Mom, I Hate My Life!
Navigating an adolescent daughter's emotional life is one of a mother's toughest challenges. A teenage girl's volatile emotions can seemingly toss her - and you - like a hurricane. When a scary external world and a turbulent internal world collide,...
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Navigating an adolescent daughter's emotional life is one of a mother's toughest challenges. A teenage girl's volatile emotions can seemingly toss her - and you - like a hurricane. When a scary external world and a turbulent internal world collide, the result is sometimes overwhelming and confusing. What can you do to protect your relationship with your daughter, guide her through this chaotic time, and assure her you are truly on her side?
Your Adolescent Daughter's Struggles Can Help Her - and You - to Grow and Thrive.
The good news is you are equipped with the most powerful resource available for maintaining and developing connection with your daughter: a mother's heart. Learn how you can use hand-in-hand mothering skills to become the ally your daughter needs - parenting out of love, not fear - and find out how you both can experience dramatic, life-changing growth in the process.
""I don't know why my daughter is so angry. She yells at me all the time "^"^""Our daughter comes home, goes straight to her room, turns on her CD player and won't talk to anyone-especially "me,""^"^""The emotional ups and downs of our daughter's life make us "all" feel like we're on a roller coaster."^"^Navigating an adolescent daughter's emotional life is one of a mom's toughest challenges. A teenage girl's volatile emotions can seemingly toss her-and you-like a hurricane. When a scary external world and a turbulent internal world collide, the result is sometimes overwhelming and confusing. What can you do to protect your relationship with your daughter, guide her through this chaotic time, and assure her you are truly on her side? ^Your Adolescent Daughter's Struggles Can Help Her-and You-to Grow and Thrive. ^The good news is you are equipped with the most powerful resource available for maintaining and developing connection with your daughter: a mother's he
1. Chapter 1 Being a Mom Is Not for the Faint of Heart Intuition is a God-given sense that was designed to connect God's Spirit with our inner voice and then in turn connect us to our children. Emotional immaturity disconnects us from our intuition. 1. What are some things your intuition is telling you about your daughter right now? Are you afraid your intuition is right? Why? Are you afraid your intuition is wrong? Why? Does your intuition require some action from you? If so, what? How can others pray for you? The most significant influence on how we parent is how we were parented as a child. A mother's emotional response to her daughter's emotional turmoil is shaped by her unique personal history. 2. If you could talk to your mother today about your daughter, would you: -Talk freely? -Be on guard? Why? -Fear judgement? -Anticipate good advice? -Be encouraged? -Be affirmed in your mothering? What do your answers to the above questions suggest about how you are being mothered as you mother? If something is lacking or absent in your relationship with your mother right now, how can you seek support and wisdom from other mothers? More often than not we are overwhelmed by present troubles when we have an unrealistic expectation of control. Our daughter's unpredictable emotional state becomes an invitation for us to examine our expectation of control and resulting controlling tendencies. 3. Talk about a recent interaction with your daughter regarding her emotions. For example, "The last time my daughter was angry, I . . ." Answer the following questions for yourself and then invite input from others. What were you trying to control? How? What were you able to control? How do you think your control helped/hindered your daughter's emotional development? We get lost in our daughter's emotional turmoil, not only when we lose our perspective about ourselves, but when we lose our perspective about God. 4. Spend a few minutes describing the "troubles of the present" and your "terrors about the future" regarding your daughter. What does your description reveal about your perception of God? (If you're in a group, ask the rest of the mothers what they think before you answer for yourself.) Is God: -Present? -Involved? -Wise? -Distant? -Compassionate? -Surprised? -Intentional? -Intervening? -Powerful? -Hands-off? 2. Chapter 2 Becoming an AllyUsing Difficulties to Build a Relationship As we begin to look at the different mothering styles, remember that good parenting is possible because our children struggle, make mistakes, and even "melt down" completely. 1.Share about a time when you mothered well during one of your daughter's hard times. Identifying your mothering style may be the easy part. Not feeling guilty is the hard part. 2.After reading this chapter, what do you see as your primary mothering style? What do you feel guilty about in your mothering style? What do you feel good about in your mothering style? What would you like to let go of in your mothering style? Is there something specific you would like others to pray about with regard to your mothering style? Perhaps your guilt will be assuaged if you remember that the challenges we are discussingthe emotional turbulence of adolescence and your responseprovide the perfect context in which to form a powerful alliance with your daughter. 3. Read Romans 3:22-24. How does God's love respond to your failures, struggles, and challenges? How is God's response different from the way you view your failures, struggles, and challenges? Are you harder on yourself than God is? If you adopted God's perspective, how do you think it would impact your guilt? Your mothering? 3. Chapter 3 Being a Teenage Girl Is Not Easy Understanding female biology and its unique impact on the emotional life is a gift that will help you and your daughter demystify some of what going on. 1.How do you view your biologygift or curse? Who passed this view on to you? Brainstorm about some ways you can influence your daughter to believe that her female biology is a gift. We can also remind our daughters of their past resilience, self-control, or simply survival in prior emotional angst, and those memories will actually build muscles in the brain for the emotional work of the future. 2.Share a story of your daughter's resilience, self-control, or survival in an emotionally difficult time. If your story was from a while ago, what evidence do you see today of that strength? If you don't see evidence of that strength, ask others to help you look. How can you remind your daughter of her strengths when she is in emotional angst? Statistics and stories confirm that the world our girls are growing up in is often a cold, cruel world. 3.Allow others to share your mothering burdens. Talk about some of the hardship or cruelty your daughter is facing. What would you like to offer or for others to offer your daughter in the midst of her "cold cruel world"? Spend some time praying for your daughters. Someone once asked the great contemplative, Thomas Merton, "Who are you?" His answer, "I am the one beloved by God." Is there something that keeps you from answering as Merton did? Failure? Success? Disappointment? Confusing emotions? 4.Recall a time when you truly experienced God's love. 5. What is keeping you from experiencing God's love today? What is going on in your mothering that cries out for an experience of God's love? Commit to pray for one another that you will experience the love of God. 4. Chapter 4 Becoming an AllyMoving Toward Emotional Maturity Sometimes mothers blame their daughters for the disconnection and point to a culture that encourages distance and even disrespect for parents. Sometimes daughters blame their mothers for the disconnection and begin to list all of the ways their parents "just don't understand." 1.Who have you blamed for the conflicts and challenges in mothering? Does blaming someone or something make you feel more or less hopeful? How does accepting conflicts and challenges with your daughter as inevitable make you feel? Any thought that relegates your daughter to the position of being your enemy is destructive to the relationship and a roadblock to making positive change. 2.Have you viewed your daughter as your enemy? Why? Does your daughter view you as her enemy? How does her perspective "feed into" your view of her? Do you think it's possible for you to change your perspective even if your daughter doesn't change? We are going to identify the "seven deadly sins" of mothering that result in disconnection from relationship and defeat attempts to become your daughte
Sharon A. Hersh M.A., LPC is a licensed professional counselor, speaker, and author. She has written several books, including the popular Bravehearts: Unlocking the Courage to Love with Abandon. She has written four books in the Hand-in-Hand Parenting series including, Mom, I Feel Fat!, Mom, I Hate my Life!, Mom, Everyone Else Does!, and Mom, Sex is NO Big Deal!. Her most recent book is The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help is Not Enough. She is an adjunct professor in graduate counseling courses, including Sex and Sexuality and Addiction at Colorado Christian University, Mars Hill Graduate School