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3 Strategies for Catholic Moms of Teen Girls

1) Model and Witness

You are the very first model and witness in your daughter's life. She will imitate you just as you imitate your own mother (as much as you like or don't like it!) Your daughter needs to see and hear you fully living your faith. This job of mothering daughters is at the very core of changing our society. She will grow into a woman who will impact the world and she is looking to you as her model. Keep in mind what Venerable Fulton Sheen said:

"To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of it's womanhood."

By your witness and example, you are preparing your daughter to be who God made her to be. As you level up your own womanhood, you are doing the same for your daughter.

This is a call to you to look at yourself and recommit to your own ongoing conversion to God, to your formation in the Catholic faith, to your prayer life, and to your self-control.

2) Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact with your daughter is so important, especially during conversation as it conveys feelings and emotions that are not always spoken. Here is the proof:

Did you know that eye contact actually activates the limbic mirror system? This means that the same neurons that are firing in your brain will also fire in your daughters when you share eye contact. So, if her eyes are communicating joy, neurons on your end will also fire to feel joy. This way of sharing emotions can help you bond with each other and increase compassion towards each other. Can you think of a time when you experienced this?

Eye contact is a way to:

  • prove you are listening and engaged

  • show interest in what she is saying

  • generate trust and compassion

  • show respect towards her

  • encourage her to continue the conversation and to be more open and honest with you

You can get great insight into what is going on in your daughter's heart by simply making eye contact.

3) Don't Take it Personally and Forgive

Sometimes, your daughter might break the rules and say something that she really doesn't mean. Or, maybe she has made a bad decision and is not handling it well. These are normal situations in the raising of teen daughters. She is testing her beliefs, her independence and also testing how you will respond.

It is easy to feel personally attacked and hurt by her words and actions. Remember that your are her mother, striving to raise her with faith and virtue, not trying to be her best friend. It is important to be firm and consistent with the boundaries you have in place. (If you don't have firm boundaries, let's talk!) Be truthful with your own feelings, remembering that it may not always be appropriate to share them with her in that heightened moment. You may need some support, so do not delay in discussing your feelings with your husband or a good friend.

The most important thing in these situations is to remain calm, make eye-contact, set forth any correction or consequences necessary, and forgive.

Here is a little script I have found to be useful (for both of you):

I was wrong when I....

I am sorry for...

Next time I will...

Please forgive me for...

Always end with a hug ;)

If you need support, direction, and/or encouragement in any of these areas, please consider coaching with Katie. She helps moms build a foundation of faith and a rule of life so they can equip their daughters with faith, self-worth, confidence and hope.

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