1. Plan a special weekend trip, just the two of you, so she has your undivided attention.
2. Take a cooking class together.
3. Reward her after a stressful week or a big test by having her favorite treat waiting at home.
4. Go skating or ice skating.
5. Take her to a cool sushi restaurant.
6. Stop by her bedroom before you get in bed and pray over her. Pray for God’s protection and favor in her life. Thank God for choosing you as her mother. Ask your daughter how you can pray for her this week.
7. Give her a cookbook and ask her to pick out a healthy new recipe you can make and taste-test it together.
8. Watch a late-night movie together under a huge cozy blanket, waiting until the rest of the house has gone to bed so you’re in your own private world.
9. Make a spontaneous run to get a seasonal item — like peppermint ice cream or Chick-fil-A’s Peppermint Chip Milkshake.
10. Get manicures/pedicures together – or makeovers.
11. Go on a walk after dinner.
12. Take her shopping to learn what her style is – and what she feels good wearing – so you know what to look for in the future.
13. Send her funny memes and videos. One of my favorites is, “Having a daughter is like having a broke best friend who thinks you’re rich.”
14. Take her to a coffee shop. This can be a fun outing or a change of scenery, a place she can do homework while you read a book.
15. Pull out a special dress from your past (i.e. your wedding dress or rehearsal dinner dress) and have her try it on for fun.
16. Read a verse in the Bible together and talk about its application to real life.
17. When you have an argument, circle back around and apologize. Admit what you did wrong and ask for her forgiveness.
18. Pull out old pictures from when she was little and share the stories behind the memories. Describe those moments when you first realized her strengths and best qualities.
19. Surprise her. It could be a surprise gift on her pillow (like cute earrings) or a surprise “Yes!” to a request when she expects to hear “No.”
20. Enjoy her. Take a minute to really notice her beauty as she eats breakfast or walks toward your car. Look for opportunities to laugh and lighten up.
Parenting a teenage daughter can get stressful and hard, and it takes effort to keep your joy and sense of humor. Remember, the goal is to finish strong in her final years at home, as this sets the stage for the adult relationship to come.
Kari’s new book Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter is now available and gaining fantastic buzz among moms. Kari has also written books for teen girls, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked, used widely across the U.S. for small group studies. To keep up with future posts, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.