How to stay involved in her life as a teen.

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Too many times, we assume that our teenage daughters should just automatically involve us in every aspect of their life. We think they owe it to us.  I mean, we gave birth to them, right?  Can I just tell you- they owe us nothing. Not one thing. We provide for their basic needs their entire lives and as they grow into teenagers our hope and desire is that they still want us to actively be a part of their life.  Shouldn’t this be a given?  No. Sadly it just doesn’t work like that.  Being involved in her life as a teen starts when she is still young. It is a relationship that must be built over time.

Being involved in her life as a teen starts when she is young. It is a relationship that is developed over time.

6 things you can do RIGHT NOW to stay involved in her life as a teen:

Respect her

Respect for our children starts at birth.  If we can’t respect them how can we expect them to respect us? (Wow. Say that 3 times real fast.) Respect their individual needs and wants. This doesn’t mean we give up our role as parent, or “boss.” It simply means we are secure enough in our role that we lead them without ruling them.

Talk to her

Have adult conversations with her RIGHT NOW. Ask her opinion! Kids understand more than you think. Have mature conversations with them. This not only stimulates their young mind, it shows you respect them as a person. Be real with them. I’ve always been very open with my girls about taboo topics even at a young age. I would much rather talk to them and have them hear about sensitive things from me BEFORE they hear about them at school or church. My girls know that they can discuss ANYTHING with me without me freaking out. I’m not naive enough to believe that they will discuss every intimate detail of their lives with me, but they know that they can and they know I’ll always be here to listen to them.

Take time for her 

There should be no doubt in that little brain of hers that she is priority in your world.  Basic needs such as being bathed, clothed and fed can be completely exhausting for  young moms and its so easy to be consumed, but don’t forget about those emotional needs. Start them out young with mother/daughter dates. Put your mothering role aside during these dates and be friends! It’s okay to throw routine out the window every now and then. Be fun and do girly things with them.It's okay to throw out the routine every now and then and have fun with your kids! Click To Tweet

Care about the things she cares about

Don’t brush those childish things aside as unimportant. This will be increasingly imperative as she grows. Justin Bieber became popular when my girls were 10 and 8. Mind you, this was when he was still sweet and innocent. I didn’t know who he was but you better believe I searched and knew just as much if not more than they knew over time.  I allowed myself to be just as excited about him as they were.  I distinctly remember dancing and singing to his music in the car with my girls. I did this ON PURPOSE. I got into their world by being interested in the things they were interested in, and through each season of their lives it has kept me in their world. I’ve taken them to 3 One Direction concerts. If you were there, I was the crazy one in the black suburban chasing “the boys” (my girls and their friends refer to One Direction as “the boys”) from one place to the next. I may or may not be a crazy 1D mom.

Keep your mind young

Stay in tune with trends, fashion, social media, pop culture, music and anything else that teens are interested in. Again, this starts while they are young. Don’t lose that young mind. Parents I can’t stress this enough. It is important! It is a HUGE way for you to relate to them as they grow and mature.

Pray over her

Pray daily for and over your kids. There is absolute power in prayer. I remember when both my girls were infants I would rock them to sleep every single night. It was about a 45 minute (sometimes longer) ritual and one in which I do not regret. It was during those times I prayed for their future lives. I prayed for them as teenagers, young adults and grown women. As they have grown one of my favorite things to do is walk into their room in the wee hours of the morning, kiss their sweet closed eyelids and silently pray over them.

My girls are now 17 and 15. My oldest just graduated High School. I certainly don’t proclaim to have all the answers. I simply want to share with you what I have learned. I AM STILL LEARNING. Our life isn’t perfect and there are times I know that I have failed as a mother. A mother’s heart is like no other, is it not? I wish my daughters could just see inside this mothers heart. Adolescence is hard. Yes it’s hard on us as mothers, but it’s equally hard if not harder on them.  We really have no idea what our kids go through on a daily basis at school. I believe that every thing we do for them should be ON PURPOSE. Raise them ON PURPOSE with boldness and courage.

I am convinced that when we are ACTIVELY involved in their lives, they seem to stay out of trouble and make better decisions.

When we are ACTIVELY involved in our kids lives, they seem to stay out of trouble&make better… Click To Tweet

What you can do right now to stay involved in her life as a teen.

You are not alone in your mothering. So many have been where you are RIGHT NOW.

I hope you’re inspired to find ways right now that will foster future involvement in your daughters life as a teen! What can you add to the list?

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  1. KELLY says:

    Thank you for sharing. They grow up so fast & one day you’ll stop & think….”.where did the time go?” This is spot on!! I’m loving your blog!

  2. cindy says:

    This is so well written and true, it is good to be reminded of these things when you feel your in the trenches with teenagers! I am so happy as well we found one another’s blog. I am just about a month in too! So much for me still to learn!

