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How do I Communicate with My Daughter?

Do you see eyes roll, hands go over ears and shoulders reach to cover them when you bring up anything related to periods, puberty or sex with your tween? It’s hard enough if you as the parent feel uncomfortable talking about these topics but when you’re met with such resistance it can lead to avoiding forays into these areas altogether.

The question is: how to keep an on going dialogue with your tween, and later teen, without any one topic causing them to clam up on you?

Try to focus on equalizing the information in your own head first. This will help to maintain a cool, matter of fact attitude. Keep the same frame of mind when you’re talking to your kid about how to avoid acne with a clean face as you would when you talk to them about how to avoid STDs with a condom.

Another way to keep it all on the same level is to do the old pick a topic out of the hat trick. Write various topics on small slips of paper and have your kid close their eyes and chose. Do this about once or twice a month and avoid making it a big heavy conversation. Just spend about 3 to 5 minutes giving the facts whether it’s about body odor or birth control. Keep rotating the topics and adjust according to your child’s stage of development. You’ll need to talk about these topics more than once but this can help to keep the ball rolling for both you and your tween.

What’s most important is to not stop talking. And be sure to include your own family values when it comes to sex, love and relationships. Because even though you may see hands reaching to cover those ears, your kid most likely IS listening.