With her growing sense of independence and a tendency to adopt that snappy attitude, the daughter you cherished as a young girl may seem like a stranger during her teen years. While your teen daughter's moods and behaviors might make you feel like having a toddler-style tantrum, remember that you're the adult in the relationship, reminds Sil Reynolds, NP, co-author of "Mothering & Daughtering," in an article in "Natural Awakenings." That requires you to continue to provide a safe emotional and psychological space for your daughter, and try not to take her behaviors personally, suggests Reynolds.
Plan a regular mother-daughter date. Depending on your daughter's schedule -- and yours -- this might be realistic once a month or once a quarter, but whatever it is, use it as a time to go out together as friends. Do things your daughter likes to do, whether that includes going shopping or checking out an avant-garde art show. Showing interest in what she likes can help show her you care about her individuality, and demonstrates your own versatility and flexibility, reminds "Psychology Today."
Keep the family dinners intact. Your daughter may be increasingly busy with play rehearsals, sports practice or other activities, but family dinner is still a time to talk about the successes of the day and generally check in with each other.
Allow her some freedom to make choices and develop her own life. It may be difficult to step back and allow her to get a bad grade or show up late to an important event, but resist the urge to hover over all of her activities. Allowing her to fail can help show her you trust her. It's important for girls to formulate their own opinions and test out their own ideas, even when you don't agree, reminds psychologist Susan Newman, Ph.D., in an article in "Psychology Today."
Continue to bring up the difficult subjects when they arise. While she's spending a lot of time spreading her wings, she still needs to know you're there for her when she needs it. Throughout her life, even at a young age, be open to talking about menstruation, sex, boys and her future hopes and dreams, and don't stop that when she's a teenager. If face-to-face conversations are difficult, try writing to each other in a mother-daughter notebook.