for a more productive argument, no such thing? I beg to differ.
  4. Drink coffee together (or eat together) – We’re coffee drinkers in my house so my kid and I regularly have coffee dates. It’s come to the point where she will invite me for coffee. We sip our coffee and talk about school and the future. She’ll tell me her concerns and her ideas and I’ll tell her what I think, honestly and without sugar-coating things. She takes the compliments and the constructive criticism for what they are. And yeah, sometimes she doesn’t like what I have to say and she reacts but she is a teen. She’s learning and growing.
  5. Workout together – Sweat it out together. One of the healthiest things we do together is working out. There are nights we go for a walk, and while she has one headphone in she still talks my ear off. Which is ultimately the goal. There are times where we workout together and we both have our headphones on and we’re zoned out but we’re still together. That being the point.

 

These work for me and her, they might differ for you and yours and that’s ok. The point is to spend time with your teen and be real. My daughter knows I am not perfect, I don’t pretend to be. She knows her mother is a real woman who is flawed and equally beautiful in those flaws, as is she and all women. What fun things do you do with your teen?

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