An adolescent survival kit is here to help you during this time of changes, which we call Puberty! Part of being engaged in mother-daughter relationships is connecting the events of menstruation to a larger perspective and remembering that this is only one period of her life.
As a mother, you may feel conflicted once your daughter starts pulling away, pushing boundaries or being outright disrespectful. Well, Always has got you covered! Use the parenting advice tips below from Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler, clinical psychologist and author of many books — including “I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You!” — to create an adolescent survival kit to help connect you to the past and the future.
PROBLEM: “Moms are feeling less needed. Most women want to feel as if we’re doing something important for our families, for our work, for our daughters.” Dr. Cohen-Sandler says. “If we’re told, ‘I don’t like you, I don’t need your help,’ we’re going to feel a loss of our own identity.”
PUT IN YOUR KIT: Put videos, love letters, notes and any kind words your daughter wrote you before puberty and read them to yourself when you start to feel less needed. Remember you didn’t do a bad job in the past!
PROBLEM: For a lot of mothers, their daughter’s period cycle coincides with their menopausal symptoms, creating a volatile cocktail of hormones designed to send you both into hysterics. “It’s like a bad joke, in terms of the hormones and the reactions to that. It’s not a great situation,” Dr. Cohen-Sandler says.
PUT IN YOUR KIT: You need to feel secure when she’s pushing you. Fill your kit with things that remind you of your interests and strengths — anything that moves your focus temporarily from your daughter to yourself. For example, if you are a big fan of knitting, keep your needles and a ball of yarn in your kit to give you something else you enjoy to focus on in the present.
PROBLEM: You’re worried that you’ve failed as a mother. Your daughter is acting disrespectful and now you worry you’ve done a horrible job and that these characteristics will follow her into adulthood.
PUT IN YOUR KIT: Write down and save all the praise others give to your daughter to remind yourself what the future is going to be like. Or as Dr. Cohen-Sandler puts it, “Think about what you hear about your daughter when she goes to visit family friends. When you get a call from the mom telling you how lovely and polite your daughter is, and you think, ‘that’s not my daughter!’ remind yourself that it’s an indication of what’s coming in the future, that’s who your daughter is going to be.”
- “I’m not Mad I just hate you!” by Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler