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I Want To Be The Best Mom That I Can Be

Dear Sugar
My daughter is eleven years old turning twelve next month. She's a typical pre-teen who is bossy, a little bit awkward socially, loves boys, friends, sports and gadgets. She is so much fun to be around, except when she's moody.

I am scared for these upcoming years and I want to know how to be the best Mom that I can be to my little girl. It scares me that sometimes already, she will lock her door and won't want to talk to me about personal problems. How can I encourage and ensure an open line of communication in these upcoming and challenging years? Petrified Parent

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Petrified Parent
Adolescence is an exciting and complicated time of development and discovery. Something to remember is that no matter how tough it gets, your pre-teen daughter loves you and needs your unconditional support and guidance. It's crucial to her development into becoming self-loving, secure and healthy. Here are a few things to remember about your pre-teen:

  • Continue to strengthen a relationship with her that includes trust, honesty, open lines of communication, and setting limits.
  • Set aside quality time to spend together every week and listen carefully to the things she is saying to you; it's valuable insight into her thoughts and feelings.
  • Be a good role model in every which way. Monitor how you: eat, exercise, handle stress, and avoid smoking or drinking alcohol in her presence.
  • Be calm around her. If you're balanced, then your daughter will feel that she can handle all of the curve balls life throws her way.
  • Talk about your values, and teach her responsibility. Provide her with structure and rules and enforce consequences for breaking those rules. Trust her decision making skills and encourage her to talk to you about everything; even the things that she's done wrong - and don't judge her after she's opened up to you.
  • Let her know that she can always ask for help when it comes to school, peer pressure, body image, drugs, sex, etc...
  • Remember that you can make a difference in her life. You guys are lucky to have each other. Teens can push your buttons and be very frustrating, but it's a phase that will pass with time. Be patient, yet firm with her and you will both be glad in time that you stood by each other's side when times were tough.

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Join The Conversation
caterpillarpie caterpillarpie 9 years
just make sure you let them know they can talk to you no matter what. and always always make time for them so that they feel important in your life.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
i think all this advice is great, but i'd like to add DISCIPLINE to the list. do not be afraid to say NO to something. of course she wants to go out and explore and test her boundries, but too many times i see parents let their kids run wild and they don't act like parents and enforce their rules. I don't get why so many parents have to be the "cool friend" when they are supposed to be nurturing, loving, guiding forces for their kids. i'm really glad my mom wasn't like that but i knew more than a few kids with moms like that and it annoyed the crap out of me cuz these kids had no rules in their lives and they screwed themselves over. please don't be like that!
frenchunion frenchunion 9 years
I'm 100% with u on this one siouxsie...u gotta let her go,if u're forcing things it'll be worse!..We all went throughout the same things,the same reactions of pseudo-hostily against our parents i think that it's normal..it's a way of saying 'ok mum i know u're here for me but u gotta let me discover this world,i'm growing & u don't always have to hold my hand'.. ---------------------------------------------------------- 'I wanna know God's thoughts,the rest r details..'
KimmiAnn KimmiAnn 9 years
Girl I am soooooo with you! My daughter's 11 turning 12 in Dec. and oh the mood swings! She hasn't started her period yet but seems like she has permanent PMS! We're very open about sex talks and stuff like that....remember to answer every question carefully and you don't have to give info about when or what you've done....Try and relate to her and what she's going through. I take my daughter shopping with me and ride bike's together for our alone time. Believe in Magic!
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 9 years
Lol JennaV...me too.
siouxsie siouxsie 9 years
well not having kids im not much help cept i remember being that age...and i think you're best if you just let her have some space but step in if you sense she;s in danger or anything and make sure she knows she can talk to you if she needs to...sometimes if you can find something fun to do together...shopping or whatever.well with me it was my dad and watching football or building stuff but whatever...that's when i would usually talk to him...
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Aw, bye kid!! The flagging is frustrating for sure.
kidcrazy2 kidcrazy2 9 years
Yikes. My daughter is 8 and I'm scared already. Okay, I'm outta here. I've been flagged 3 times tonight and I'm not happy.
JennaV JennaV 9 years
Holy cow :jawdrop: !!!! You are 11/12? I could be your momma!
fashonista14 fashonista14 9 years
I'm 11 turning 12 and i want my space. don't be pushy b/c when my mom is i just drift farther away. let her tell u what she wants and don't be judgemental, about friends, boys, or people unless they r really unsafe of something. :)
t0xxic t0xxic 9 years
Im with ann Its hard at this age bc its time to let go a little and she will feel its time to let go alot. U have to find a common ground. Take her out for coffee or a day of window shopping at least once a week just so u dont loose touch with each other. u can live together in the same house but still become strangers. GOOD LUCK its hard and this is what sets the tone for the next few years. Just listen to her and give her some space when shes angry.
ann_fancy ann_fancy 9 years
I'd say let her breath, if she doesn't feel like talking about something it's okay
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Yah, I've got nothing for you. Mine are still wee teensy things. But, good luck to you!! I'm petrified already. :o
herbiefrog herbiefrog 9 years
off topic i assume they are the sweetest pictures we'd adopt them both : )
herbiefrog herbiefrog 9 years
she has her own line of contact ...to the world that is unusual at so young an age where the inner type is such one would assume the main interest would be love is the answer )) luck [and love] to you all
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
Ahh...only 10 more years until my son hits his teens...eek! ---------- Formerly known as Shawna
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