  3. This is such a great post! You’re blog is great!

  4. Your one of best moms I know– with two of the sweetest girls I know❤️❤️ I am thankful for all you have taught me!!

  5. Amy Ann says:

    You are such a good mom! Love these tips. Someday you’ll be coaching me. 🙂

    xo, Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

  6. Cynthia says:

    My eldest will be a teen before I know it and too soon for me! This is great advice. I’m guilty of not doing a lot of these things but it’s never too late to start. Great post, Shannon! ~Cynthia

  7. Megan says:

    This was soo good, Shannon. Thanks for this! You are an incredible mom! Such a sweet reminder to cherish my babes while they are small. Love you!

  8. Jena says:

    Shannon – Thank you for this! My sweet girl is only 6 months, but I love every part of this post. I love the honesty and I appreciate the suggestion to lean on God and pray for your loved ones. That is so important! Thank you for sharing and linking up! 🙂

  9. Jill says:

    Such a great post and so true! My daughter just turned 13 and while I hope I have built a good foundation, these are good reminders to keep it up!

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

  10. Renita Domek says:

    This blog post caught my eye when I was exploring your blog this morning. As the frustrated mother of two teenagers — a son, Dan, 15 and a daughter, Maddy, 13 (14 in November), I can relate to many of the things you talk about. I especially like how you talked about being in the middle of a nap when your daughter wanted you to french braid her hair. Those moments get fewer and farther between when they become teenagers and it’s true, you have to relish in those moments even if they come at the most inopportune times (and for some reason, they usually do — what’s up with that?! I also like your suggestion to pray over them. I have good kids and sometimes I’m amazed at their bad choices. I’ve turned to prayer many times to get me through and to give them guidance because you have to learn from your mistakes. I just don’t want the mistakes to be too big! I’m looking forward to more blog posts, although I have to tell you up front, despite my best efforts, I have a hard time keeping up with other’s blogs. I usually do well to get my own blog posts out on a timely basis. Three kids, a needy husband and life always seem to get in the way. I’m going to try though! 🙂 For some reason, I think you’ll be able to understand!

  11. Orryginal says:

    Loving this post! You write really inspirational and I couldn’t believe you’ve only been blogging less than a month that time! Your blog looks like you’ve been doing it a long time – in a good way 😉 Keep it up! And do check out mine 😉

    http://orryginal.com/

  12. Julie says:

    Thank you Shannon! My teen is 15 and it’s scary! I love the example to respect them. I grew up in a family where it was told repeatedly to me that “they were my parents and would never be my friend.” I disagree with this. I think the relationship evolves over time. Of course I’m still the parent but I need to sometimes be a friend. My child even when grown will need someone to talk to and just be there sometimes in the “friend” mode.

    I really needed to read this today! Thank you!
    Julie

    • Shannon says:

      Yay Julie! Ya know, mothering can just be hard can’t it? I firmly believe our kids won’t respect us unless we respect them. We can’t “make” them respect us.SO glad you stopped by!

  13. I try to stop and look at my children when they need my attention or just want to talk. Those moments really are fleeting, and it’s scary how fast they grow.

  14. Niki Hardy says:

    Thank you for this encouragement. My son has just graduated and my girls are 16 and 13 so I’m mid teenage years. This is a great reminder to be present and what that really means.

  15. Hi Shannon! My mother and I are very close and we were when I was a teenager, as well. Thanks for putting all of that into words. As I look back, I see that my own dear mother did all of those things. I strive to one day do those things when the Lord blesses me with a daughter.

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Gabrielle! I was very close with my mom, too and its been a blessing all of these years! There’s nothing like “moms”, huh?

  16. Dawn says:

    Shannon, I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’m right there with you, with a 17 yo daughter. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and some things, I’ve done right…by the grace of God. I think your advice is spot on. I smiled when I read your point about keeping our minds young. I’m trying. I watch top 40 pop music videos while I work out on the elliptical machine for that very reason (although I have to skip past some- because some are pretty awful). The first step is admitting that my mind isn’t so young anymore! ; ) I make some goofy pop culture mistakes, which makes me fodder for some good-natured teasing by my daughter and her friends.

    • Shannon says:

      Dawn- Yes- keeping that young mind is so important! You’re as young as you feel!!! And I’m right there with ya, I’ve made some goofy pop-culture mistakes too, and yes my daughters tease me, but deep down I know they feel the love! LOL. Whatever it takes to stay in their world, I’ll do. Life is hard and I want them to know that I’m always there for them:-)

  17. I just love this article, Shannon! My daughter is almost 12 and going into middle school this fall. And while I have done some of what you suggested already, there is no doubt room for improvement! I especially love the idea of the mom-daughter dates, just getting out and having fun. My daughter’s dad and I divorced when she was two, and so I get her more during the week, so he tends to get more “fun time” and I get her for homework and chores. Although we do some fun activities together, they aren’t as intentional as they could be. Thanks for reminding me of ways to stay connected! Blessings.

