How to Talk to Your Teen Daughters

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Talking to a teenage daughter seems almost impossible at times. Your precious little angel seems to have sprouted horns overnight. Just when she's at an age when important subjects such as dating, sex and drugs need to be discussed, your daughter has become a stranger to you. Don't worry. Your little girl is still there inside that teenager. You just have to approach her in a more grown-up way.

Talk you your daughter while spending time together doing a favorite activity or even doing chores together. It's best not to schedule a specific time to talk. Teenage girls are spontaneous. Like any teen, if you say, "We need to talk," she may shut down before you even begin. Bringing up what you want to discuss is easier if you are already talking while involved in an activity.

Schedule a specific time if you have to. Casual conversations may be rare if your household is an extremely busy one. If this is the case for your family, plan a time to talk around something you will enjoy. For example, a dinner out at a favorite restaurant with your daughter gives you something fun to do but also creates a place and time where you are only focused on each other.

Pay attention. Parents sometimes focus too much on what they want to say and not enough on what their daughter is saying. Your daughter may find it difficult to talk about herself when important issues are involved. She might instead approach the topic from the angle of her friend who is having a problem. Ask her opinion about the friend's situation and what she might do if in the same situation. Even if the topic really is about a friend and not your daughter, this is a chance to discuss important issues with your daughter.

Allow your teen the time she needs to express her thoughts. Whether discussing something simple like a hobby or more serious issues such as sex education, it's important to assure your daughter that you value her opinion. If you try to rush the conversation, she will feel that what she has to contribute is irrelevant to you.

Avoid being judgmental. Your generation is not your daughter's generation. You might think some of the things she talks about are silly; others might make you cringe. Try to remember that at one time you were the teen and hated it when you weren't taken seriously either.

Offer friendship but remain the parent. Chances are your daughter has other friends to talk to. Ultimately what she needs from you is a parent. Don't lecture your teen when talking to her, but be firm on the topics that you feel require it.