Updated: May 4, 2020
Ok, I get it, now that she’s home you're probably wondering why you ever complained when your daughter wanted to leave.
What you are going through is not easy mama, so hats off to you.
But believe it or not, it’s actually harder for her!
The teen years are meant to be for socializing and friends and separating from your family unit and coming closer to who you are, but now that they’ve been whipped back into your brace, that taste of freedom was just a tease and now a distant memory!
Oh and I bet she's not being shy about what this experience is like. I’m sure you’ve heard everything they have to say by this time already.
But there are a few words YOU can say to HER that will ease the tension.
I bet she’ll soften her body and gaze towards you and this whole unprecedented situation.
"This is hard isn't it?"
And then stop, and just listen. Even if you can hear crickets or need to continue sipping on your tea, stop and drop into how hard this must be for her. Just hold her hand if she lets you. Even though it’s an obvious statement, acknowledging your daughters feelings and experiences is important. It lets her know you are paying attention.
"I'm feeling the same"
Tell her how YOU'RE feeling being cooped up. You know this is not easy for you either, it's unnatural! When you share your vulnerabilities she sees you as more human and might be able to offer advice about how you can get through the hardship. Empowering our daughters to draw on their strengths in time of need is a life skill, a survival skill.
Don't lose the opportunity to let her impress.
"You must feel like a part of you has been robbed"
The second half of the year, especially for our seniors, is a time of saying goodbye, celebrating the past four years, proms, spring break etc. Imagine not being able to fully see those events full circle.
Those are milestones! Rites of passage! Closing ceremonies! And they are necessary.
Again, hold space for her to be able to talk about what it feels like to not be able to celebrate these events. It's scary moving onto the next phase or even grade. The people that hold their hands and make them feel like they are safe and secure are their friends. But they’ve lost that...for a while anyways.
"I understand that you’re finding other ways of reaching out to your friends through social media, and I’m proud you're trying to stay safe."
Ok, not an easy one to say out loud, but face it, they are going to do it anyway and bottom line, at least they are staying safe. It's not ideal, I know, but they emotionally need to do this. I bet we would have been on the phone for hours back in our day under the same circumstances, so loosen the reigns a bit, let them connect in the best and only way they know how, at least for now.
Finally, say nothing!
Hug her more, make more physical contact. Pop the popcorn and watch a movie of her choice together!
It makes your daughter not feel so alone emotionally in all this physical distancing. And what mom doesn't need more snuggles anyways! You've got this mama! You always have!
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Illanith Benjamin is a Holistic Wellness Coach. Her mission is to help mothers develop a more loving and connected relationship with themselves and their daughters. Look forward to joining her in an Online Course for Moms later this year or book your first call and let her help you work through this stage using techniques from Mindfulness, Yoga, Stress Based Resiliency and Love.