Inside: Learn to connect with your teen on a new level by planning a mom and daughter date.
Over the last few months, the teen and I have had some rocky moments in our relationship. She decided to go back to school, and I promptly had a mini-meltdown. Slowly it began to dawn on me that our relationship was moving to a different level – a level I’m not all that comfortable handling. She no longer wants me to make decisions for her, but she’s not exactly ready to make all her own decisions. She doesn’t want to be a kid anymore, but she also isn’t ready for adulthood. It’s a delicate balance and one that’s taking a lot of patience and prayer on my part.
To put it simply, I’m eating a lot of chocolate and biting my tongue.
One of the things that I noticed (and found highly ironic) is that she becomes very upset when her sibling and I come home from a homeschooling trip. She doesn’t want to go and can’t go because of her school schedule, but she has a hard time with us going on with our homeschool life without her.
So, this weekend we went on a Mom and Daughter Date. We hopped in the car, drove 3 hours away, and checked into a hotel. I had fabulous plans for all the amazing things we were going to do — shopping, sight-seeing, roller coaster-riding, to name a few. But, I held back on throwing all this out there and simply asked, “What would you like to do?” The first night she was tired and just wanted to stay in and binge-watch Psych.
Ok. Not exactly my fun-filled amazing plan, but I could work with it. So, we ate at the hotel restaurant (which was ah-mazing, by the way. Check out Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort next time you’re in Pigeon Forge, TN) and laid in bed watching Psych on her phone.
The next morning I was once again ready to go on an adventure. I got up, showered, dressed, found our Dollywood Season Passes and was ready to roll.
She slept in till nearly noon.
Once again I checked my disappointment and reminded myself this was about hanging out with my daughter, not going on an adventure.
Finally, we made it to the theme park and rode all the roller coasters we could until I was ready to puke. (Yep, getting old sucks.) But, about the time I was going to have to admit I was too old to ride that many roller coasters back-to-back, the teen decided it was time to go back to the hotel.
At her request, we grabbed some pizza from the deli (along with some ice cream) and headed back to the room. We plopped the iPad and pizza between us on the bed and binge-watched Psyche for hours. For Hours!
We spent the majority of our weekend away laying on a bed, eating junk food, and laughing at the antics of Sean and Gus.
It was the best fun we’ve had in months. And, why? Because I listened to my kid. I stopped trying to plan a fabulous outing and just listened to what she wanted to do. Just hang out and spend time together without trying to have any big relationship-changing conversations.
I’m not sure that we’ll look back on this weekend and decide that major progress was made in the parent/teen communication saga. But, I do know that it was a full three days where we liked being with each other again. No one expected anything from the other. We just enjoyed some peace and chocolate.
Mom and Daughter Date Ideas
Spending quality time with your daughter is a meaningful way to bond and feel closer to her. It doesn’t have to be an entire weekend in a hotel. Going on mom and daughter dates can be closer to home and much simpler. No matter what age your daughter is, from angst-filled preteen to hormone-crazed teenager, these date ideas can mean a lot to your relationship. Here are a few ideas to help you connect to your teen.
Mom and Daughter Cooking Class Date
You can often find cooking classes specifically meant for a parent and child, but you can also take any type of cooking class with your daughter that would appeal to both of you. There are actually quite a few kid-friendly cooking classes, either for one night or specific holiday cooking fun. You can both learn how to make something together, while also spending some bonding time. Bring your finished dish home to enjoy with the rest of the family.
Mom and Daughter Popcorn and a Movie Date
Another fun idea is to go see a movie together. Find a fun movie (or two or three) your daughter will enjoy. Instead of a regular theatre, see if you can find a drive-in where you camp out in the back of your truck with some popcorn and other snacks. You might also want to go the opposite direction and go to a luxury movie theatre. We love the one with recliners and dinner brought to your seat!
Mom and Daughter Pottery Painting Date
Pottery shops are available in most towns and have a lot of fun options. You start by selecting a piece of pottery to paint, then get as creative as you want. If you have a crafty or artistic daughter, this will be a hit. Let her pick her own item and decorate how she wants. She might want to paint a cup that can hold her pens and pencils in her bedroom, or a picture frame to put in a picture of her dog or her friends. Honestly, I have a blast creating drink coasters and spoon rests (yeah, I’m a nerd).
Mom and Daughter Spa Date
When you want to splurge a little bit, a spa day is perfect. This is going to cost a bit more, but you can cut costs by just going for manicures and pedicures. If it is a special occasion such as her birthday, maybe you can make a day of it by going for a facial or massage, lunch, and a quick shopping trip. This can be a lot of fun for both of you and is a wonderful bonding experience.
Whatever you choose, just remember it’s not what you are doing that is important. It’s spending time listening to your daughter and focusing on what she is saying even when it’s really hard to hear her through the drama. Your little girl is still in there. She just has a hard time saying what she’s feeling these days.
This post inspired me. It might inspire you as well.
Have you gone on a Mom and Daughter Date? What did you do?