Stay connected to your daughter
Yes, she needs independence. But she also needs love and support.
(Getty Images)
Conventional wisdom tells mothers that they can best support their adolescent daughters by allowing girls to separate from them. By resisting that advice, however, mothers have an opportunity to stand by their daughters and support them through this struggle. Connection, not separation, will keep girls strong and whole. Through love and tenacity, mothers can stay in relationship with girls through adolescence, while gently guiding their growth toward adulthood.

What is happening to her?

  • Your daughter is going through the most profound development in the human life cycle since it impacts on every level of development, ie: physical, cognitive, social, emotional and spiritual.
  • She is pulling away from her parents, in order to discover her own feminine sense of self and independence.
  • She is seeking her identity and who she is apart from others she has been dependent on.
  • On a physical level she is overwhelmed by hormones which alter her view of her own and her mother’s body.
  • She is exploring her competences and personal space.
  • She is beginning to challenge values and morals and deciding what she can or cannot do.

Do you know yourself?
Just because we are women we are expected to understand every subtlety of being a good mother. To be a strong empowered mother, it helps to reflect on yourself as an individual and ask the most important question: ‘Who am I?’

Keep a healthy connection

  • By raising consciousness about who you are and taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • By learning skills to improve communication.
  • By learning to say “no” and use boundaries
  • By being open and honest with your daughter. Girls need to trust their mothers.
Mothers need to recognize that the one support girls need most to successfully navigate their teenage years is their mothers.

Megan de Beyer has a Masters degree in Psychology. She practised in both Cape Town and Durban and has run many successful parenting workshops at high schools.

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