I recently attended a mother-daughter human development class offered through my daughter’s school. Mothers of my daughter’s classmates shared stories about their relationships with their own mothers.
It was an eye-opening experience to hear how these women communicated with their mothers in their tween years. Sadly, it seemed that most didn’t communicate with their mothers at all.
I was one of the lucky ones who grew up with an incredible relationship with my own mother, one that both comforted and saved me many times. I could tell her anything and in my eyes she could do no wrong. That of course, adds to my frustration that my own daughter thinks I am totally UNCOOL!
“MOM! You are SOO embarrassing!” – who hasn’t heard that heart-warming quote before? There comes a certain point in every mom-child relationship where you suddenly transform from the most cherished person on earth to the equivalent of the Loch Ness Momster – scary, unwanted and better hidden in the depths of a lake. It can feel cold and lonely down there, but don’t worry. You are not alone!
I am grateful that my daughter trusts me, asks for my opinion and confides in me even when it comes to boys, but… she always thinks that I am going to embarrass her! God forbid, I should bust out a dance move or try to loan her an outfit! As if she wasn’t there when I WON the Mirror Ball Trophy!
Seriously though, I understand it. We have such a close relationship that in the grand scheme of things – her deeming me “uncool” is just a minor sting. I feel for those moms and teens that don’t share a strong relationship. I think about how lucky I was to have my mom on my side growing up. Whenever I felt lost, she was always there to show me the way. I want to share that same strong relationship with my own daughters.
What I have learned is that communication is the key to a healthy, strong relationship. I know what you are thinking – “communicating with teens and tweens is tricky business!” I couldn’t agree more. But what I have to constantly remind myself is that our children view communicating with us, the parents, in much the same way.
I truly believe in open dialogue – LOTS of it! Even if it means having to learn the most difficult foreign language in the world… Teen-glish! I value every question that my daughter asks me. I hope I’ll continue to be a sounding board for her, but I realize that there may be other grown-up guides in her life too.
With all of that in mind, my daughter and I decided together initiate an open dialogue with moms and teens called “Teen Tuesday.”
Every Tuesday, we hope to talk to and connect with other mothers and teens online who share our enthusiasm for maintaining a strong mother-child relationship. Our hope is to provide an avenue where moms and teens can share their questions, get some answers and offer support. I am incredibly proud of my daughter for her willingness to participate in this journey with me. While I may have been dubbed “uncool”… I am pretty sure my daughter is the coolest person on earth <3
If you haven’t heard the teen years referred to as the “mean years,” then you’re in for a rude awakening. But I can assure you that learning how to deal with it and how to not take even their moodiest days personally will help a great deal. Communicating with my daughter has helped me to understand what she needs, and what she doesn’t need.
So if you want to chat with us any Tuesday afternoon/evening, we will be here to give you our two cents! Who knows what we may be able to discover…
Tweet us using the hashtag #TeenTuesday!