Do you remember the days of waking your daughter up with a hug and a kiss and a “Good morning sweet girl”? Do you remember the days of endless exclamations of “I love you, Mommy”? The walks through the park, hand in hand? The cuddles after bath time? The days when love just oozed between you and your sweet girl?
I don’t know about you, but those days seem fewer and farther between now. Gosh, I still love my daughter to the moon and back, but most days involve some bickering, some eye rolling, a little bit of sass, and sometimes a few tears. I know my daughter loves me, and I think she knows I love her (although I wonder if she’d admit that). It’s just harder to communicate that love to a hormonally challenged, emotionally driven teen than it is to a smiling, chubby, little toddler.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, considering if maybe it’s time to change tactics. Maybe as my daughter changes, my methods for showing her I love her need to change, too. As she grows, our relationship must evolve. Maybe.
I quickly realized that my list would come up short. After all, I’m just one mom. BUT!!!! What if I went out into my social media world, and asked other moms raising teen girls how THEY show their daughter love through these years.
And so that’s just what I did. And that’s what I’m sharing with you today.
1. We do Starbucks outings. It's the only thing she really wants to do with me these days, but I'll take it! - Cheryl
2. I buy my daughter her favorite "time of the month" snacks. I get her chocolate, sour patch kids, ice cream, and chips. These are things that she craves during that time. I hide the treats, and then when she tells me "it's here", I put the non cold things on her bed, and then surprise her when she comes back upstairs to hug me. -Kristina
3. I love essential oils and my 13 year old recently started asking for bedtime foot rubs... We pretend she's at a spa. She makes an "appointment" and everything. It's fun and she swears that she sleeps more soundly and wakes up feeling better on foot rub nights! -Kelli
4. I lay in bed with my daughter at night before bed and hang out. Sometimes we just listen to music or talk about silly things, and sometimes she reads her current book out loud to me. -Tonya
5. After school, we usually plop on the sofa and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls together. I think the biggest thing for my girl is being silly and laughing together. -Wendi
6. We do solo time together, and I also leave her little sticky notes in random places in her room or backpack. The notes will usually be silly stuff that are just our inside jokes or something silly to make her laugh. -Angela
7. I write inspirational message in dry erase marker on her mirror, leave notes in her lunch or backpack, and we have a shared journal that we pass back and forth- to discuss those hard topics that are just easier to write than to say. -Jenny
8. I let her tell me everything and let her know I won't tell other moms what she tells me. -Analisa
9. I ask, "What can I do to make your day better?" Or "Is there anything I can do to make your day more successful?". My kiddo lights up when I do that. -Amber
10. We hug and see who lets go first. it could take a long time! - Rachel
11. Silly snap chats. She responds too! It's a miracle. -Darlene
And there you have it, 11 great ideas from daughter mamas! Thanks, ladies. I’m going to try all of these.
I haven’t shared my tip with you. So let’s consider that BONUS TIP 12.
12. I take my daughter’s photos, and I do it a lot. (Yeah, you knew that was coming, right?) Seriously, though, I am noticing that the more I bring my camera into my daughter’s space (and I mean my camera, not just my phone), the more she lets me in. I think this is for a few reason, which I will actually go into in my next blog post! But it connects us. For real.
Try it yourself! And if you want help, grab my FREE GUIDE to photographing your own teen daughter.
As for loving our daughters, may we leave this blog post equipped with some new ideas, and some new inspiration. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get myself some dry erase markers, a few essential oils, and some Sour Patch Kids! See ya!