According to Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler, teenage girls really do care what their mothers think although mothers may fear their daughters would rather listen to their peers. Conflicts between mothers and daughters are seemingly unavoidable during the teenage years. The way in which the mother chooses to deal with the situation can strengthen or weaken the bond. Staying connected and allowing enough space to grow and develop is a balancing act that is constantly adjusting.
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Teenage daughters often take out their anger on their mothers, because they expect a continuity of love and patience from their parent. However, when their teenage daughters express anger at them, some mothers may have significant difficulty dealing with it. While they want their daughters to become emotionally healthy adults who can speak up for themselves, mothers may suppress their own emotions and reflect a poor example of expressing anger.
Rather than take her anger personally, understand that there is usually an underlying factor at play when your daughter is rude to you. Let her know calmly and gently not to speak to you that way. Invite her to talk. Avoid pushing, but continue to show her you are open to hearing what she has to say without judgment. Your daughter will learn over time that she can come to you with her problems and intense feelings during this chaotic time in her life.
Teach your daughter from a young age how to handle disagreements with you. Avoid withdrawing; remain engaged. Listen to your daughter and seek her input. Let her know your expectations of her in a respectful way. Discuss issues, allowing her to negotiate and compromise when appropriate. As your daughter moves through her teenage years, communication will seem impossible at times, but it will be easier if the two of you have communicated all along.
Confrontation with your daughter may be unavoidable. Choose your battles carefully. Be gentle and firm, always respecting your daughter as you teach her your morals and values. Puberty begins earlier causing some 9 and 10-year-old girls to feel self-conscious, moody, irritable and over-sensitive. Don't be over concerned about your daughter's popularity. Clothing choices and dating should reflect your family values. Say no to clothing you feel is age inappropriate. Dating can wait. Your daughter may scream, "I hate you," or protest in another way. By setting these limits, you are protecting her from growing up too soon and putting herself in situations she is emotionally and cognitively unprepared for.
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