Spending time with your teenage daughter is important for a healthy relationship. Schedule a fun “date” and reconnect while having a ball.
Spend time together doing things you both enjoy. “If your daughter loves shopping and you get hives just thinking about the mall, shopping is off the list,” says life and career coach Sydney Davis.
Davis suggests putting your heads together to brainstorm ways to hang out. Ask your daughter about her best memories of times spent together in the past. Or talk with other moms of teens to find out what kinds of activities they enjoy doing together.
Don’t forget to consult the calendar. You know you’re busy, but keep in mind that your teenage daughter is busy, too. Don’t make her give up something she enjoys to spend time with you – she’ll just feel resentful.
Hit the trails: Plan a fun biking or hiking excursion. Research routes together over coffee at the bookstore.
Swim: Hit the beach or take a dip at the community pool. Splash around together and soak up the rays while you enjoy rating other people’s swimsuits.
Work out: Take a yoga class together. Play tennis. Get fit with Zumba. Or stay home and dance and work out with your Wii!
Hit the beauty salon: Plan to spend an entire afternoon getting haircuts, highlights, manicures and pedicures. Set the appointments up at the same time with different stylists so you can sit side-by-side and chat away.
Visit a spa: Get the works: massage, sauna, facial… Any tension between you and your daughter will just melt away.
Meet for lunch: Lunch is shorter and more relaxed than dinner, so you’re not taking up too much of your daughter’s social schedule.
Mom and daughter time >>
Take a class together: Learn to scrapbook or knit at a local arts and crafts store. Or take cooking or sewing lessons at a nearby technical school, or a foreign language at the community college.
Clean out your closets: “That’s always an adventure for my mom and me,” says relationship expert Caroline McGraw. Look for ways to repurpose things you haven’t used in awhile.
Cook up a feast: Spend time together researching menu ideas and shopping for groceries. Conversation will flow naturally as you hang out together in the kitchen preparing the meal.
9 Ways to organize your closet >>
Keep it light
Make sure the time you spend together is “agenda-free time,” says behavior therapist Kirk Martin, founder of Celebrate Calm. “Go enjoy anything, but don’t lecture or have an agenda. Just enjoy your daughter and listen more than you talk,” says Martin. “That’s the way to guarantee your teenager spends more time with you.”
And when she’s ready, she will come and ask you for advice… and actually listen.