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My 15-year-old daughter is at that age where she doesn't want to spend any time with me but rather be with her friends constantly. Do you think she'd lose that attitude if we go on a trip just the two of us? If so, what kind of trip do you think a teen would like to take with her mother?


Maureen Whitehouse Replied: I suggest that anything you choose to do with your daughter - whether it's a trip around the corner to the grocery stor or a trip to the Swiss Alps - is something that you absolutely LOVE to do. Share with her something that makes you feel so happy and alive that your joy is contagious. We can never give anything to another that we haven't first received for ourselves. If you choose to share something with your daughter that you really, truly love, she will see you in a whole new light. There will be no coersion or manipulating necessary. Joy and Sef-love are magnetic!
Posted On 2010-06-21 20:01:40
Luisa Frey Replied: Absolutely, I KNOW that her attitude will change if you take a trip together. I've seen it happen each time my 16-year-old daughter and I take a trip together -- it's like magic occurs! By getting away from the fast pace and pressures of home life, you can connect in a fun yet deep way that you may not have experienced for years with her.

As founder of -- which is written by teens for their peers and parents -- I've found that teens like ACTION! They don't want to sit in a car for endless hours only to end up LOOKING at a church or a traditional museum. They'd rather be DOING things with you such as: water sports; amusement parks (roller coasters are a huge teen favorite); ziplining; and shopping and dining in cool, funky areas of cities you may visit. One of my teens' favorite ways to travel is on a cruise ship -- that way she can hang out with her peers in the teen programs but you also get time with her ashore in ports and during meal times. She also, surprisingly, enjoys a bit of historical travel, as long as there are some INTERACTIVE museums coupled with fun dining and shopping. To learn more click on the link below with your daughter.
Posted On 2010-06-04 13:32:15
Dr. Vicki Panaccione Replied: Your daughter is actually doing exactly what is developmentally and totally appropriate for her age. In fact, I would be concerned about her if she wasn't moving in this direction. Putting her peer group first is the first step teens take on their way toward leaving the nest when the time comes to move out, go to college, etc. This is a really important phase, where they begin to form their own identity by comparing themselves with others, and practicing social relationships (problem-solving, coping, managing feelings, loyalty, etc.) in order to become socially-oriented. It is very important that you allow her to move in this direction. Your relationship now and later in life will be much more enriched for doing so. Trying to hold onto the reins or force a relationship will cause resentment and a desire to ‘get out of here as soon as possible.' She most likely will not, nor should she, change her attitude about her priorities. If that's your goal, you will be sorely disappointed. If you set yourself up as competition to her time with friends, you will most likely lose. Instead, work on finding a way to integrate yourself (not intrude) into her world (i.e. offering to chauffeur, order pizzas for her friends at the house, etc.) Additionally, you might carve out some time during the week when you and she do ‘girl stuff,' such as a manicure, shopping, exercise/yoga class, etc. She probably will not want to caught dead with you at a movie, the beach or any other arena where her friends might be. There may be times that she must be with the family (i.e.—religious worship, Sunday family dinner, when relatives visit, etc.) That is fine as long as she doesn't feel too constricted. If you would like to take a trip, ask her what she would like to do. If she asks to bring a friend, try not to take it personally…she's doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing.
Posted On 2009-09-23 19:18:30
Deborah Maragopoulos Replied: Although this is your daughter's time to start to disentangle from you, it is important to spend time with her. A trip is a wonderful way to connect. A weekend spa retreat, a day at the beach, a short cruise, or my daughter's and my favorite-- a spirit trip--we just pack a weekend bag ready for adventure and embark on a road trip stopping in interesting towns, staying a night and discovering something new. Last year we included her grandmother on a five day trip up the California coast exploring the beaches, staying in funky hotels, taking pictures, playing cards, just remembering each other's presence. Your daughter needs you as much as she is pulling away. You can start small with date nights. Just you and her doing things she likes are great ways to connect like getting a pedicure together. Or take a fun class together...belly dancing, ceramics, or learn a new language. When my daughter was 15, she expressed an interest in surfing so I learned with her! We had lots of time together driving to and from the beach, prepping our boards, bobbing out in the water waiting to catch a wave. She was a natural so I let her teach me. By surrendering to her innate wisdom, the adolescent barriers to our communication dissolved and she opened to me.
Posted On 2009-09-21 14:23:07
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