What can I do to make my teenage daughter WANT to spend time with me?

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Vicki - posted on 01/01/2010

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I have three daughters and the youngest is 14. I would suggest asking her about something she wants to do: movie, Caribou coffee, Wii, ... some activity she likes to do. Suggest playing/watching it together. Sometimes we just have a movie night at home watching DVDs and eating popcorn together. The key I have found is asking what she wants to do and then being willing to do it.

Sue - posted on 06/06/2013

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I have a 19 year old daughter and we do have a good relationship. However, my husband left us 2 years ago and she lives with me and I leaned on her way too much during this sad time in my life. She also has a boyfriend for the last 4 years and he is a really nice guy who helped her through all of this and is very supportive. Now we are both much better but I also have to let her go in many ways. She is my only child, I miss her lots as she spends most of her time at the boyfriend's house. I totally feel left out, but if I push she would even go more over there, so I say nothing at all anymore. I try to both invite them for dinner but it is usually on her terms. I know she wants to move out but cnan't do that yet as she is in university (her boyfriend too) and has a part-time job, so that has to wait a bit. I am very lonely at times and always being a caregiver it was hard for me to let go as she is so independent. I don't have any rules as I can really trust her, she is a good daughter.
I don't want to overstep, but I miss her so much, she is more of a quiet person who does not like to talk much, I am the total opposite. Yes, we do go out shopping once in a while but I still miss her and hate it that she likes the boyfriend more than me, which obviously is normal. I just can't help my feelings.

[deleted account]

At 15,16,17 my son didn't want to do 'Family' things, I didn't push it, He was invited to join in and welcomed when he did. Now he's nineteen and NOW not only joins in but also takes his younger brother to movies, etc. seeks me out for conversation and is a part of the family again. I think it's a phase they go through, an independence thing. Let it happen, she'll be back and will probably value the opportunity to discover herself in her own way. This is not to say that she wont make some mistakes. A certain amount of awareness will be needed to work out when you're needed and when not. (I remember getting concerned as my son seemed to be depressed.) But on the whole he has said that he wanted to be an 'adult' and appreciates the opportunity I gave him to do so. (He discoverd that he had wings and I let him fly.) He tried, and learnt that its not as easy as he thought. One of his frequent comments, now, is "How did you do it, mum?" In short, don't try to cling and don't push her away, just wait. Sometimes she'll join in and sometimes she'll lock herself in her room. Especially, don't try to understand, in her 'teenage' moments, you're the enemy. In her eyes, you can't understand. Relax, accept, and be patient. This worked for me (although it was hard) and I hope it helps you. Good luck!

Teresa - posted on 01/06/2010

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whatever she is interested in u need to follow....have her friends over for pizza and a movie (dont be the center of attention u want her friends to think she has a cool mom and she will follow their lead)..then the next day say hey lets just u and I go get ice cream and talk.....play games........go get nails and toes done.... on a budget go see a dollar movie. It works for me and mine are 17, 16, 15...we are the best of friends however they know i will pull the mom card at any given moment if needed!!! Good Luck

Mariah - posted on 05/18/2014

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I wish I had a mother who was like all of you. My mother isnt that into the whole mother daughter quality time stuff. I am the one who always always makes time and plan stuff to do with her. I am still 18 and I live in the same house as her but I go to university and I work and she works so I dont spend that much quality time, I dont know why i have always wanted to spend more time with her even though we live together. I asked her why she doesnt make an effort to plan things with me and spend time, because most of my friends go out for drinks or shopping with their mother at least once a week , anyway she told me its because we see each other anyway. But to me, i think its important to cherish every moment because life changes so quickly. I cry when i see mothers like you, wanting to spend time with their children. I genuinely wish I had mothers like that :(

Sorry i know this has nothing to do with the question asked, I was just googling if it was okay to wanting to spend time with your mum and this came up and when I saw everyones replies i started to cry because its nice seeing how much you love your children to make an effort to spend time with them. I hope they appreciate all that! :)

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Jenny - posted on 08/12/2014

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Mariah your post really had a hold on my heart. I have a 12 yr old daughter who likes to spend a lot of her time at her fathers as we are divorced. it is really hard for me. I don't make much money but I try to do things when I can that have to do with spending money but I also have a very close family and I spend a lot of time with them when I have her. she has a step mom who does a lot for her though at times I feel as though she has stepped on my toes such as taking her Bra shopping for the first time, having her eyebrows waxed without asking and the most recent aloud her to use a tampon on their most recent vacation without even calling me. To make a long story short it is so hard being a mom at times especially having daughters in my opinion. A mother daughter relationship is one of the most complexed relationships in the world. I love my daughter with all my heart and IM SURE your mother feels the same way about you. Don't cry! God Bless...

Meena - posted on 07/24/2014

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It's really hard seeing your little girl grow into a young woman who doesn't want to spend time with her family, but it happens. Just always be there for her, and let her know you love her. :)

Kleef - posted on 07/24/2014

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Mariah......you sound like a smart and wonderful daughter. I am sure your mom would feel very grateful to know how you feel about spending time with her. As a mom myself, I know it is easy to let the day to day work take over our lives. Ask your mom if the two of you can schedule a mother/daughter date. If that doesn't work, tell her you need a few minutes of her time, and explain how you are feeling. Best wishes.

Joanne - posted on 05/18/2014

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You didn't state how old your teenager is but be assured that she loves you. Teenagers go through a stage wanting to be with their friends rather than their parents -- this doesn't mean they don't love their parents. My daughter and I spent Sundays together going shopping and then a nice dinner out. This went on for some years but then suddenly she started spending her Sundays with her boyfriend but I know that she loves me. As parents, we must accept that our children will go off and live their own lives but know this that the bond you have with your children will never go away.

