Admit it parents, it’s really hard to talk to your teenagers sometimes. I recently wrote a book with my dad called The 10 Myths of Teen Dating: Truths Your Daughter Needs to Know to Date Smart, Guard Her Heart, and Protect Her Future and we spent hours agonizing over how to get your daughter involved in conversations. When it comes to tough topics, this is extra hard. Sex talks? She wishes she could run out of the room screaming! Here are a few things that your teen daughter might be more interested in hearing about.
3 Things Your Teen Daughter Wants to Hear:
1. Your daughter wishes she could hear your rationale for “no.”
Sorry parents, but “because I said so” probably isn’t going to work very well for you. I know it didn’t for me! My dad simply said “no” to dating and that was a mistake because he was demanding compliance without understanding. When you tell your teen daughter no, everything you say after that one little word sounds something like the teacher in Charlie Brown: “Wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah-wah.” They just can’t hear it! Try starting with your rationale and explanation for your decisions. By front-loading your answers with information, your teen is far more likely to be able to hear what you have to say. Teenagers are independent thinkers who need more than just mandate. Parents who have logic and relevant information should never fear explaining the “why” behind the “what.”
2. Your daughter wishes she could hear you compliment her.
In a broken world, young women need to be hearing compliments from the RIGHT places or they will go looking for them in the WRONG ones. Guess what? You are the right place. If your teen daughter is not hearing genuine (and specific) praise and compliments from her parents, the chances of her turning to teenage boys for this validation raise exponentially. When was the last time you told her you were proud of her? When was the last time you told her she was beautiful? These compliments will stick with her long after the time it took to say them. Relationship experts talk about the idea of a “relationship bank account” where you make deposits and withdrawals. If you spend more time complimenting and loving on your daughter, that will put your relationship bank account in the black. Much easier when it comes time to make a withdrawal.
3. Your daughter wishes she could hear you talk about your mistakes.
What? Parents aren’t perfect?!?! My parents have both always been pretty open about their own life stories and it made me connect to them in a way that is helpful for me. Instead of the huge let down when I found out they weren’t perfect, I was always aware that they were human, just like me. It will help your daughter open up to you if you do the opening up first. What was your most embarrassing moment? Your biggest regret? Your teen daughter wants to know that you’re not perfect, so it’s okay if she isn’t either. Sharing your own life may help your teen daughter learn from your mistakes.