Mothers and daughters begin with the closest friendship. There are many times the dad might feel pushed aside. Within a few years, as the girls approach their teen years the trouble begins. I think at first moms attempt to deal with it as they encounter the hurts from their daughters. If or when it continues for a longer time the father usually steps in and the problems expand. All of this takes a toll on the mother especially. Solving the dilemma will take patience, love, a listening ear, open mind and loving heart along with a firm attitude.
Moms should try not to get involved totally in the drama to the point of screaming or yelling. Parents are always the directors not the actors. Even when hurtful things are said or done by their daughter, it still necessitates that mom hang in there and continue with her guidance understanding and love. Never resort to shame or insults. Teens require more love at this point in their lives, perhaps than they ever needed before. They are being judged constantly by others so they don’t enjoy more assessments from the home. Life is full of alterations. This is one of the great transformations and requires lots of attention and discussion.
Daughters are not little girls anymore and they require discipline with love and patience but also with greater understanding of where they are coming from at this present moment. Parents must see through the upheavals, and the cries for help from their child, as they sift through the upheavals. Understand the playing field has changed. Although I am a firm believer in having respect for kids of any age, I especially think it is important during the teenage years. The confusion and muddled sensitivities of their daughters are persistently evolving. The extent and depth of their pain is real. As insignificant as their problems may appear to us, they are critical to our daughters. Demeaning their attitudes about the importance of their dilemmas has the power to cause rifts of insurmountable complications. Being on constant watch as well as being available to listen is vital.
Perhaps we consider the teen years as the time to remain uncompromising and to strong arm the kids. It is actually the reverse. One needs to be more receptive to the child’s cries wants and requirements and to bend without breaking. The mood swings attitudes and pains are difficult to encounter but remembering the changes taking place on the outside are not even close to the changes taking place on the inside of the child. Staying connected to the inside but physically remaining on the outside helps to control being overtaken by the dramas that present. Many teenage girls are mouthy. Most likely their sassy words are flowing before they have even thought about what they are saying.
Moms may attempt to discipline through necessity due to the disrespect in their child’s words and actions. It reaches the point of no return regarding any compromising when they believe the daughter has overstepped too many times and things are falling apart. Most parents believe at this point they must hold the line. Not so. At this point it is time to review and rethink your rules and parameters. It is time also to use your instincts to understand what the surrounding issues are. See through the daughter’s façade and discover the actual issues. Reconnect with your daughter which may require you to have a thick skin with the potential onslaught of hurtful words. Daughters are angrier at themselves than their mothers. Attempt also to keep voices low. Speak calmly and slowly because believe it or not you can unwittingly change the volatile atmosphere with these tactics.
Kids think parents don’t understand them and don’t have a clue about how they are feeling. Of course saying, “I understand” won’t cut it either. When they fire criticism at you it should be taken in and reflected upon before you retaliate with your own negative response. You must show that you get it by offering to listen. I am not suggesting you break any of your own rules but stating your rules to them bluntly is in their faces and it won’t work. They see themselves as approaching adulthood. They want independence. Offering them as much as you can without giving in to your restrictions is best. They yearn for power even though they are not ready for it, so giving choices to them is sort of a compromise. You get to choose the selections but they get to feel empowered with the choices.
With your attentiveness, you might be able to offer choices which is always a good thing. A child of any age does not feel as controlled when they have some power and influence over their own lives. Blame is never an option but it is easy to express it when in the middle of a confrontation. If you react with calmness, understanding, respect and love you will probably receive a better outcome. You can’t retaliate even if the child does which is what usually happens. They have hormones rising which they can’t control and probably they are not even aware of the effects.
You are the parent and the adult in this situation. The child can lose control but the parents must keep things under a certain tempo no matter how much you assess as wrong, deliberate or mean. You need to get through one battle at a time. Kids are confused and perhaps don’t even intend what they are saying. They are angry and need to take their fury out on someone which happens to be their mothers.
As you learn how to make progress in these altercations by remaining composed, the next argument ought to be of a lesser nature. You will find yourself using your skills of speaking softly with love and openness and directing the drama so it stays as neutral as possible. In all of this the child wants to be heard, understood, and like a toddler get their own way. You can listen and attempt to truly understand and then compromise when possible. When you speak to them at your turn, do some explaining yourself. Don’t discuss how poorly they treated you because it isn’t about you at the moment and you will lose the battle as well as the chance to improve anything. Try to alleviate any problems for them that you can. At the very least keep the communication open always. Maintain a truce.
A lot of times parents get confused about the fighting, believing it is an attack on them. The truth is the kids need to fault someone and take out their frustrations, and that means you are going to be the scapegoat. Any attempt on your part to defend yourself will perhaps cause a set-back. Don’t try to contain a problem that doesn’t likely exist. Keep on topic. It is folly to enter into a shouting match or verbal argument about who did or said what. Getting into the blame game only makes everyone feel guilty and it is a no win situation for all involved.
Moms may end up on the defensive which is a difficult place to be. You never want to be offensive. When dads are called into the discussion, the battle gets vaster and the parties are now fighting for a cohort to build up their side of the issue. Fathers are angry at their daughters for upsetting the mother. Dads may also defend their daughter causing more rivalry to ensue. Fathers might attempt neutrality.
Kids don’t lose the advice we give them even though it might appear so in the heat of discussions. It is easier to say, “I am sorry you feel that way. It is not how I meant you to feel.” Or you might say, “I am sorry you interpreted what I said in such a way. I meant to…. not hurt you in any way because I love you too much to do that.” Now as corny as it may sound, kids like and need to hear us say we love them especially when they know they don’t deserve it. You may have the discussion more than once and you may have to revisit old wounds or situations but you will conquer.
As long as you continually acknowledge and state how much you care and love them, you will break their walls and win their hearts. This is true with boys as well as girls.
Disregard their hurtful words and actions and comprehend that they are having their own temper tantrum just as you observed them at a two year old level. When things are calmer never accuse them of behaving like a child or toddler because you will alienate them. They want to be taken seriously and in an adult fashion. It is important to acknowledge their maturity and respect them.
Daughters need their mothers. They also need to be their own counsel. It all takes time. Always remember that unconditional love means you love without any conditions in return. Although we all like love returned, at the moment your child can’t give it. They still love you but won’t display it in the middle of a fight. When they do calm down at some point, don’t make them uneasy by reminding them how awful they made you feel. They probably know that what they said was mean. They will most likely be harder on themselves than you are on them. Someday when they have their own child or children, they might be better able to deal with the problems using you as their role model. Your handling of the situation can have a huge impact and a profound rippling.
You want your child to be open and honest with you, so treat them with respect. Your non-judgmental manner during any discussion with you will encourage their trust and feelings of safety. It allows you better communication and stronger bonds. I think if we can understand it is not about us but our kids it will keep us from wallowing in our own wounds. You have done a great job and must continue having confidence in yourself and your ability. You are the parent, not the friend, the director not the actor. Accept your role with dignity and calmness.