Ask Jessi: Why Won’t My Teenage Daughter Talk to Me Anymore?

May 31st, 2012by Jessi Arias-Cooper

teenage daughterA Reader Asks:

“My husband and I have two children; a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. We’ve always been a close family and could talk about anything. Well, until recently, anyway.

My son is still very open with both of us, but my daughter is a different story. She’ll laugh, joke and hang out with her dad, but it seems like with every day that goes by, she has less and less to say to me. I’ve been racking my brain, trying to think of anything that has changed in our house and have come up with absolutely nothing. It just seems to have happened. One day, she just didn’t want me anymore. I try to talk to her, but she just gives me a short answer and then walks away. Why won’t my daughter talk to me anymore? Will it ever get better?”

Jessi says:

Oh, mama. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this.

If she’s not exhibiting any signs of abuse, chances are, the thing that’s happened in your house, is that your daughter is becoming a young woman.

That’s a tough time for teenage girls. Things go from simple to emotional. Relationships with boyfriends and friends are getting more complicated. Schoolwork is more intensive. Adulthood and huge decisions are only a few years away. It’s a lot of “HUGE” for a young person, especially a girl, to digest.

Now, that would seem like the logical time for a teenage daughter to want to talk to her mom most, but as a mother of two teenagers, you know, adolescents have a tendency toward the completely illogical. Of course, they don’t know that, though.

They’re trapped between childhood and adulthood. Little life experience and big emotion, stress, change and…unfortunately…hormones. And because they forget that you, too, were once a teen, they assume you wouldn’t understand or think the grown-up thing to do would be figure it all out on their own.

Because I don’t know your daughter, I’m going to just take a stab at the situation, but my guess is, she’s more comfortable palling around with her dad, because dads don’t put so much emphasis on communication. Moms are women. We begin and end with conversation. We want to know and help. It’s our nature.

If you want to reconnect, slow things down a bit. Concentrate on just hanging out. Go get a manicure together. Invite her to go on walks with you or catch a flick and go out for dinner. Just chat with her. Don’t press anything heavy. Just chat, sans judgment or prying. With time, she’ll start opening up again.

Keep two things in mind:

  1. She’s not trying to hurt you. She’s trying to figure herself out
  2. She will ALWAYS need you, and as she matures, she’ll start letting down the defenses

Being a teenage girl is a tough time. Being a mom to a teenage girl is a tougher time, because you’ve been where she’s been, but also know the teen years are NOTHING compared to adulthood. Bear with her. You’ll find you’re way back to each other again.

Jessi Arias-Cooper is the senior writer and an editor for Advice4Parenting.com. She is a work-from-home mother of 3 boys and has been married for 11 years. If she had time for hobbies and interests outside of parenting and keeping house, they would be jewelry making, baking, watching bad B-movie horror flicks and creative writing . If you have a question for Jessi, click here.

Photo: flickr.com/photos/23am/477369659




One Responseto “Ask Jessi: Why Won’t My Teenage Daughter Talk to Me Anymore?”

  1. Glenda, Turning Windson January 13, 201110:32 pm

    If I may say something towards the reader. Jessi has a point, as your daughter reaches the adolescent age, she may be having issues with her peers or at home. Give her the space until she’s ready to talk. Or else, if she still talks with her dad, let him reach out to her and ask what the problem might be. Having a teenager is sometimes really frustrating for parents, I know, because I have one myself. Just let her know that you’re there for her when she needs someone to talk to.
    Glenda, Turning Winds´s last blog post ..Turning Winds – Helping Struggling Teens Succeed at Academics and in Life

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