My Daughter Is Distancing Herself From Me
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As a parent, you often feel you know what is best for your daughter. But, even if that is the case, it doesn’t come across that way for your daughter.
Due to the hormones and lack of a fully formed brain that come with teenage years, even the most sensible person is a little crazy occasionally.
You may try to help your daughter and create rules and boundaries, only to realize one day that your daughter is distancing herself from you.
Unfortunately, even parents that do everything right may have a daughter who distances herself from them. It is mostly due to hormones and not to do with your parenting abilities.
However, when it occurs, it may be a good time to reflect on your abilities and learn where you can improve.
How Can You Stop it?
Unfortunately, having a daughter that distances themselves from one or both of their parents is pretty common.
Teenagers have brains that aren’t fully developed and are full of hormones, leading them to get angry, nervous, embarrassed, and frustrated much quicker than you would.
It would be normal for your daughter to go through this for a while, even if you two were close before. It is likely nothing serious and just a phase. Sometimes, you just can’t stop it either, but you can make efforts to improve the situation/
Staying open, not judging, and being a person your daughter feels they can always trust is important.
Instead of creating boundaries, offer solutions. For example, you may not want your daughter to date, but setting up a firm not dating only makes them feel they can’t trust you.
Instead, say that they can date, offer advice and ask to meet their partner. Even if this relationship goes wrong, they now know that they have you to rely on and that they can tell you when things happen.
How to Express Your Feelings About it?
It can be hard to express your feelings, especially to a child. Many parents are taught to stay firm and appear wiser than their children, but we don’t always feel wiser.
It is best to be open and honest but not accusatory. Try to sit down with them on one of their good days. Ask them if there is anything you did wrong or things they are scared to share that would make them distance.
Again, while it may be hard, try to make sure you aren’t accusing them. Don’t assume they are hiding anything. Just ask if there is anything they want to share or feel nervous sharing.
Even if they don’t open up right away, this lets them know that when they are ready, you will be there and won’t judge them or yell at them for sharing. It is a slow but rewarding process.
What Else Can You Do About it?
Sometimes, talking doesn’t always work. The words can come out wrong, leading to a lack of connection between you and even arguments. If that happens, it is best to back up and try again/ Always start by apologizing.
This is a huge step to making your daughter realize you are human too. If you are willing to apologize, they will realize that you are acknowledging that you aren’t perfect and make mistakes too.
You can also try to bond via activities. Remember that your daughter is growing faster than you might think. What they liked last year or even a few months ago may not be what they like now. Try to find another way to bond, but don’t assume you know what they want to do.
Ask them what they like doing. Maybe you can find a movie to watch together or an activity to try. Even if it isn’t something you like, try to be open to the experience and be willing to ask questions.
Even if they see you don’t like it, they will appreciate the effort and that you gave it an honest shot.
How Can You Spend More Time Together?
Find activities you can do together. Maybe start off taking turns doing things you enjoy individually if you can’t find an immediate similarity.
For example, try both if you like the great outdoors, but they like shopping. Go shopping with them. Have fun trying on a bunch of outfits they pick out that you wouldn’t wear, and start to learn what they like.
Don’t push your opinions on them; suggest things they might look good in. Then, go fishing. Teach them how to fish, tell them stories of your childhood, and laugh about the mistakes you both make.
While it can be hard, the most important thing is to not get angry or close yourself down. For example, your daughter is going to wear things you don’t like. Help them find ways to make it more acceptable for school, so they don’t get detention. Don’t lecture, but provide options.
When they are fishing, they may not initially put in that much effort. It is part of being a teenager. They will resist. Don’t get mad. Instead, try to make it fun and funny, and enjoy your reserved smiles.
Final Thoughts on Your Daughter Distancing Herself From You
Daughters, especially teenage ones, are not always easy to get along with. Due to the hormones rushing through their brain, they don’t always act reasonably or sensible. This isn’t their fault and is largely outside of their control.
It takes a lot of patience and open-mindedness to bring back a bond with your daughter. Therefore, it is important to be patient, don’t lecture them, and make sure you are putting in your full and honest effort even if they aren’t.
While all of the steps above will help, none will be a magical cure.
You won’t find yourself and your daughter suddenly understanding one another after being in the great outdoors or in a shopping mall, but each one increases the bond and allows them to open up just a little more.