Her mid to late teens

Your daughter is ever more her own person now.

Much or all of her life is lived away from your home.

She has a family of friends and colleagues who populate her life.

She gives you glimpses of the woman she is becoming…

… and flashbacks to the child she was, and sometimes still is.

She needs you, and she doesn’t.

She wants your opinion, and she doesn’t.

She seems so sure of herself, and then she doesn’t.

You know that you need to trust her to make her own decisions now, but sometimes you can’t quite.

You know it’s natural that she make her life her own, but sometimes that makes you feel like you’re losing her.

Daughter Date

Invite your daughter on a date. Regularly. Monthly if you can.

All relationships need feeding. Do not take your relationship with your daughter for granted – make a space for her, outside of the everyday interactions you may have, where you make a special effort. Even when she is still living at home, schedule treat-time together. Especially when she is no longer living at home, find ways to stay in touch.

Just at a time when it can seem like her life is filled with other things, keep the space open for her.

Invite your daughter to the cinema, cafe, day trip, sale, mountain bike ride, rock climbing, sauna, belly dancing class.

If you live far apart, arrange to watch the same programme and then call afterwards; or handwrite her a letter; send her cuttings from magazines/newspapers that you think will interest her (no hidden agenda); set a time to skype and each open a bottle of wine or brew a pot of tea and eat cakes (send her the cakes!)

At this time in her life it will be important for her to feel that you are revising your relationship with her, allowing her to become the woman she is, and no longer treating her as the little girl she was.

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4 or so comments

4 Responses to Her mid to late teens

  1. Rain says:

    This had me laughing and crying at the same time. I wish. I wish my mother was the kind of person who could and would do any of this for me, especially since I’ve not much to compare to seeing as I lost all of my memories some years ago.

    But I’m not posting because of that, exactly. I get no confirmation whatsoever that I’m maturing, and it’s made me extremely uneasy for some time now. I’ve seen all of the people I grew up with acting like they understand so much, like they know who they are, how they feel, and what they’re doing with little to no doubts. Yet I’ve been looking at myself and I see myself waver, sometimes I act like an adult, sometimes I still act like a kid. I’ve thought it was out of the ordinary, I’ve been thinking that the trauma I suffere must have put me behind everyone else.

    Then I stumble upon this, and everything you’ve said here, it all fits. I’m in my very latest of teens, in fact I’m turning twnty next month, but still this tells me that I’m not as far behind everyone as I think I am. Thank you.

    • Kim says:

      Hi, I am so glad that reading this has helped you to feel happier with the stage you are at in life. Other people can often seem so much more sorted than they actually feel. We are all a mixture of adult and child, because we carry ‘the child that we were’ with us into our adult lives. Learning how to take care of that child-like part of ourselves, whilst growing into the adults that we also become, is the art of maturation. It is not always a smooth process.

      You are not alone. Everyone is on a journey of growing up – sometimes a lot of fun, sometimes hard work and a struggle. I hope you can feel okay to let yourself grow up in your own way, in your own time. I hope you find people throughout your life who love and support you to be just who you are.

      The adolescent years are so important – and we sometimes forget the gifts that the teen years bring: http://ritesforgirls.com/teen-gifts/
      My very best wishes, Kim

  2. Anne says:

    I loved this post, my daughter turns 18 in 2 months and it has been hard sometimes to manage the change in our relationship, as she is away at school, and i had/have a very rocky relationship with my mother, so am trying to do it better!! thanks for your words of wisdom and tips on spending time together for me they are a huge help!!

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for letting me know Anne. I’m glad to hear that spending time together has been helpful – and I’m curious to hear how you have done that. It might give other mothers some good ideas…

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