I'm Not Sitting Around Waiting for My Teen Daughter to Hate Me

Mom Moment 17

Mom and daughter
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I'm going to be honest. When I first read Eve Vawter's heartbreaking blog post, "I’m Pretty Much Waiting for My Daughter to Grow Up and Hate Me," I cried. And then, with tears streaming down my face, I shared it on Facebook so other mothers of daughters could do the same thing. That was two days ago, and I haven't stopped thinking about the anxious waiting game that begins about the time we learn that our new little bundle is female.

And I've made a decision. I'm not going to play it anymore.

I refuse to let my teenage daughter hate me.

Too simple, you say? We can't simply will things into being?

Ladies.

Gentlemen.

I am German. Strong-willed doesn't begin to describe my stubborn streak!

But I also have more than will. I have a plan for keeping my daughter from turning into a wild she-beast upon puberty, a plan I've been building for awhile, but which Vawter's moving mother/daughter lament really motivated me to put it into action. As she said:

I will have to remember my own puberty, my own girlhood oversensitivity, my own fears and confusion about all of the feelings that were raging through my head and heart. I will have to separate my own adolescence from hers, to let her voice her frustrations and anger without taking it personally. I will have to let her slam doors and hate me on occasion. Let her feel her own personal feelings with the knowledge at times that all I will be able to do is offer to run her a bath or bring her a heating pad.

I've already got my Bible to walk through the chemistry of the teenage girl's body. My Teenage Werewolf by Lauren Kessler is a book written by a mom and investigative journalist that's one-part memoir of her own life with her teen daughter and one-part frank reminder that it really friggin' sucks to have your body being rocked by hormones, and you need to cut your daughter some slack. You'll want her to do the same when you hit menopause, won't you? OK, then.

But that's for then.

For now, my job is to key in on the "personal feelings" that Vawter is so right to bring up.

We don't like to talk about our kids' feelings. Kids are seen and not heard, remember? Kids are supposed to toe the line, to "look me in the eyes when I'm talking to you young lady!"

If you want to parent that way, by all means. But this is my plan, my best hope for stemming the tide of anger that pretty much everyone tells me is going to coming my way at tsunami-force speed in a few years: I am making a concerted effort to concentrate on HER feelings.

Trust me, it is not easy. She is a child who is at times sweet, at times willful, always pulsing with passionate emotions of some sort. But I've found that the more I treat my daughter like a human being, complete with her own thoughts and feelings, the better things are in my house.

For example: when she gets angry with me for disciplining her, I allow her to walk off in a huff. She hides in her playroom or her bedroom for a few minutes. I don't follow. I don't continue to yell. I don't tell her that she MUST listen to me, and listen to me now.

Our fights (yes, we have fights because she is of that same German stock) are much fewer since I started this experiment. Our relationship as a whole is much closer.

It's a process I've yet to perfect. We do not have the perfect mother/daughter relationship. I'm not sure such thing exists outside of the movies (heck, watch the movies ... they don't exactly exist there either, even in cartoons!). But here's my hope: that by starting now, I will be good at this whole "putting myself in her shoes" thing by the time she's a teenager. I hope that by recognizing that her feelings should be valued, that I will be able to let the worst of her hormone-fueled outburst bounce off instead of penetrating my brain.

I hope that by treating my daughter like a human, I keep her acting like one.

Hey, it's better than just sitting around and waiting for my life to explode, right?

Do you have a plan to keep your teenage daughter on your side?

 

Image via Jeanne Sager

discipline, family

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ethan... ethans_momma06

And then you'll be the oversympathetic/over friendly mom that she hates.


I'm glad I don't have a girl. However, I think maybe it's best to just not worry how they feel about you as a teen. My goal is to be a good parent. Not worry if they hate me. After all, after the teenage angst and hate, they get to be a beautiful young adult. Where the hate tones down and where they appreciate you so much more.


But teenagers... well... some are just going to be angsty and angry at their parents no matter what approach their parents take. From what I understand they are just super fun like that.

Wendy Hanson

I played it the way you plan on playing it and she hates me anyway.

AmyKuras AmyKuras

Perfect, Jeanne. I think moms tend to mess up when they take their daughters' emotions personally. I will say "I know you're upset and it's OK to be mad at me, but you are not allowed to talk to me or anyone else like that" when she's being evil.


 

Rae.302 Rae.302

If you wanna make God laugh...tell him about your plans! LoL

Net1957 Net1957

Sure, you can treat her like a human but as a mother of a grown daughter, I can tell you that when she's a teenager there will be times that she won't ACT like a human! The two most important things to remember when raising a teenage daughter is 1) develope thick skin so you don't get your feelings hurt and 2) choose  your battles and save the hysterics for the important stuff! You're daughter will have enough hysterics for the both of you!

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

LOL- Right on, Net!


THIS is the key to surviving those terrible teen years. People have to realize that teens go through a chemical transformation that alters their brains. They are changing so rapidly and going through so much, that they have NO idea on what to make of themselves- and if they can't, how can we?


The best course of action is remember that they are not fully in control of themselves or their feelings. They will be extreme for no reason, and they realize that and are just as frustrated as you. They are lost and confused... don't isolate them more and don't make a big deal about it. Guide them, stay firm, let them hate you if they need to. They'll come back around. :-)

Izla Izla

My kids can hate me. I'm here to parent them, not win a popularity contest and be their friend.

Melissa Spicer

For my teenage daughter, we made a plan for everything we could think of she would face and started talking about those situations before she hit puberty so that our rules and reactions wouldn't be a surprise to her. While she still got mad at us, we stayed firm and after a year or 2 we had more days of "Mom I understand what you are doing for me" than "I hate you!" Now that she's 18, working almost full time and still getting good grades at school, we are proud of how she has turned out. I think remembering what you went through as a teenager and talking about those experiences/feelings with your daughter, before she starts experiencing them for herself will help.

Wendi Schwinler-Wagner

Yea good luck on that I have 6  I have 4 boys and 2 girls, they both hated me at times.. but guess what I hated them too. A freind of reminded me that if we didn't have some issues with them as teens they would never leave. Since then I got over it. 

nonmember avatar Michelle

Uh, did any of you remember how 3/4-year old girls are?!!? My daughter is also as strong-willed as her mama BUT it is never my goal in her life or mine to be her friend...I am her mother. I am here to support her, hug her, listen to her, and yes, even fight with her. Here's a thought...maybe teach your kids that hate is such a strong word when they are young. Yes, I was a teenager once too and got angry with my own mother every now and then, but HATE? One thing I will do with my daughter until the day I die (and have done since the day she was born)...tell her I love her every single day...and tuck her into bed at night as long as I still can :)

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