Cherease - posted on 08/03/2012

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Hey Kim,I am the mother of an 20,18,14 and 12 year old. Their is nothing that you can do to make your child want to spend time with you. Its time for you to the face the fact that your daughter is growing up and their is more to life then hanging with out mommy. Now don't go crying on me. This happens to the best parents at first we have babies that we nurture and then we have teens that don't want to hang out with us. This is what I suggest you try,let her know that you want to hang out twice a month because you miss her.... She loves you, so she will agree. Gook luck

Colette - posted on 08/03/2012

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thank Goodness ive found this site. i have twins, a boy and girl, just about to turn 14!!!! both hormonal, mind you so am i.... lol. some really constructive comments. thanks colette x

Lynn - posted on 01/14/2010

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you can't make them want to

you have to provide an open, honest and safe relationship that encourages being together.

But at this age they are also trying to spread their wings. I tell mine I miss her if she has been very busy lately with friends. And when she asks me to go to the store or something with her, I say yes even if I may not be up for it - because it is our time and we can get caught up.

tough age - don't take it personally

Brooke - posted on 01/14/2010

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I personally have a great relationship with my girls (15, 14, 12, 6 & 5) with my older girls, i make up excuses to get them in the car...lol...starbucks...junk food run....gotta get the lil girls from friends or day care..come with me....it gives us ONE on ONE time to talk. Keeping 1 laptop in the house and listening to music on you tube together...just simple things really...but the biggest are what I listed...the excuses to get one on one time is GREAT!! And dont be a hater..lol (as they say) like the BFF (even if ya dont) BUT dont like her too much. ya know? Just remember when u were a teen and do what your mom didnt do...or did do. BUT keep the mom ad kidlet time ULTRA IMPORTANT> I also make fun meals in the middle of the day (weekends or days off from school) blare music and kinda coax them out to join in the fun.....its great. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Deanna - posted on 01/06/2010

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My daughter is 17 1/2 and looking forward to moving out on her own to try her wings soon. The thing she wants most from me at this point is for me to listen to her. She goes to high school and community college and has a weekend job. Often she just needs to "download" from her day and bounce stuff off of me. One thing I have consistently done is try to stay at least somewhat in tune with her interests and her friends, so that I understand better when she talks about them. Her schedule is so busy we don't get to do much together anymore, but we do occasionally make a date to go shopping or to a movie, just her and I. Our most recent date?...shopping on Black Friday...what a zoo...LOL! But we survived, had war stories to tell, and enjoyed a nice lunch out together.

Tammy - posted on 01/06/2010

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We make dates to do things. And she feels 100 % comfortable if she gets other plans with her friends or if she wants to bring someone with us that is fine. Nothing is written in stone. We goto a movie, shop, We are both huge Hockey Fans so we goto the local games when we can. We have done concerts. We also do free stuff, Board games, Rock Band. I believe alot of it is she and I both understand it isnt the other persons job to entertain the other person. We have done "just girl" things for all 16 years of her life. She will be 17 next month and she is in her second semester of college so the together time has changed, less mom time.She has new friends and she is more social. I am good with that though. I love what Teresa "we are the best of friends however they know i will pull the mom card at any given moment if needed!!! Good Luck" I whip out that card ina heartbeat if needed.

Donna - posted on 01/06/2010

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First I'd like to say I think its nice you want to bond with your daughter. I have a 14yr old and a17yr old that I have a great relationship with both. We watch shows like american Idol which a new season starts jan 12 on fox its a great show comes on every week for about two to three months till its over starts at 8pm . we also watch the secret life of american teenager allready on every monday on abc family great show about a young teen who got pregnant i know everything all us moms fear but its open up lots of conversations with the kids even my 18yr old son enjoys the show . I also often go to the movies with my teens even to see movies that i don't think I would like most of time I end up liking them antways. I hope that you find at least one of my suggestions to be helpful good luck

Maria - posted on 01/05/2010

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I don't have a daughter, but I have two teenage sons, and we spend time together, just as we spend time together with Dad along. You just need to find out her interests and what she likes to do. Like the type of music she likes, then ask her if she wants to see a concert together. Or see a movie together at home on weekends with all the munchies you both enjoy. Keep the communication lines open at all times, and try to read between the lines, no matter how vague they sometimes get. If they get vague, let them elaborate on their own terms without raising an eyebrow (it can be hair-raising, I tell ya). Once they start opening up, they'll want to spend more time with you. And no matter how old you are, don't forget to be their age again when doing stuff with them. Within reason, of course. Lol

[deleted account]

Be the kind of person she would want to spend time with- you can't buy her love ( doing just the things she wants to do). Really you have heard it before- you don't need to be a friend to your teen unless she has emotional problems and has ZERO friends (then you have to be both friend and parent). While it hard to deal with- it isn't her job to spend time with you- it is your job to train her to be a self-sufficent adult. If she is 16 at least then you need a sit down and tell her things are going to start changing now as you are moving forward with her adult training. Reset the rules- no longer tell her when to go to bed, when to do homework, what to wear, etc but no longer making things better when she screws it up- missed school bus, too many lates on record, failing grades (no privleges that other kids get), not taking her in the car cause her clothes embarrass you, etc. After that shock- now start going with her to her adult training- drivers course (lunch afterwards), shopping for large containers (for her to start earning and buying things for her apartment like dishes, sheets, etc), consultant to teach her microsoft outlook (intergrated task lists, calendar, email, contacts= time managment), job preparation, cooking classes, bank account, etc. You might not be having the fun (friend) times, but soon she will admire what you are doing for her and with her- then sneak off to do a movie or minature golf! Please consider clicking on "We Survived Our Teens! (in communities) and letting us know how it went. Also ask questions of other parents who have raised sucessful teens (hindsight rocks!) Good luck- Jude

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