Another way to enter your daughter's world and be an encouraging observer there is to "friend" her on Facebook (if she's old enough to have an account) and be an encouraging observer. Sometimes it's better if we just verbally and positively comment on their posts, rather than write something that would embarrass them in front of their friends. Another way to enter her world is to take her to movies she is interested in and offer to bring one or two of her friends along. Or, become involved in what she is interested in by being the driver (if she can't yet drive) or the greeter (who meets her at the door to share in the excitement of what she has just experienced). Be creative and find a way to take an interest in what she's interested in...even if it is not something you would've liked when you were her age.

C - Cheer Her On, No Matter What 

Our daughters will want to be around people who make them feel good about themselves. So that's where you and I, as mothers, need to be doing all we can to build them up, not tear them down. My daughter recently told me "If you're ever having a bad day, Mom, just watch a One Direction music video. They'll make you happy."  Now why does she believe that? Because those boys sing things like "Don't need make up to cover up. Being the way that you are is enough" and "You don't know you're beautiful."  When I realized the power of encouraging words on my daughter, I began to use them more often when talking to her.  That caused her to listen more, rather than shrink away.

Our daughters are hard-wired to want to please their mothers and make them proud. That's why it's important that you and I, as moms, affirm their efforts, but also let them know that it's okay to not have to look perfect or excel at everything. Your daughter may still be struggling to figure out what it is she does well and what she wants to pursue in life. Give her time. Allow her to fail. And be her cheerleader every step of the way. She will want you around if you praise her more than you point out what she's doing wrong.

Cindi McMenamin is a national women's conference and retreat speaker and the author of a dozen books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 100,000 copies sold), When a Woman inspires Her Husband, and When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter, upon which this article is based. For more on her books and ministry, or to download her free article "Suggestions for Mother-Daughter Memory-Making" see her website:

Publication date: August 27, 2013