I get things now that I’m an actual mother myself. When I was a little girl, I always used to wonder, why does my mother do this and why can't she do that, and all the whys, whys, whys? I judged her, not for being the mother she was to me, because she truly had the best intentions considering she was a single mom. I judged her based on how she spoke to me, and how she repeated things over and over until I wanted to bang my head against the wall. I considered her annoying and I mumbled things under my breath because I lost patience. Then again, what teenager has patience? My point is, now that I’m experiencing motherhood, and raising two children, I can actually step outside my role and understand how my daughters feel at times. So, I decided to create tips for mothers to realize what their daughters may really want.
So here it goes mommies...
Don’t be repetitive, annoying, and nagging (I admit, hard for me to do) – our daughters hear us. They listen, they observe. They understand what we’re telling them. They get it. They rebel or pretend not to listen because they just DON’T WANT TO DO what we’re asking! Simple as that. Change the way you talk to them. Spice things up a bit, and say things differently. Don’t be a broken record. (no different than being married!)
Put your cell phone away or in a different room when you’re together with your daughter. Don’t complain about your kids using their cell phones for hours on end if you can’t even leave yours for an hour! Your daughters want time with you. Even if they don’t admit it, they still really want quality time with their mamas, no matter what age.
If you want your daughters to learn independence, then try showing it. If you’re married, don’t wait for your husband to come home and wash the car, or change the batteries in the smoke alarms. Get the ladder out, get the toolbox and go to town. If you’re a single mom, you probably know independence better than anyone. Hand the toolbox to your daughter and show her how it’s done!
Stop being the time-keeper. Late to school? Late to work? Late to practice or events? Late getting out the door on most days? Your kids are fed up with you yelling “let’s go! We’re late!” I realize it’s a maturity thing depending on how old the child is, but more times than not, it also has to do with disorganization, or not being motivated. Stop controlling the time clock and let them experience the consequences for lateness. I didn’t say threatening them was not allowed. Buy them a watch with a timer. Don’t write the late notice to the school office. They’ll walk in and have to explain why they’re late to the attendance office. Let them tell their coach why they’re late for practice. And, for every one minute of lateness, they get five minutes lost of cell phone time, computer time, TV time, or chill time with friends. Make it longer time that’s lost if you feel five minutes is not enough. Accountability works wonders.
Say “I’m sorry.” Say it more often and model forgiveness. Telling your daughter that you’re sorry for something you said or did is one of the most powerful things you can do and says much about your relationship with her. You can’t act stubborn and expect her not to reveal her stubbornness.</li>
Be respectful of her privacy without thinking she’s shining you off. Just like you need time alone, so does she. Remember when you were a young girl and you wanted your door closed? Well, history tends to repeat itself.
Curb the embarrassment in front of your daughters friends. You might think you’re being cool, but to them, your coolness is embarrassing. Don’t be the Elaine Benes on the dance floor (notice how I used the word “curb.” Everyone knows I love to dance at parties and events, and it’s hard to get me off the dance floor, so I try to curb the moves just for my girls!)
Share more stories about yourself when you were her age. Girls like to hear your stories without always having to give her advice. That’s right. You’re not just her mom. You’re a mom who had similar experiences at her age. So why not give your daughter some perspective? It might just break the ice on some difficult topics or things she’s going through.
Stop being a control freak. Trust. Trust that she will make good choices (and have good judgment). She cannot possibly do all the right things all of the time. So, be less critical and more trusting, and try not to worry about the little things.
Don’t listen to your daughter’s conversations with her friends. You don’t like it when she does that with you, so treat her with the same respect. It might be tempting at times, especially in carpool, but why bother? You might get more annoyed at what you hear, so better to just keep to yourself and turn up the radio.
Oh, and don’t sing either. That will embarrass her too.