Here is a Paper Hope Teen Tip designed to help you gain a better understanding of your daughter’s world, build some trust and have some fun!
Tip: Spend some time to get to know your daughter’s friends.
I often hear from teens that they wish their moms knew more about their friends. Specifically, they wish their moms knew more about their friends such as the names of their friends, their friend’s parents and other details of their friendships.
Why is this information so important? Why do teens want their parents to know this information?
Daughters tell me that it is easier to open up to their moms when they need help or guidance when their moms know this information before the need presented itself. Teens communicate much differently than adults – didn’t need to tell you that though – right?
At times your teen daughter can be easily frustrated, irritated, angry and communicate in short bursts. Having the background on your teen’s friendships makes it much easier for her to talk with you when emotions are high.
What’s a mom to do?
Paper Hope Street Team teens and my teen daughter suggest having your daughter host her own party and invite all her friends over.
It could be a ‘just because’ party or one that is for a special celebration. Summer time is a great time to start a tradition of an annual pool party! If its winter, we have often had a holiday party with some sort of crazy gift exchange game. Have fun planning the party with your daughter or let her plan it with her friends. Provide a budget. It doesn’t have to be a big budget either. Have a potluck type party and ask each person to bring their favorite dish to share.
This is a great way to meet your daughter’s friends – get to know their names (very important), meet their mother/father or both parents, and see how your daughter and her friends interact with each other.
One note to consider, over the years my daughter and I have always kept the party to girls only. My daughter wanted it that way to keep the strange behavior that she sometimes – well most times – witnessed when her friends were around boys. Perhaps your daughter’s friend group does not have this issue, but I wanted to make sure you consider this as you form your guest list.
Having had parties like this over the years at my house, it is very effective. I was able to meet my daughter’s friends and interact with them briefly before and after the party. I was able to put names to faces and get an idea of personality for each friend. I was able to meet the parent who dropped off and/or picked up the friend often exchanging contact information – also very important as your daughter starts to socialize more. You will want to be able to know and get in contact with parents of your daughter’s friends.
Over time you will begin to get to know your daughter’s friends. You will also be able to recognize issues by change in your daughter’s mood and personality based on who she hangs out with – also very important. You will be able to gracefully bring up names of friends in conversation and investigate what could be the cause of your daughters change in mood.
I also highly recommend attending school events with your daughter. Even if she is up socializing, you should go and meet more friends and more parents. Be present and available. Your stability rubs off on more than just your child.
That is your Teen Tip from our Paper Hope Street Team teens!
If you have any follow up questions or comments, please let us know! Me, Rio, my daughter, Ericka, Yvonne or one of the Paper Hope Street team will follow up!
Much love and respect!
- Paper Hope Teen Tip: Getting Your Teen Talking (paperhope.com)