The relationship between daughter and mother is one of the most beautiful bonds in the world. And during the transition between adolescence and the teenage years, girls need this bond more than ever.
Growing up, I had an amazing mother, who was loving, supportive, and made sure all my needs were met. Honestly, without her, I can’t imagine where I would be today. One day, I hope to have the same relationship with my kids, and I am thankful to have had such a role model.
As my daughter enters into this stage of development, I have thought back to my childhood and considered all of the things my mother did that really left a mark on me.
During the middle school years and into high school, young girls begin to develop a sense of self. They begin to establish what their dreams are, and more than ever, they need the support of their mom. A good mother encourages and embraces the dreams of their child and helps push them towards the right path to achieve them. And every young girl needs this support.
Adolescent girls shift their focus to school work, friendship, and life in general. They begin to move past the years of playing with dolls and move closer to trying to understand themselves and their purpose in life.
More than ever, they need someone to confide in and to ask the important questions that arise. They need someone to help them to understand the changes that are taking place around them and within them. And more than anything, they don’t need to be judged.
Love, support, and understanding are what adolescent girls need most.
Adolescent counselor Suzanna Bonfiglio Baumann explained to the Huffpost that the focus should always be on quality rather than quantity. You don’t need to shadow your daughter constantly to make an impact. Instead, remaining emotionally present during the time you have is more important than anything. “So many moms worry that if they work or need to be physically distant from their children due to custody issues, illness, or profession, their kids won’t know how much they love them,” she explained, but that is “not true. If you do the work necessary to be emotionally present for your child (taking emotional and physical care of yourself,) then as she talks to you, asks for your help, messes up, or otherwise acts like the child she needs to be, then the full-present moments you share with her will be the persistent reminders that you are securely connected to her, reliable, and on her side.”
But don’t mistake their needs. Your daughter needs you as a mom first and foremost. Yes, it’s okay to be your daughter’s reliable friend, but she also needs you to be responsible, to teach her how to navigate through life, and to help give her a push when she doesn’t know where to turn.
Above all, girls need to spend authentic moments with their mothers. You don’t have to go all out to spend time with your daughter. Simply taking the time to talk to them, watch a movie with them, or take them out to dinner can make all the difference in the world. In the long run, your daughter will look back to those times you helped her to do her makeup or showed her how to handle a problem in a friendship. By being present, supportive, and guiding your daughter, you will create a blueprint for her to live by. And one day, she will thank you dearly for all that you did.