August 7, 2022

strong mother-daughter bond is one of the most important relationships in a young girl's life. This bond can help her weather the storms of adolescence and emerge into womanhood with strength and confidence.

Unfortunately, the tween years can be a time of tension and conflict between mothers and daughters. As girls begin to assert their independence and explore their own identities, they may start to pull away from their mothers, even during times when they need them the most.

As a mother, it can be hard to know how to best support your daughter during this time. Communication doesn't come as easily as it used to, and getting your daughter to open up to you about what's going on in her life can be challenging.

So what's a mother to do? How can you strengthen your mother-daughter bond? Before jumping into possible solutions, let's first try to understand the problem.

mother and daughter arguing

Why Do Mothers and Daughters Argue?

There are a few reasons why mothers and daughters might find themselves at odds with each other during the tween years.

Physical and Emotional Changes

Firstly, girls are going through a lot of changes during this time, both physically and emotionally. It's normal for them to feel insecure, confused, stressed, and even a little lost. 

At the same time, they're also trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. This can be a lot for anyone to handle, let alone a tween who's still trying to figure out how to communicate her thoughts and feelings.

At any given point, she may be overwhelmed by the thoughts, responsibilities, fears, and emotions swirling around her head. When this happens, it's not uncommon for girls to lash out at the people closest to them, even though they don't really mean to.

mother daughter arguing

How Can I Encourage My Daughter to Communicate With Me?

If you're struggling to communicate with your daughter, don't worry, you're not alone; over 50% of parents struggle to communicate with their children. It can be difficult for tween girls to open up, especially about the things that are bothering them. Here are a few things you can do to encourage your daughter to communicate with you.

Listen More Than You Talk

This may seem counterproductive, but it's important to let your daughter know that you're there for her and want to hear what she has to say.

Try to avoid offering advice until she asks for it. And when she does, be careful not to lecture her while you offer guidance. Be gentle with your advice and empower her to make the right decision.

Create a Judgment-Free Zone

Getting your daughter to open up to you will be much easier if she knows that she won't be judged, no matter what she says. Whether it's a conflict with her friends, a puberty-related issue, or something else entirely, she needs to know that she can come to you without fear of being judged.

If she does happen to say something that does bother you, try to respond in a way that shows her that you understand how she's feeling without passing judgment on her words or actions. This will go a long way in showing her that she can trust you with her thoughts and feelings.

Let it Happen on Her Terms

There will be times when your daughter just doesn't want to talk, and that's okay. Even if she's clearly upset about something, she may not be ready to talk to you about it. Don't force her to open up if she's not ready.

Instead, let her know that you're there for her if and when she's ready to talk about it. Tell her that if she wants advice, you're happy to help. If she just needs someone to listen, you can be that for her too. This will show her that you respect her privacy and that you're not going to push her to talk about something if she's not ready.

mother daughter diary

How a Mother-Daughter Diary Exchange Can Improve Your Communication and Bond

For your tween daughter, some topics or questions may feel too personal or embarrassing to discuss with you directly. This younger generation is often more comfortable communicating through written means such as texting or emailing. One way to help encourage communication and strengthen your bond with your daughter is to start a mother-daughter diary exchange, also referred to as a shared journal.

 This form of journaling allows mothers and daughters to communicate openly and honestly. It can also be a way for them to explore difficult topics they might find challenging to talk about face-to-face.

How Does a Mother-Daughter Shared Journal Work?

Think of your diary exchange as a private conversation between you and your daughter. You each share a single journal and use it to communicate with each other about more sensitive matters. Your daughter can use the journal to ask questions, share her thoughts and feelings, or discuss sensitive topics she might not feel comfortable talking about in person.

Once she's written in the journal, she can leave it under 

shared journa

your pillow for you to read. You can then write your response and return the journal to her room. This way, she can control the pace of the conversation and only share as much as she's comfortable with. This back-and-forth journaling will give you both a chance to reflect and respond thoughtfully without the pressure of reacting in the heat of the moment. This can help reduce the risk of either of you becoming defensive, judgemental, or dismissive of each other's thoughts and feelings.

How to Start Your Mother-Daughter Diary Exchange

If you're ready to start a mother-daughter journal exchange, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it's important to set some basic ground rules to ensure that both of you feel comfortable with the process. You can start by agreeing on a few simple rules, such as:

  • The journal is to be used for communication between you and your daughter only.

  • What's said in the journal stays in the journal; you will not discuss the journal entries in person unless prompted by your daughter.

  • The journal will be kept in a safe place where only you and your daughter can access it.

  • You will be respectful of each other's thoughts and feelings, even if you don't agree.

  • You can write about anything - there are no taboo topics.

customer support

Once you've agreed on some basic guidelines, it's time to choose a journal. Life is a Doodle offers locking diaries and journals, which can be a great option if you want to ensure that your journal entries are private. You'll each have access to the key or lock combination, helping to strengthen the trust and bond between the two of you.

If you're unsure how to approach your daughter with the idea of a diary exchange, consider using the journal to suggest this method of communication. You can write about why you think it would benefit the two of you and how it can help improve your relationship. Leave the journal in a place where she'll find it, such as on her pillow or in her school backpack, and see how she responds.

Journaling can help daughters feel more comfortable communicating with their mothers about difficult topics. It's an excellent way for you to strengthen your bond by creating a space for open communication that feels familiar and safe for your daughter.

If you're interested in starting a mother-daughter journal exchange, consider using Life is a Doodle's locking diaries and journals to help get you started. Our diaries and journals are a great way to keep your journal entries private, and they come with some fun added accessories that your tween will love. 

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