“The days are long, but the years are short”
Was there ever a quote that better sums up being a parent? One day you are waist deep in nappies and toddler tantrums, wondering if you will ever be able to go to the toilet in peace again, and before you know it you have moody teenagers and hormonal tweens (and you still wonder whether you will ever go to the toilet in peace again!)
As the mother of 2 teenagers and a 10 year old, one thing I know for sure is that being a parent is never dull. Today’s little angel can be tomorrow’s hormonal nightmare, and things that once filled your daughter with joy will suddenly be looked at with disdain and scorn. So how do you stay connected to your daughter as she gets older and the idea of hanging out with her friends is much more alluring than spending time with you.
On my recent ‘Stay Connected’ Mother & Daughter weekend retreat, I asked the mum’s to sit with their teen daughters and just listen (without speaking!) to the girl’s tell them what they need from their relationship now they were getting older. The one thing that all the girl’s said they wanted was for their mum to really listen to them without always offering advice…sometimes just holding space for your daughter to feel heard and validated is enough, they will ask for your opinion if they want it!
Now I know this is easier said than done (us mum’s know it all, right!) however, being fully present is such a powerful gift to give your daughter. As a facilitator of Women’s Circles I know that we ALL need to feel heard without feeling judged, and the power of simply holding loving space for someone to share while you actively listen is vastly underrated.
The other thing that all girl’s wanted in their relationship with their mum was more quality one on one time together. Now this doesn’t have to mean expensive shopping trips, but rather the chance to do something together that you both enjoy, while checking in with each other and staying connected. Some ideas that came up included:
- Do something creative together eg. paint, draw, knit, cook
- Go for a mindful walk in nature together
- Play a board game
- Have a dance party in your living room
- Make a special afternoon tea: pull out the good china and set the table
- Schedule a regular coffee date where you check in with each other
- Show (and tell her) how much you love her. Write little notes to each other, pick a flower for her, give her a quick hug as she is passing…
- Above all else, time flies by fast, so remember to have fun!
There is still space available at my Stay Connected: Mother & Daughter weekend for 12-15 year olds coming up in August in Warburton. Click HERE for more details and bookings. Don’t forget to sign up to my mailing list at the top of the page to stay up to date with future mother/daughter weekends and workshops in 2019.