Your daughter doesn’t need a manager, she needs this instead.
Your daughter wants independence. I’m sure you knew that already. It’s difficult to give your teen more freedom because you know about how one bad decision can affect her entire life.
However, soon she will be an adult and will have to make adult decisions. She will no longer need you to parent her the way you would parent a five year old. The dynamic must change along the way.
My suggestion? Shift your role.
No, I’m not saying you have to be her bff, I am saying you have to parent her differently. Her hormones are in full gear, peer pressure is huge, and neurologically her brain is changing. Your daughter is in a very strange point in her life and she isn’t 100% sure of who she is yet.
It’s time for you to become a less of an authoritative manager and to transition into the role of a coach. Shifting your role allows your daughter to see what she’s made of. She has to learn to be able to trust herself and you can no longer do all of her thinking for her. That means, you can’t bail her out all the time and you have to allow her to make some of her own decisions. Your role is to be on the sidelines and to guide her. Coaches can’t run the ball for their players and you can’t live your daughter’s life for her.
You want her to be independent and successful. That means she has to learn to decipher things on her own. You can assist her by giving her the opportunity to work through the consequences of her actions and remind her that you love her and she will get through it. Failure is okay, because she has to trust she will learn from mistakes and live through them. It’s one of the greatest lessons we will ever learn. Bouncing back from her failures will develop some much needed resilience.
When you helicopter parent your child, it can be difficult for her once she’s out in the world alone. Failure can feel like it’s the end of the world because she’s not accustomed to the feeling. Give her the opportunity to work through her failures in a safe, supportive space.
The way to shift into the role of a coach is to release her to herself. Let her know that you’re there for her and it’s okay to mess up. As a coach you help her explore her strengths and passions. You teach her new things as necessary and in a way she will understand. Coaches keep the end goal in mind and teach their players how to use what they have to get where they want. And when they need a new edge, they sharpen their skill-sets by strengthening the right muscles and executing a better strategy.
Coaches ask questions about the what and the how, not the why. Constantly asking “why” makes your daughter defensive. Asking the deeper questions allow her to explore and discover who she is and shows her that you respect her thoughts.
When you approach parenting from this angle, you are seen as a part of her team. When she has issues she needs to work her way through, she will come to you because she respects your opinion. As her coach, you don’t have to solve her problems for her because when the lines of communication are healthy and open, she will come to you when she needs to. She will learn how to figure out what to do on her own, knowing you still have her back.