The relationship a mother shares with her teen daughter is unique. But, it can also be filled with highs and lows that leave you struggling to connect. Here are five ways to bond with your teen.
By Jasmine Kaur
Teenage is a time when your child begins to discover and form her own identity. It’s also when your teen connects more with others her age as they are also going through the same process. This means, you may feel disconnected from her.
Although you might feel it is hard to establish a rapport your daughter, it’s not impossible. Read on to discover five simple ways you can re-connect with your teen.
Find common ground: As your teen develops her own distinct personality, it is natural for her to have views different from yours. At the same time, there might be several hidden commonalities too. Try to find out what you both agree upon. This could be something as trivial as not liking the crust on your bread or, something as important as a particular political belief. It is also a good idea to look for an activity that you both enjoy doing, for example, playing board games or watching movies. This can be a great way to spend time together and bond better.
Share your past: Perhaps the thought never occurs to children that their parents also passed through childhood and teenage before they became adults. So, let your teen know that you were also a teen once. And, what better way of doing that than by sharing a few of your teenage experiences. You could talk to her about your interests when you were a teen, funny mistakes you made, the lessons you learnt, your differences with your parents and how you dealt with it. Revealing this hidden aspect of your life to your teen will make her understand you better. Moreover, she may even begin to think about you in a different way.
Discuss womanhood: Preteen is the best time to begin talking about womanhood with your daughter. But, don't worry if you have not done so yet, there is no time like the present. Make your daughter understand that she is unique. Talk to her about the values dear to you as a woman, how to deal with someone who is trying to be disrespectful with her, and about the challenges you faced which she may also face, at some point. Discuss the importance of being true to herself, of standing up and speaking out against what she considers is wrong. Teach her how to make the right choices and remain motivated even when things aren't going in the right direction. The experience of being a woman is distinct and, a powerful way of connecting with your daughter.
Go volunteering: Lending a helping hand with your teen is one of the best ways of teaching her to be kind, compassionate, responsible and grateful. Volunteering will also give your daughter a chance to meet like-minded individuals from different backgrounds. The difference both of you make in the world together can be a great transforming experience. Volunteering will give you and your daughter the opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the world around you, and help you grow together. So, find out if there are opportunities where you can volunteer together.
Travel together: Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Research has shown that travelling promotes good health, enhances creativity, boosts happiness, decreases stress, and improves social and communication skills. Travelling together can also be a good way of bonding with your teen daughter. It isn't necessary to take a long vacation to an exotic, faraway place. You can also do weekend trips. Travel is not just about the journey, it's also about planning where to go, how to go, what to do there, and more — with both of you involved in a common goal. So, sit with your daughter and begin planning your next trip.
Developing a positive and trustworthy relationship with their teenager is something every parent aims to have. But don't lose heart even if your teen tends to be unpredictable. Rather, be empathetic and sensitive to her assertions of independence. And most important, be supportive through her journey into womanhood.
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