Guide for Moms with Tween & Teen Daughters ~ Free Book Giveaway!
By Arden Greenspan-Goldberg
How often do you hear mothers of girls talk about their dread of the tween and teen years? As a mom of a daughter about to turn ten, I myself have had my share of panic thinking about the middle and high school years and the “girl drama”. I’d like to share one story and a few tips for the exhausted hard-working single mom.
Andrea is 43, a resourceful savvy single divorced mom of two teenage daughters who really trusts her gut. I call that the internal TUG within, that small voice of better judgment that beckons us moms when we tune inward. One day when Andrea was laying down the law to her daughters about having some nighttime weekend parameters and guidelines and trying to enlist them to become part of the decision making, they looked at her and simply said: “Mom, you don’t know what you are talking about. You’re crazy. We both know it and all of our friends know it too. Every one of our friends who has met you thinks you are crazy.” As a single mom with no one to back her up, that really hit her where it hurt and even caused her to question herself.
Thankfully rather than letting it go, Andrea decided to investigate the situation further. She sensed something was fishy. It just didn’t sound like something her daughters would say. Acting on instinct, she called up the mothers of some of her daughters’ friends to get their perspective and discovered something amazing: their daughters had been saying the exact same thing to them. Apparently the tactic of undermining Mom by calling her crazy had worked for one teen and word had spread. This group of moms decided they would launch a coordinated response by confronting their daughters that same evening. Andrea’s daughters melted with shame when she told them what she had learned and how disappointed she was in their behavior.
Our daughters can be masterful at the art of manipulation when they want something, but how this working single mom handled the situation is a lesson in how to be both composed and clever!
Tips for Single Moms
Here are some tips for strengthening, cultivating and maintaining a strong, respectful, empathic, attuned connection and bond with your tween and teenage daughters:
- Use your head and trust your small voice within, it won’t ever steer you wrong. Turn up your instinctual inner volume and pay close attention.
- If you are on your own, like Andrea, consult with other Moms that may be in the same position. Having a Moms network of friends, belonging to a support group is absolutely invaluable and essential.
- Try to rise above and not be baited or lured in by your daughter’s provocations. Take a breath, self talk, “I need to collect myself,” then approach your daughter from a place of concern and love. Don’t come from a place of anger, or threaten punishment. That’s a sure fire way to alienate your daughter and not get down to the bottom of what is actually going on.
- Use the experience as an opportunity for a positive teaching moment. Take advantage of TV programs, like Glee and any teen driven media for spring boards for conversation and discussion.
- Take a peek at Chapter 1, for my 13 Tips, Introduction to Aerial Parenting in What Do You Expect? She’s A Teenager! A Hope and Happiness Guide for Moms with Daughters 11-19.
What Do You Expect? She’s a Teenager! is the ultimate preparation manual and survival guide for mothers of tweens and teens. Packed with tips, expert interviews, real-life vignettes, and helpful conversation starters, What Do You Expect? She’s a Teenager! preps moms in advance for the issues they’ll face, from the familiar teen problems–sex, drugs, and alcohol use–to newer territory–cyberbullying, sexting, and internet pornography.
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About the Author:
Arden Greenspan-Goldberg, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., B.C.D., is a nationally known family and marriage psychotherapist who has specialized in teen issues for more than 30 years. She currently practices in New City, New York, and New York City. She has been a featured expert on major TV shows, including The View, MSNBC, CNBC, and Good Day New York. Visit askarden.com.
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