What happened to the sweet little girl who used to call you Mommy and say you were her favorite person in the world? Now she talks to you as if you say stupid things just to irritate her, and she looks at you as if you had the word “moron” tattooed on your forehead.
Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., writes for Psychology Today that this right of passage between mothers and daughters happens when the younger starts coming of age and seeking independence and individuality.
What A Teen Girl Wants
She might not be mature enough to articulate it, but this is what she wants:
- More freedom
- More time with friends and less with family
- More privacy
- Less parent time
- To be treated like an adult, not a child
The problem is, she isn't aware that she wants this, and she is just learning to recognize her feelings and express them. She's not very good at it, is she? Her words hurt.
She's a Professional Door-Slammer
A U.K. study found that teenage girls annually
- Argue with mom 183 times
- Fight with dad 127 times
- Cry over boys 123 times
- Slam doors 164 times
If it's any consolation, 75 percent of the U.K. women said they were grateful to their mothers for the way they were raised. It might not seem like it now, but your words get through to her.
Irene S. Levine, Ph.D. writes in Psychology Today that moms’ and daughters’ relationships are similar to friendships because of the closeness of the information they share. However, one key factor keeps them from being BFFs, is your relationship is hierarchical. You are not equals, says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., “The Friendship Doctor.”
A Shopping Trip to Rebuild Bonds
A shopping trip can be a great opportunity for the two of you to talk about things like boys, parties and school, while her guard is down and you are both relaxed. WebMD says to be mom first and friend second; find a balance between friendship and motherhood. Be open-minded and nonjudgmental about the things she talks to you about. She's looking for respect, even if you don't agree with her. Be clear about limits you set for your family, especially when it comes to sex, drugs and drinking. Tell her that you understand her feelings, and remind her that you were once her age.
As much as a girls shopping trip could be a mother-daughter re-bonding experience, remember that the two of you are just that, mother and daughter. It's your job to make sure she tries on shoes that are appropriate for her age. You set the spending limits.
It is also important that you not give the impression your love and forgiveness are for sale. Let her know that your day of shopping is more about the two of you spending time together than it is about spending money.
Levine goes on to say that mothers are not responsible for their daughter's happiness, as much as they want to take ownership of it. (Likewise, daughters should not take on the responsibility of making their mothers happy.)