The Number One Thing That Deepened My Relationship With My Teenager Daughters

Hey guys! I hope your day is going well. Today is pretty quiet around the house with the kiddos at a weekend activity. I'm enjoying the solitude :) 

As moms, it is so hard to squeeze in time for all life's demands. Whether it's our work schedule/expectations, school activities, church functions, elderly family care, or just meal planning and tending to the pets, we all have "stuff" in life that pulls at us in one direction or another. It's probably always been that way and I'm betting it's not changing anytime soon. But in each of our worlds, there is one demand that we must pause and take time for: our relationship with our children. 

No matter what season in life you are in, it is important that we take intentional, focused time with each of our kids. For me, we like to call it mommy/daughter time. It sounds silly now that they are teenagers. But it's what they've always called it, so the name has just stuck. When the girls were younger all five of us would plan a spa night while daddy was at work. Bubble baths, pedis, manis, and hair care were all on tap for our girly spa nights. Some pretty deep conversations would come out of those times together.

But our mommy/daughter time was an intentional time of just me and one daughter. They had my full attention. We could talk about anything they wanted. We could sit in silence. Whatever they needed.

Time hasn't changed this process much. We still hang out one on one and talk about life. Now we go get coffee together (I do this with two of my daughters) or grab a pretzel and soda at the local Sam's Club (this is with my daughter who doesn't like coffee) or we go and get an ice cream sundae from Mickey D's (this is with the baby of the family). My goal, in this focused time, is to show them how important they are to me (important enough for me to take time to just be with them), that they are enough just as they (I try to build them up in the gifts I see God has given them-especially during this individual time together), and that I just enjoy being with them (I make a conscious effort to smile).

There's something about talking over food that just makes talking about difficult stuff easier. Sometimes, though, we get out and do something. Sometimes it's a long car ride. Sometimes it's taking a long walk. Sometimes it's arriving at an activity 30 minutes early to just sit in the car and talk.

It's in the conversations that I've learned what hurts them, what brings them joy, and what their personal goals are. They are incredibly rewarding conversations and I wouldn't take anything for them. 

Long after they leave home, I want them to call me up and say, "hey mom, can we have a mommy/daughter time?" It may be far-reaching, but I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and trust that the relationship will continue to grow stronger and deeper.

What are ways you build a stronger relationship with your tween or teenager?

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