Alert alert! Summer is almost over.
Has it snuck up on you? How many of the things on your list to do together have you actually accomplished? If you’re like me, when the summer started you had big plans: evening walks, trips to the beach, yard work, maybe planting a garden or tending flowers together… Moms you looked forward to the actual hours of time you have with your teenage girl this summer. I know… Because I did too.
I envisioned morning coffee on the patio before the little ones woke up. I pictured us walking in the afternoon or chatting at the park as the little ones played. I saw images of barbecuing and swimming…
But here it is July and almost none of those things have happened. I mean, come on, let’s face it, we’re talking about a teenage girl. There was never going to be early morning coffee on the patio. There wasn’t likely to be any chatting at the park while the little ones played unless there was an hourly rate attached. And swimming? Well, that’s a little more like sunning with an iPod. Not really the togetherness opportunity we’d hoped for.
But, here’s the thing. We can’t expect our teenage girls to want to get involved with what we find most appealing and relaxing and enjoyable. We have to meet them where they are.
So instead of longing for your daughter to join you and your activities, look at hers, and find a place to fit in. Find some movies you could watch together or books you could read together to open avenues for discussion. If she likes Pilates, buy a video and do it with her. Baking, laying in the sun, biking…simply join her at what she’s already proven to enjoy.
In all likelihood, if you’ve had very little togetherness time so far this summer, it’s because you’re trying to schedule what makes sense instead of putting her wants and interests first.
Climb across the bridge to her side, hang out with her, and then make a relationship there. Then, down the road, I promise she’ll cross over to your side now and then. But, Mom, always be willing to do the crossing yourself first.