teen daughter

3 Ways to Relate to Your Teen Daughter

As she’s growing, she’s changing—rapidly. And the ways that used to feel so natural for you to connect with her don’t feel natural anymore. Sometimes, it may even seem like you have less in common than ever before. At this stage, many fathers make the mistake of distancing themselves from a teen daughter, because, in all honesty, we just don’t know how best to relate to her.

Your daughter specifically needs you to connect with her by caring about what she cares about.

However, this is a crucial time in your daughter’s life. She not only needs you, but she specifically needs you to connect with her by caring about what she cares about. Here are 3 ways to relate to your teen daughter that you need to try today.

1. Pay attention to what she is paying attention to.

Yes, you have different interests than her, but are you reading what she is reading? Are you watching the shows she likes? Are you connecting with her right where she is in daily life? You don’t have to immerse yourself in all of these things. She’ll be ecstatic just to know you care about some of what she’s paying attention to. You often easily can do this just by asking questions and listening.

2. Keep up with her social media life.

It is very likely that your teen daughter has an active social media life. In many homes, that’s a life far more active than parents think it is. Do your best to stay in the loop by knowing what apps she uses and having regular conversations about this area of her life. Not only does following her on social media provide her with good accountability, but it is also an opportunity for you to like, comment, and express your love in one of the most defining aspects of her teen years.

3. Invest in her dreams and goals.

Your daughter has high hopes and dreams. Some are about hobbies, about her future, and yes, about boys. Are you careful to cheer her on rather than make subtle negative remarks about her passions? Do you know what’s closest to your daughter’s heart? She wants you to know because to know those things is to know her. And once you know them, dream a little with her. Help her make some of those dreams a successful reality.

Sound off: In which of these three areas could you relate better with your teen daughter this week? 

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the most important thing in your life right now?”