Bringing Down the Wall
Have you ever felt the wall?
You know the wall between you and your daughter.
It’s obvious when the wall is up. It feels icy. She glares at you. She walks past you in the hall. She is walled off in her room.
You force her talk but you get one word answers, or “I don’t know.”
Sometimes she attacks you with horrible, mean words. She yells, “I hate you. You have ruined my life,” and the wall is still up.
The worst part of the wall is that you have no idea what’s going on with her.
No wonder that the national statistics in America is that moms and teens fight 20 times a month. That’s basically every day until she is gone for the weekend. If you think that early adolescence starts at age 9, then half the years with your daughter will be a battle and she will be walled off from you.
The problem is that you need open communication to protect her and guide her.
There are issues coming at your daughter every day, which she doesn’t know how to handle.
Now she will pretend she is all knowing, but she is a sheep among the wolves.
I have seen this especially with sexual bullying. Middle school girls who have received their first phone are unprepared for what lies in cyber land. An alarming trend is how many boys in middle school and high school will ask girls to send them nude pictures over text or i-chat. These girls don’t know how to reply to these requests, especially if they are badgered and the boys are popular.
You need the open communication to help these girls find a way out. Of course to us it seems simple, but from their vantage point it gets confusing. It’s hard to say no to whatever the peer pressure or trend is.
You don’t want your daughter only relying on her teenage friends for counsel; you want her to be able to be open to you.
3 Ways to Bring Down the Wall
1. Be Available
It’s easy to be the 24/7 monitor where you are only around to make sure she goes to bed, does her homework, or gets to school on time. This is not being available. To be available means you are open to be interrupted. That you are there for your daughter when there is something that bothers her, or you are there when she is feeling lonely.
To be available means you are in an open place, and not preoccupied.
2. Be a Safe Harbor
You want to be a safe harbor which means that you need to be calm. If your daughter tells you something and you freak out and start yelling at her, she will not feel safe. If she feels judged, she will not feel safe. If she picks up that you don’t like her very much, she will not feel safe.
When your daughter doesn’t feel safe, she builds a wall to protect herself.
A safe harbor is where your daughter can escape her adolescent storm and find comfort and safety. Sometimes you don’t even need to say anything, just watching a movie or playing with the dogs can help ground her and remind her who she is.
3. Be Approachable
Teen girls are tuned in to you. If you are intense, angry, or stressed they will avoid you. Lighten up. This is a great excuse for you to relax at home. Let some things go in the house. Sit down and read a book. Put your feet up. Find your sense of humor. When you are relaxed, open, and playful your daughter feels like she can approach you.
Easier said than done, I know it can feel complicated to turn your relationship with your daughter around.
Look, you really can bring the wall down. I have worked with thousands of mothers and daughters and I am in the trenches myself.
I have combined over 25 years of experience and created my Power Your Parenting Program. If you are interested in rebuilding your relationship with your daughter then hit reply and I’ll send you more info.