“I don’t want perfect, I want honest.” -Sophia Chan
If you want to know why your daughter is suddenly gloom and doom, the best way is to just let it pass. But if the situation worsens, then the best way to know what’s going on inside her head is to knock on her bedroom door, sit next to her on her bed, and ask.
Does your teen trust you enough to confide in you when she’s feeling blue? Here are 5 strategies for getting her to confide her source of sadness:
- Be direct in an indirect manner: subtlety is the key to getting her to spill the beans: Study your approach before actually entering her bedroom. Once you enter, observe your adolescent daughter in a way that shows your concern without being over-concerned. Over-concerned has a psychological ramification that could make her not reveal her source of sadness. Ask her what’s wrong, without using the words, “What’s wrong?” What’s wrong is a buzzword that leads to the dreaded reply, “Nothing.” You need to get more creative in your asking methodology. Try, “Sweetheart, is something bothering you?”
- Use an appropriate tone of voice: The tone is essential, if you speak to her with a bored tone, she’s probably going to assume you don’t care. You must use a caring tone, that does not border on a worrying tone- the proper balance is essential.
- Be real: If you effectively carry out numbers one and two and actually manage to find the source of her sadness, only comfort her if you understand her. Be empathetic, false comforting strategies are highly ineffective and will lead her to avoid confiding in you in the future. If she senses you don’t “get it,” all your hugs and kisses will be meaningless.
- Choose the appropriate comforting strategy: If you realize that you are in fact unable to relate to the source of her sadness, the best strategy to adopt is honesty. You can tell her that you don’t know how she feels, and it’s probably very hard for her, but she needs to move on from whatever situation she’s in right now.
- Respect her pain: Give her time to recover. If you act like you normally would after you two talked about the situation, then it’s going to feel weird for her. Respect her sadness and her space. Thank her for confiding in you.
Remember the Mother-Daughter golden confidentiality agreement rule: Don’t ever talk about the situation with anyone else. She’ll feel betrayed.
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