Girls. They have all the feelings and opinions and ideas about how they can do things better than you. As they get older it can become harder and harder to connect with your daughter. I love my girls, but there are times when I feel like I can’t make that vital connection. They start to become their own woman and in the process can sometimes reject the woman I chose to become. It’s confusing for them and for me. But I have some ideas to help!
Although these tips are geared towards moms and their relationship with their girls, dads can get some great ideas for this advice, as well!
8 Tips to Help You Connect with Your Daughter
- Remember your own girlhood. I remember feeling the same way about my mom sometimes, too. And I grew up and learned and got past those ideas. Don’t take her small rejections too seriously. She loves you just like you loved your mom. It’s just not always easy to communicate.
- Listen. A LOT! Girls like to talk. God made them that way. So get her talking about whatever is important to her (which probably won’t be what’s important to you) then just listen. Do that “MmmmHmmm,” and “Oh wow really?” thing that she needs to feel heard. Pace yourself with the advice during your talks.
- Ask about her friends. Someone older and wiser gave me this advice when my girls were younger and I was so thankful! Your daughter’s friends are an important part of her life and even if one (or more) of them is not someone you would prefer she hangs around with, still be sure to ask how that friend is doing. Show a love for her friends even if you don’t like them. My grown daughters have shared with me how much this meant to them when they were younger.
- Spend alone time together. Look for opportunities to be alone with each daughter at least once a week. When running to the grocery store, invite her along. “Hey! Come with me and we can stop at the coffee shop you like on the way!” Go for a walk, do a craft, read a book together, pitch horseshoes….whatever she likes that you can work into your week.
- Eat meals together as a family. Connecting as a family will create bonds for life, not just as a group, but between individuals. Meal time is where you find out how everyone else is doing and what is happening in their lives. We like to have breakfast together, so it doesn’t have to be dinner if that doesn’t work as well for your lifestyle.
- Ask her to teach you something. Your daughter has giftings that you don’t have, so ask her to share with you. This will help her see you as humble and teachable. She needs to know that you don’t think you know everything. Even though we know our weak areas, sometimes we are so busy correcting and teaching that we forget to show them.
- Be sensitive. I have four daughters and when they are having a hard day they each want something different. One wants to sit and talk for hours while another wants to be left alone. One likes a gift of chocolate while another is on a sugar fast. Even though I want to just slap down the advice and move along, I need to step back and consider their individual needs. While sensitivity is not my strength, remembering how much it makes her feel loved, I can do it for my daughter.
- Don’t lose hope. No matter how far off your relationship with your daughter may have gotten, never lose hope. Find something about her that you’re proud of and tell her. Let go of your own needs and give her space. Be in prayer for her and be ready to humble yourself and embrace her no matter what. You don’t have to like her choices to have hope for a better relationship. You can find something to connect about. Ask God and He will show you.
Now that my daughters are all grown up and living their own lives, it can be harder to stay connected. I never get hurt when they leave me out or don’t connect with me. I’ve been young and figuring it all out. I give them my affection and help when they want it. We are now building on the foundation I built when they were younger.
You got this!
What are some of your favorite ways to connect with your daughter?