What Your Daughter Isn’t Telling You
- Saturday, September 08, 2007
Lonely is a dangerous place for a teen girl to be, regardless of the reasons why.
If she feels she can't talk to her mom about what she's feeling without being laughed at or ignored, she'll find someone else to talk to—or more frightening, another way to deal with her pain.
For some it becomes an eating disorder—when the rest of her life seems out of her control, she controls the only thing she can: what she does or doesn't put into her body.
Others turn to Internet relationships and find strangers who show interest in them and don't judge them. There's always someone online available to listen, comfort, and make a lonely girl feel loved.
Too many lonely teen girls will give themselves to the first boy who looks their way, simply because they long to feel cared for and accepted.
We're not saying that every girl who gets involved in these kinds of behaviors does it because of her mom. There are many godly women who are heartbroken and pray daily for their daughters who may be involved in a harmful relationship or behavior; there can be a multitude of reasons for a young girl to make unhealthy choices.
Take note! If you're turning a deaf or critical ear when your daughter is trying to talk to you, she may easily feel rejected and look elsewhere for the comfort she's seeking. Teen girls are in an emotional, turbulent time of life. All too often it's easy for adults to simply shrug off what to a teen is a heartbreaking, life-or-death situation. They desperately need someone to listen to their sometimes not-so-obvious cries for attention.
- I love my mom to pieces, but it's really tough to talk about girl things with her. I've tried asking her advice about makeup and dating, but she just looks at me like it's not important. It hurts when she laughs at my questions. I'd give anything in the world to have someone in my life who could give me good advice and who would just love me in spite of the fact that I have so many questions.
- I'm the only girl in my family, and I'm also the oldest child. It seems my mom and I can't get along anymore. Somehow we always end up in a fight. I've tried to get advice from my dad, but he won't even listen to me. So I started writing notes to my mom. I've even apologized to her. But when I tell her I love her, she just says, "Yeah," and then walks away. I don't know what else to do!
What Kind of Mom Are You?
In the busyness of life, you may think you're in tune with your daughter, but are you really? It may surprise you to discover that from her perspective you don't have a clue about what's going on in her life.
How can you tell if you're doing a good enough job of being there for her? Start by asking yourself these questions:
When your daughter talks to you, do you really listen, or are you distracted?
God gave moms the amazing ability to do ten things at once. You can be cooking dinner, feeding the dog, ironing a blouse, and making a mental grocery list all at the same time your daughter is telling you about her most horrible day at school.
Make a point to stop what you're doing and look her in the eye when she's talking to you. Let her see that you are really listening to her. Give her your full attention. If you appear distracted she'll feel she might as well be talking to a tree. Tune in to her when she talks to you—let her know that what matters to her is important to you.
Can your daughter trust you?
- Know why I don't talk to my mom anymore? She goes right to her church friends and tells them everything I've told her!
Mom, your daughter needs a safe place to share her heart. You're blessed if she feels comfortable doing that with you. If that trust is broken, it can sometimes be irreparable. It's sacred and worth protecting.
You see, it takes more than just saying she can tell you anything. You also need to prove to your daughter that you are a safe place to share her innermost feelings. If you've ever blown it in this area, you know it can take months to rebuild that trust.
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