What Hat Should I Wear?
I am from Texas and yes I do have a cowboy hat. I don’t wear it all the time but you never know when I might feel the urge to wear it. There is a certain feeling and persona I feel when I wear a certain hat. A cowboy hat definitely feels different than the normal white cap I wear when I go jogging.
Moms wear a lot of hats when it comes to parenting. And it can get confusing on what hat to wear especially concerning your relationship with your teenage daughter.
This is because there are many facets to your relationship with your daughter.
As a parent your job is to protect, guide, and nurture your daughter. It can be a challenge to balance these different roles because of this it’s easy to fall into one extreme or another. You don’t want to get stuck only wearing one hat.
1. The 24 Hour Monitor
Many moms get stuck with this hat. When you wear this hat you are all about protecting and guiding your daughter. The only problem is that you can are incessantly checking or monitoring your daughter all the time.
- You monitor what she eats and when she eats
- You monitor when she goes to bed and when she comes home
- You monitor if she has done her homework and where she does her homework
- You monitor her friends and check up to make sure she is doing what she say’s she is doing
Your communication style gets limited to reminding, correcting, and warning.
- You have already eaten an entire bag of Cheetos; do you really need to be eating ice cream? You look like you are gaining weight.
- You have a paper due tomorrow you need to get to work now. Remember you failed your last test.
- You better be home by 11, if you don’t, you will be grounded for the rest of the week.
Now as parents monitoring our daughters is important. The problem is, when this is the only hat your wear. You need another hat to soften the 24 Hour Monitor Hat. Imagine if your best friend only talked to you this way…
Do you really need to have another glass of wine? Do you really think you should eat that big a piece of pie? Do you really have the money to buy that purse? You shouldn’t talk to your husband that way.
You probably would start avoiding your best friend. If this is the only way you talk to your daughter she will also want to avoid you.
2. The Best Friend Hat
You can also get stuck trying to be your daughter’s best friend. You want her to be happy and so you end up compromising on your values and boundaries to keep her happy.
- She complains that her clothes are ugly so you buy her a new outfit.
- She tells you that you are out to ruin her life and you hate all her friends so you say yes to her going to a party where there are no parents.
- You stop bringing up things that you know will make her mad. You know her grades are falling but you don’t say anything. You are concerned that she may be drinking consistently and smoking weed but you don’t do anything.
- You find yourself buying cigarettes for her or a new ecig because she is having a drama fit and you’ll do anything to have peace at home.
The problem is you can’t be your daughter’s best friend and protect her. If you are doing your job there will be tension sometimes when you are setting limits and guiding her.
3. The Empowered Mom
There is a way to balance the 24 Hour Monitor and the Best Friend Hat–This is the Empowered Mom.
The Empowered Mom knows how to build a secure attachment with her daughter. She knows how to tune into her daughter without getting hooked in her drama. She is there for her daughter. She is easy to talk to. Her daughter doesn’t feel judged or belittled when she talks with her.
Her daughter feels her mom understands what she is going through and is on her side. She knows whatever happens at school or with her friends; her mom is her rock and will be there for her when she needs her.
She also knows that mom has a life and won’t try to get her needs met through her daughter. She lets her daughter live her own dreams. Her mom is fun. They do fun things and laugh at the simple things.
This secure attachment is the foundation for protecting and guiding her daughter. Because they have this solid connection mom can have the hard talks with her daughter. She can set limits and say no. This mom takes action when it is needed. She gets the help and support she needs. She knows that she doesn’t have to do it alone. She puts together a Mom Team of people who will support her and her daughter.
Maybe it’s time to wear another hat.