My 15 year old daughter seems to be on track in every area... I am crazy about her and have respect for who she has become. But she isn't interested very often in spending time with me or talking to me. She doesn't talk to me about what is happening in her friends lives much either. I know she isn't a gossip. But I would like to hear about "stuff" or just small talk with her... Is this a phase or am I in trouble?
Annie Fox Replied:|
If you and your daughter have been close in the past, of course, this must feel like a loss to you. I understand. But it is, most likely, a temporary loss. Please keep that in mind. She will be back!
I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for you, and a little sad, too. But as long as your daughter is “on track in every area” of her life, this isn’t a problem unless you choose to make it one. That’s something I’d advise against as it will only cause you unhappiness and push your daughter farther away.
Your daughter is inching her way toward adulthood. She is entitled to time with her friends and time on her own. Those are opportunities for her to learn a lot about who she is and what she stands for. She has already learned much from you and your job isn’t over. But right now, she’s signaling that she needs space and opportunities to use her own judgment. She also needs privacy to process her ideas and emotions. That’s perfectly normal for 15 year olds.
So don’t take it personally when she chooses her friends over you. And don’t misinterpret her lack of interest in “small talk” as a lack of love for you. She still loves you and needs you. Here are three tips to help you through this transition:
- Respect her need to grow apart
- Refrain from guilt-tripping her into spending time with you
- Remain available to her as a safe, non-judgmental person
Do all three consistently and I guarantee by the time she’s a senior in high school, she will have found ways to re-incorporate Mom into her life.
I hope this helps!
Posted On: 9/04/2007
Ashley Hammond Replied:|
Mother daughter relationships can vary, but offering some safe yet comfortable boundaries is the best proposition. Allowing space and understanding her need for independance from you is crucial, but steering her with a gentle hand when she errs is equally as important. Most behaviours are normal for teenage girls which although broad is true! Remeber she is your friend as it relates to your life not her friends life, that is her world, only when that world becomes "dangerous" or "risky" should parents intervene. This crucial time when young people strive for independence must be managed well, with discipline, restrain and calm but a very careful yet invisible eye to the trouble spots such as late nights, eratic behavior, grades etc... must be kept up. Sometimes telling people in a nice relaxed calm way can open doors and a simple chat on a "common" venture such as shopping or traveling can work.
Posted On: 8/25/2007
Gary Pritchard Replied:|
Not to worry… you are fine and it sounds like your daughter is doing just great. It is definitely a stage and part of their growth to independence. Having gone through this stage 3 times, my wife and I had the best success when we asked less prying questions and just hung around them and listened when they felt like talking .It was during these times when we would get a story or two in casual conversation. Good Luck... and keep respecting who she has become...that is awesome!!
Posted On: 9/05/2007