Mothering a daughter


My daughter and I clash so often that I find myself not wanting to be around her. She is 15 years old and a handful. She thinks that just because she wants to do something that she should do it. I find it hard to deal with her because she disturbs the peaceful person I want to be. I find myself reacting to her, and arguing with her and that was never what I intended. She seems to yell and carry on and somehow has to get the last word in. My husband is similar in nature and he generally gets her to listen. At times I wonder if I was cut out to be her parent?

We generally get over the angry explosions and make up. I am tired of this cycle of craziness. I have two sons and they seem so reasonable. I don’t want to compare them, but the boys are a lot less dramatic. Maybe it is me and my reaction to her that is part of the problem. I don’t know anymore.

I love my daughter and want a better relationship with her but I am at a loss on how to make it better.


Mother-daughter relationships are often complicated. You are describing a pattern of behavior that the two of you have gotten into. It does not work very well but you are used to doing it. Have you ever heard the phrase count to ten before you speak. Really that is a way of collecting your thoughts before you blurt out something that is reactive. It takes some patience on your part, but it can be done. You can simply say that when you slow down and calm down I am willing to talk, I’m just not willing to argue. If she asks for something that you need to think about, say something like I need time to think and I will get back with you after I think about it. If she persists and tries to get you riled up so you give in—don’t.

You are the parent and you have to behave like one. You are the voice of reason not reaction. If you both continue to do the same thing you have been doing it will not make anything better. Get your husband on board about curfew, consequences, communication, not pitting parents against each other, etc. You will have to talk with him about being a united front for your children. Explain to her that you have decided to talk things over with each other before coming to conclusions about the guidelines in “your home.” Some of this behavior will stop when you set some boundaries and guidelines that you and your spouse agree on. The key is agreement between you and your husband.

P.S. We are raising children to leave us at some point, so it really is a good idea to supply them with ideas that work. Your daughter will have a difficult time out in the real world with her behavior as it is. Love her, be patient and consistent.

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal.