Help!!! How can I build a close relationship with my embarassed nine year old daughter?

Jessica - posted on 04/03/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




My nine year old daughter is a amazing, very smart, funny girl. I'm a mother of three beautiful girls 9, 5, 1 (all fun ages I know :) The type of mother I consider myself to stern, but silly fun loving kind of mom. For the past year I notice my oldest acting very uncomfortable when I'm around at her school. She doesnt't even acknowledge me when I'm there at school events, she trys to avoid me every chance she gets. My sister's son ( my newphew) goes to the same school, he's in the same class as my daughter. Now my sister is totally the soccor mom type bakes cakes, she likes to do arts and crafts, never miss any childs birthday kind of mom. So at most school events when my daughter notices my sister there, my daughter's face lights up, she get's excited and to add insult to injury my daughter gives her a big hug. Something she's embarassed to do with me. I have spoken to her plenty of times of how her reactions make me feel but she only changes momentarily how can I help change my daughters feelings about me?


Kristi - posted on 04/03/2013




Have you asked her why she's embarrassed by you? Most kids are by the teen years. I'm fortunate, so far as to not have that issue. But, if given a choice, my daughter (13 1/2) would pick my sister over me any day of the week. My sister and I are only 2 years different in age but my sister is cool. She has cool clothes, she's more fun, she will try to do cartwheels with her and she can afford to buy her the good stuff! ; ) (my daughter isn't really like that and neither is my sister, it's a special treat when they go shopping every once in awhile) So, don't beat yourself up over that.

IMO, you can't afford not to be stern, especially these days. I wouldn't give up on the qualities you describe above. Maybe try "hosting" a maxin and relaxin play date with a few of her friends. When I let Grace have a friend(s) over, I resolve ahead of time (in my head) that I'm surrendering the appearance of control. Meaning, that I basically let them have free reign while my daughter knows full well I will lower the boom if I need to. But, I let them listen to their music loud, watch their choice of TV or movies, regular dinner but junk food galore afterwards. We have stuff for them to do make overs and mani/pedis, we have a hot tub on our deck and I'll let them use that as late as they want as long as they are respectful of our neighbors, etc.

Just have stuff your daughter and her friend(s) like to do available. Obviously, you'd have to tweak yours some because you also have younger children to consider and your daughter may not even be into the same stuff mine is but you get the idea. When my daughter was about 9, I would let her and her stepbrother and/or a friend "shop" around the mall while I strolled, silently, behind them. They thought they were pretty cool (like nobody could tell the mid to late 30 year old woman walking alone behind a gaggle of 9 y/o's who were "walking alone" was not their mother! lol) Are you friends with moms of her friends that you could hang out with at school events? Sometimes when one kid sees that another kid's parent doesn't have leprosy, they start realize neither does their own.

Just keep the lines of communication open. Make sure she feels comfortable talking to you without being judged. There's a fine line that we all need to find between making sure our kids know we are and always will be their number 1 fan and number 1 supporter in good times and bad without forcing ourselves on them because of our insecurities.

I doubt you need to change your daughter's feelings about you. I'm sure she loves you. Look for more ways to reach her on her level. I don't mean try to be her BFF. Just like I mentioned above, work yourself into her social circles even just as a facilitator. Find something that is just for the two of you. Take yoga once a week, go to a ceramics class, let her pick something...she'll probably be reluctant at first but this is something you can strong arm her on a little. In the long run, she will cherish the one on one time, even if she won't admit it right away. ; )

Ok, enough rambling from me. I've been up for about 20 hours so I do hope this makes some sense and will help you in some way. Hang in there and remember, we all have different strengths...don't compare yourself to anyone else. If there is something you feel like you could or would like to do better, then set small, achievable goals to improve but don't do it because you think you have to compete with somebody else. Do it because you believe in your heart it's the best thing for you and for your kids and it is something you are capable of changing. Don't set yourself up to fail. Oooops...didn't I say I was going to say I was going to stop rambling? Alright, I'm out...blessings to you, Jessica.

Holly - posted on 04/03/2013




My daughter is the same age... I think it has to do with maybe she feels if she is overly attached to you she will be a mommy's baby, but aunts are always cool... I think try not to sweat it, but just make up for it at home, get extra hugs and cuddles at home.


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