Is your teenage daughter’s lack of engagement causing feelings of loss and frustration?
What feels more out of control …
- the lack of communication from your daughter?
- or, the unsettling assumptions that creep into your mind when she won’t talk to you?
If you’re attempting to push, pull or plea with to her to share a glimpse of her inner world, the one she seems to have securely under lock and key, you’re not alone.
Parenting a teen can feel like you’re balancing on the slope-of-uncertainty because she’s establishing her tribe outside the family and relying on her friends, rather than you, for advice.
But, don’t be fooled by her aloof attitude, eye rolls or sass.
And, don’t hand in your resignation just yet.
She still needs you.
5 Hints to Figure Her Out
You play a key role in building her confidence and resilience, it may just look and feel a little differently than it has in the past.
Use these hints to figure out what’s happening and how you can help.
1.) Give her feelings a way out.
- Approach your daughter’s situation with a sense of curiosity by asking “what’s happening?”
- Responding with a question, such as, “What can I do to help you right now?” will keep the conversation going.
2.) Seek to understand before being understood.
- It’s easy to jump to conclusions when you’re out of the information loop.
- Ask her to help you understand what’s she’s going through.
3.) Role Model that support is okay.
- Humans aren’t meant to go it alone.
- Share a time when someone helped you handle a tough situation.
4.) Offer a space for love and connection.
- Reach out and give her a hug or reassuring touch on her arm.
- Physical touch releases Oxytocin, the hormone that creates the feeling of trust and connection.
5.) Build positive momentum.
- Your daughter is listening to you, even if it doesn’t seem like she is.
- 73% of teens say that their relationship with their parents makes them the most happy (The Parent Engagement Network).
It’s true that unraveling her behavior can be a challenge.
And it’s not always obvious if this is your “new normal” or if it’s time to intervene.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely ready to …
- figure out if your daughter’s behavior is within the normal developmental range
- what’s working well right now
- and what areas you may want to tweak
I can help.
Take the Quiz
In the spirit of growing together, what’s the best way for you to break the silence and start a conversation with your daughter?