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Not the mother/daughter relationship I hoped for

(42 Posts)
tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 10:53:03

I have a 14 year old daughter. I as so sad that we just don't have the relationship I hoped for. I would love to be able to guide her, help her through the growing up stuff - friendships, boys, make-up, looking after herself - all of that teenage stuff.

Instead she seems to think sometimes that I can interpret what she wants from some hint she drops. An example - a few days ago at a friends house her friend plucked my daughter's eyebrows (first time). I feel sad and cross about it because if I had known she wanted this done I would have brought her to have them done properly, professionally - especially since it was the first time. She just needed to say so. Instead they are over plucked, a bit lopsided and well, a bit dreadful. Last week she told me some friends have had their eyebrows done in salons, but she didn't ask if she could do so. I was supposed to know that that was what she was hinting at. Her eyebrows were actually lovely, so I suppose it never occurred to me that she should have them done.

Maybe I have an idealised notion of it, but I wish we were able to chat about stuff, if she would ask me questions, just be a bit more open and willing to communicate more than minimally. I know this works both ways so I must be making a mess of it, though I try very hard but she just doesn't seem to want to engage with me.

Sorry this got a bit long, thanks for reading. Anybody care to share how I might improve things?

PenelopePitstops Mon 31-Aug-15 11:00:21

Yes you have an idealised notion of parenting teens. You need to communicate your ideas with her too, she isn't psychic to know that you would have paid for her! You are shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Did you tell her you were sad and upset? That sounds a bit guilt trip to me if you did. Make sure she knows you will pay for stuff now. I always knew whatever situation I got myself in, I could ring my parents and it would be OK. They wouldn't pick me up all the time, and regularly left me to get on with things. But if I was really stuck, they were there without judgement. You need to convey this to your dd.

Teens don't communicate well, she's not your friend, she is your daughter. As she gets older things may change but she needs you as a parent now.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 31-Aug-15 11:05:02

Really depends on your answers - what did you say when she mentioned the eyebrows? Lots of kids drop hints like that, she is telling you, bit you heard, but didnt listen.

Lilaclily Mon 31-Aug-15 11:07:45

Aw op you sound a lovely mum & it's all new territory

Just say to her hey dd let me know if you want your eyebrows done at the salon next month , maybe we can go together don't make a big issue out of it

bigbuttons Mon 31-Aug-15 11:10:58

yes you have an idealised version in your head. Whilst it is nice to do things with your teens, your teen should actually be distancing herself from you. She should be attaching to peers. This is the time when she separates from you. Once she is older she will come back and then you can do stuff together.

gamerchick Mon 31-Aug-15 11:17:49

Ah you're going to find this bit tricky. Its biological, they seperate from their parents for a while to they get some independence. They come back though eventually.

Never assume she's going to tell you anything... could you maybe get her w voucher for her and a mate to go to a salon together or something?

Mitzi50 Mon 31-Aug-15 11:18:27

14 is a really difficult age IMO. I know everything I did or said to DD at that age was wrong - I even breathed too loudlyconfused and in her opinion, I knew nothing about anything. I had to step back mentally and give her space as much as possible. At about 17, she came back to me (if that makes sense) and we now have a good relationship - lots of shared values and interests and have the long conversations and days out that I had always hoped for. I now need advice for teenage boys

Hang in there flowers teenagers are really tricky.

Scarydinosaurs Mon 31-Aug-15 11:23:35

That was quite an obvious hint she was dropping- do you have actual conversations with her?

I think you sound a bit too much like you want to be her friend, and not her parent.

Have you suggested to her now that you'll take her to get her brows done?

tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 11:32:58


big buttons - it isn't that I want to do things with her, it is that I want to guide her. I know she has so separate from me, I would just like if we could discuss things. This is only eyebrows, there will be bigger issues along the way. I cannot just let her off, I feel it is important that we can talk about stuff. That's what I am not getting right.

lilacily - thank you, I dont feel like a lovely mum - I made a big issue of it and I know I handled it wrongly.

Penelope - you see I think she does know that i will pay for stuff but I have to knowwhat it is. I know that she needs me as a parent now - I am not trying to be her friend. Maybe that came across wrongly in my post. When I say I wish we could chat about things I mean deal with issues that arise for her, so she could feel she can ask if she wants or needs something.

tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 11:40:11

Some replies came while I was posting there, I will take them all on board

Scarydinosaurs - yes, I do have actual conversations with her. Sometimes, however, I struggle to get her to communicate. and yes, I have told her now that I will of course bring her to have her brows done, it is what I would always have done but I didn't realise. When she mentioned it, she didn't seem that bothered.

gamerchick Mon 31-Aug-15 11:44:08

Well at least you're prepared now when she starts mentioning belly button piercings and whatnot wink

stayathomegardener Mon 31-Aug-15 11:56:12

OK forget the brows.
What can you do for next time?

Does she buy cheap nail polishes? Then take her for a lovely manicure/pedicure.
Is she into clothes? Go to TK Maxx for beautiful reduced smooth underwear that dosn't show under leggings - DD 16 favours the DKNY brand.
If she is into her brows I bet she would enjoy a professional make over at a beauty counter. Bobbi Brown is very good with teens.
It will cost around £20 but you get to spend that value on products. I used to take a friend of DD's too for the free make over even though DD had the products and they were fine with that... Joint selfies for the rest of the day.
That way you are supporting her and involved but not doing it with her.

stayathomegardener Mon 31-Aug-15 12:01:10

Regarding communication DD and communicate alot via Instagram (so much more private than facebook)
She sends me pictures of clothes or make up she admires and I tend to send her inspirational house pictures or clothes for me. Lots to discuss in real life then.

SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 31-Aug-15 12:04:59

I'm super close to my DD. We talk a lot ( keep in mind that this involves listening to a lot of shitewink) and do lots of things together ( keep in mind these are not always things I want to dowink).

However, she also wants to have a close relationship with friends which means she does some things with them, including stuff that makes me cringe. That's how it should be though as she is 16 not 46!

tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 12:11:47

May I ask you, DaMoves - when you say you and your DD do lots of things together - what type of stuff, if you don't mind saying? My DD and I do not have a significant common interest - I am keen to change that.

stayathomegardner has given me some ideas for from now on and they are brilliant (thank you!) - DD would love some of those.

SheGotAllDaMoves Mon 31-Aug-15 12:20:57

tired we like watching movies and box sets together. Then spend hours deconstructing them.

Ditto we often read the same books and chat about them.

We also like going to the theatre/ art galleries. We also walk the dogs as often as possible. She bloody loves restaurants so I can always spend time with her by suggesting a meal outgrin.

But I suppose one thing that helps is that she has always needed a lot of lifts to things so we have spent hours chatting in the car. As I say, often me listening to utter shite about her mates, random YouTube vloggers, insert boring crap here grin.

tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 12:33:32

I got it DaMoves grin

DD loves the Marvel movies - not my cuppa tea but I think i'd better suck it up. She is an avid reader also, i will be diversifying my reading interests ...

Thank you, I appreciate your input very much.

Rivercam Mon 31-Aug-15 12:34:28

your daughter is being a teen, eerie ting with her looks and growing up. All teens go through this phase of independence and self discovery, and hopefully come out the other side a mature young lady.

You do sound slightly like you have romanticised the relationship you envisaged having with your daughter. However, you can put in measures to enhance your relationship with her. I've go for girly shopping trips at the local shopping centre, go for coffee, go,to a chick flick at the cinema together, or get into the habit of having a takeaway pizza on a Friday night.

It doesn't have to be anything complicated. I think the most important thing for teens is time and a readiness to listen when needed.

Vernonon Mon 31-Aug-15 12:39:53

I've started reading what dd reads - hunger games etc - and her favourite thing is to watch a film -same kind of genre - with me when her sister is on a sleepover. We go shopping together and I recently took her for a manicure. I think you do have to do what they want rather than expect them to follow your lead.

HSMMaCM Mon 31-Aug-15 12:48:58

I know what you mean. DD is 16 now and if she only understood that she can talk to me about anything ...

However ... She does talk to me about most of the things that really matter (not all).

Just keep the lines of communication open and she will talk when she's ready.

the comment about her friends eyebrows was definitely a conversation starter

BackforGood Mon 31-Aug-15 13:08:58

What BigButtons and RiverCam have said.
I think you have an idealised notion of all this too.

Part of being a teen is about going off and being advised by your mates. Part of it is making fashion mistakes etc. I'd be far more hmm about a 14 yr old who lets her Mum advise her on everything. This is the time for them to learn their way in terms of who to listen to, when to stick with own judgement, when to experiment, etc.

ChilliPeanut Mon 31-Aug-15 13:12:31

I have two teen dds. Mostly they're quite open, sometimes they're moody and a bit of a closed shop confused. Don't bite back when they get like that, overlook it if you can. I just try to keep communication open so they know I'm always here to discuss and help with anything.

Dd1 wanted to colour her hair. She was all for bunging on anything from a box, but I knew we would be heading for disaster and convinced her to let me take her to a salon. I think she was surprised I didn't mind her colouring her hair, but my concern was that it would go horribly wrong and she'd be upset.

One thing I have noticed is that they tend to open up more away from home. A trip to the shops, lunch and me buying a few bits and pieces and they chat away about all sorts. It's so much more casual than me sat on their beds asking what's wrong for the umpteenth time.

tiredmamma Mon 31-Aug-15 13:36:26

I soon have to go off-line for a while but in the mean time I have plenty food for thought.

I get it that I missed the hint about the eyebrows. Then I messed up in the aftermath. She was and is still upset herself about the result, so maybe we've both learned something. You see I thought her eyebrows were lovely, so I was a bit blinded by that smile

In terms of romanticising how this all would be - guilty, a bit - but HSM phrases it better in her post when she says "if only she understood that she can talk to me about anything"...... that's close to what I was trying to convey.

Maybe, from what many of you have said, its about me accepting that she can talk to me but she doesn't have to, she won't always do so but hopefully she will about important things. There have been some nice ideas from many posters about measures I can take to make that more likely.

Thanks to you all.

BoboChic Mon 31-Aug-15 13:36:44

As a mother you cannot expect your DD to give you instructions as to the upbringing and support she requires. Don't wait for your DD to tell you what she needs (professional eyebrow plucking) - work it out and give it to her. Parents who don't do normal age appropriate things for their DC "because their DC haven't asked" (sleepovers/mobiles/eyebrows or whatever) are failing to parent. DC don't come with instructions.

Mrsjayy Mon 31-Aug-15 16:07:23

My eldest dd was like this it drove me nuts if i said anything i was prying if i offered advice i was intruding sigh It was all so frustrating,
i dont really have any advice just keep talking to her yeah you might have handled a bit badly but its a learning curve imo nobody parents right all the time we make mistakes and open our mouths and let rubbish rant out sometimes
. Dd put herself on the pill at 16 I had offered to take her at 15 or make her an appointment so she could go her periods were horrible but she told me it was fine

so i was a bit upset when she didnt tell me my friend who has a dd a bit older said well at least you approached it and she went. She is an adult now and they do come back to you

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