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Help me bridge the communication gap with my teen daughter

Help me bridge the communication gap with my teen daughter

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Rosie:

I am loving the advice that you give to our young people and your honesty with them as well.  My thing is I have a teenaged daughter who is 15 and sometimes it is very difficult to bridge that gap when it comes to her life, her problems and of course the dreaded sex questions as well!  She is embarrassed to come to me and I am sometimes so uncomfortable to bring up these issues as well.  Her Dad, well he would rather just run for his life than talk to his daughter about S-E-X.  Do you have any tips for us?  How would you handle this phase if you were in our position?   I would really prefer our daughter to come to us instead of hearing all kinds of misinformation from her crazy friends.(smile)  Thanks again Rosie and keep up the good work.

Grateful Mom

Dear Grateful Mom, 

Thank you so very much for those wonderful words of encouragement, it is very much appreciated.  Your letter was very touching to me because you are on the other side of the fence.  You are a concerned mother (parents) of a teenager and you want to to be there for her on every level. I think this is so very cool to see.  Often times I get the letters from our young people who think that their parents just don’t get it…but we really do, we just need to communicate more efficiently.

 My advice to you is really simple.  When you are about to give your daughter a lecture or advice, or as you said the “dreaded sex talk” go back to when you were her age and how you wish the people in your life would have been open and straight forward with you.  I think as parents we really forget that we went through so many of the exact scenarios our children are going through right now.  How did you feel?  What about the little secret boyfriend we wished that we could bring home?  What about not feeling that you fit in with the cool group?  What about your curiosity about sex back then?  So many experiences for us to pull from if you take yourself back down memory lane.

 I know how we were raised and it was a very conservative upbringing.  However, we have to step out of our comfort zone for the sake of our children.  We must be accessible to them and allow ourselves to be more “conversational” and less “confrontational”.  Maybe when you are in the car together, you could share a memory about an experience from “back in the day”.  Let her see you as a person with her own history, rather than a Mom who is afraid to say the word “sex” in front of her. 

Little steps.  Share your own stories (some of them funny), make the environment a more approachable one.  As her guard begins to drop, you will be surprised by the stories that will come out.  I think this is something that we as mothers and fathers should start doing with our children from the time they are learning to speak.  Basically creating an open door policy.  I strongly feel that your daughter knows that you love her and you are there for her.  So all is definitely not lost.  You and your hubby continue to take deep breaths and let her come to you.  Once she sees that you aren’t cringing and being judgmental then the new relationship will begin to flower.  Best of luck and you are on the right track.

Rosie

Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or PO Box 152, Kingstown,St Vincent & the Grenadines

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