My sixteen year old daughter and I don't know how to communicate with each other and I need help. I have no idea how to talk to her anymore and am struggling as I want to be a supportive loving mother. I see that she is trying to find herself and seems confused so how can I guide her without being overbearing? How can you be a friend when you must be a parent first? Overprotective Olivia
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Dear Overprotective Olivia,
This is a great question that many mothers struggle with. To be both a friend and a parent seems ideal in many mother's eyes, but most of the time it's not the best idea. Your main role needs to be the parent if you want to maintain authority in the relationship. As much as children rebel and fight back, the authoritative parental figure that disciplines and teaches them right from wrong gives kids a sense of security they find comforting.
Building trust with your daughter and reassuring her of your unconditional love is key to developing the close-knit relationship you are looking for. Set guidelines and parameters for your daughter to live by since her teenage years can be a trying time. Let her friends be her best friends for right now. When your daughter is much older, you will have established the foundation of mother/daughter and you won't have to be just a mother, but a friend as well.