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You and Your Teen Daughter Can Be Friends!

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Teens are in an equally difficult and wonderful phase of life. It lasts for a relatively short time before other facets of responsibilities begin to take shape in the form of finding and keeping a job, paying bills, marrying and staying married, finding a work-life balance, etc.

Though all mothers are aware of the wonders and challenges of the six years of being a teenager--since they have gone through it themselves--it seems almost ironic that they often seem to be at loggerheads on social issues with their own daughters through this crucial period. Let us take a closer look at how both your daughter and you can glide through this period and bond more effectively.

1. Know that your teenage daughter loves and needs you.
Teenage girls experience more peer pressure than their male counterparts (Source: Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States; October 15, 1999; 'Voices of a Generation; Teenage Girls on Sex, School, and Self'- a new report released by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation (AAUW); URL:http://www.thebody.com/content/art2349.html). They try and keep up with the trends and ape attitudes and lifestyles of the "leader" of their group or a celebrity. The need to conform is greater in teenage girls. This may make her aloof from you and the family who was earlier her primary support group. Mothers should know this. They must be confident that their teenage daughter still loves and needs them though she may behave quite the opposite. Like most children any age, they love and look for support from their families, particularly from their mothers.

2. Keep communication lines open at all times!
A major part of any relationship’s health depends on communication and it is no different for a mother-daughter relationship at any phase of life. Teenagers have the need to talk. They often find the need satisfied in their peer groups because they feel they are understood there. A mother can be in the communication loop by encouraging her teen to talk to her when she is at home.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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