When girls start puberty, mother and daughter relationships can get tricky. Your daughter may start to feel too shy or embarrassed to talk about topics like her first period – even if she feels desperate to share her feelings or ask questions. But it’s so important to let her know that you're always available to chat.
Here are some ways you can create opportunities that help get an open, comfortable dialogue going.
Be Understanding When She’s Distant
There may be times when your relationship feels strained because you feel she’s not sharing with you. Try not to take it too personally (remember, her emotions are always in flux at the moment).
3 Ways to Make your Daughter Comfortable
The more comfortable your daughter feels, the more likely she’ll be to open up to you. Here are some ways you can help reassure her that you’re there and ready when she wants to talk.
Casually work stories about your teen years into your conversations. Let her know that you remember how hard it can be! Share a difficult memory or two, like your first period stories, to remind her that you were a girl in puberty once too!
Boost your compliments for her. Let her know you’ve noticed her changing and that she’s looking great, doing well in school and seems to have her social circle figured out. If she knows how highly you think of her, she’ll be more likely to share things that may not be going as well as she’d like.
Write her a hand-written letter. Let her know as directly as possible that you want to be there for whatever she needs. Tell her that she can talk to you about anything. You may think she knows it, but seeing it written on that page may be that little extra something that helps her open up.
Still not opening up?
For some reason, some girls just find it too difficult have that mom and daughter talk, no matter how much she may need one. Don’t force it. Instead, encourage her to reach out to other adults – her other parent, a younger aunt, an older sister or a trusted teacher. Reassure her that your feelings won't be hurt (even if they are), because what you really want is for her to get the support that she needs. You can even send her over to these tips about how to share with a trusted adult.