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Linda! Thank for dropping in today! I think as mothers sometimes we get so used to routine. It’s in our “mothering genes.” This is why it’s hard to get out of that box. Maybe one night during the week you guys could just be spontaneous and go have a fun dinner, or if the funds allow, go get pedicures? I’m sure you’ll figure something out, but in the mean time, I’m saying a prayer for yoU!

  18. Deborah says:

    Hi Shannon,
    I discovered your blog over at The Peony Project. Thanks for such a heart felt post. As the mother of a 16 year old daughter I see the importance of what you shared in this post. I especially resonated with caring about what she cares about. Sometimes my daughter is PASSIONATELY interested in things that bore me to pieces. Yet by entering her passions, I get to see a glimpse of her heart. I am finding that she trusts me with her heart and communicates with me because of that trust. Is it hard. YES but so worth it.

    • Shannon says:

      Deborah! I’m so glad you found me! Uggghhh let’s just be real..mothering just takes so much work! But in the end, yes IT IS WORTH IT! Even though it’s been hard I honestly treasure every moment with my girls! Hope you have a happy day Deborah!

  19. HEATHER says:

    Looking back I can clearly see how my mom did a lot of these things with me and I also see a lot of how my husband raised my step-son in the same ways before I came onto the scene seven years ago– And we couldn’t be more blessed by the young man he turned out to be (he’s 20 now…) We’ve totally been those parents rocking the concerts…! I think your suggestions are spot on Shannon and I”m so glad to be your neighbor over at Holley’s! ♥

  20. Anne says:

    I absolutely LOVE this post. It os so well written and 100% true! As moms we hope that our kids confide in us and want to be around us and include us in their lives. These things don’t happen overnight. Relationships have to be cultivated and tended to and trust built. They need to feel safe, secure, loved, valued and respected and all of those things start at a young age. LOVE this…thank you for sharing!

  21. Amen sista, they do grow up fast. Love the respect her. It is hard to think of showing respect to our children. Great reminder-keep on writing sista! Blessings!

  22. Hey friend! This is such awesome advice! I’ve done much of the same with my boys over the years. I laugh at the part about being interested in what they are interested in because my boys are basketball nuts! I know more about NCAA and the NBA than I ever dreamed possible 🙂 This post touched a particularly hurting place in my heart though in regards to my daughter. I wish with all my heart I could have been her mommy from the start and saved her the trauma of her first 5 years that would forever change her brain. I wish I could have rocked her like you mention and as I did both of my boys, too. I pray that many new Mommies will read this and embrace each suggestion. It will make a difference and I can witness to that! Thanks so much for sharing this hope alongside me at Moments of Hope! I treasure you, my friend!!!

    • Shannon says:

      Oh Lori- thank you for this reply…it touched me deeply and my heart goes out to you. God gave your daughter YOU. And He makes all things NEW. You will reap many MANY rewards for what you are doing for her and in her. It may seem hard right now, but know that God is working! Love you!

  23. […] posts from last week, these verses never left me. As I came to Shannon Guerin’s post, How to Stay Involved In Her Life as a Teen, I knew I had found my featured post. Shannon is a Mama who loves her girls fiercely. Her life has […]

  24. Kiim says:

    Wise advice! I love what you said here.

    “I am convinced that when we are ACTIVELY involved in their lives, they seem to stay out of trouble and make better decisions.” I have found that this is so true. Being a mom is such a big big job and these are wonderful ways to be intentional about raising our daughters (and sons).

    You are being featured on #lifeislovely tomorrow! I hope you come over to join us again!

  25. Yes, yes, yes, shannon. I’m a mom of two girls–12 and 17, and I can attest to the truth of all you’ve said here. I’m so thankful God guided me to take the actions you so wisely suggest with my daughters since they were born, for now I am gratefully seeing the benefits of those actions. My teenager and I began just this past school year to have “nightly chats” when I tuck her into bed. This has been a challenging year, because A Boyfriend has entered the picture. But she willingly shares nearly everything with me, which has been an enormous help and blessing–to both of us, I think. Now, what I want to know is: how was it being the mom of the graduate? My daughter will officially be a senior in 3 1/2 days, and I already feel weepy. 😉 Bless you, mama…stopping by from Life Is Lovely!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Elizabeth! Glad to hear I’m not alone in this journey of raising girls! But it’s the best journey, is it not??? Thankfully, I haven’t experienced any “boyfriends” yet! I know its coming soon though and it freaks me out! lol. And…graduation….ooooohhhhhhh Elizabeth- grab the kleenex on the first day of her Senior year…no, actually, just carry a BOX of kleenex with you at all times! It’s a tearful year, but one that you both will enjoy. Soak it up!!

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