Any reminder of the rules has her immediatly yelling in a sulky, defensive way, and not only is it completely unproductive but it's bloody embarrassing! Her friends and their parents must think I'm having a real go at her the way she carries on after I have a quiet word to her or speak to her on the phone. And then I do get angry at her for reacting that way.
I really want her to be able to enjoy her teen years, to have freedoms, and she is usually pretty responsible although some of her decisions recently have been pretty questionable :-/ . I'm thinking of giving her this letter. Is it too long winded, lecturish, annoying, accusing, judging?? Help me make it better if you can please, and any other advice would be great too. I want to be able to communicate with her much more effectively. I want her to count her blessings when she gains permission to do something rather than concentrate on how unfair it is I have placed conditions on it.
You have been growing up very fast and needing more independence and time with your friends. I know you are generally a responsible girl so I am trying my best to let you develop independence and do your own thing. Independence, responsibility and good judgement are not something you can develop over night. It is a process with lots of small steps along the way.
Each time I say ‘Yes’ to an activity or outing it is a small step to further freedom for you. Each time you go out and show me you are responsible and well behaved and making good judgements it is easier for me to say yes the next time and know you will be o.k. Sometimes (actually, most times) I will place some conditions on an activity that I feel keep you safe and let me feel less anxious about you being out in the big wide world without me. Each time you happily accept the limits and responsibilities that come with the freedom you gain more and more of my trust,I feel more and more confidant that you are developing good judgement and can make sensible decisions and as a result, over time, I will feel o.k. to give you more freedoms with less limitations.
On the other hand, when the conditions are ignored or forgotten about I worry I have misjudged the level of responsibility and independence you are really ready for and want to take a step back to a lower level of freedom and responsibility.
Some examples of the conditions I place on you are asking for you to have your phone charged, to stay where you are supposed to be, and be gentle with your injured knee. When I ask you why you have not done one of these things, or remind you to do them, itis an opportunity for you to stop, think, and rectify the problem. I am not asking because I am mad at you. I am not reminding you because you are not allowed to make mistakes. I am asking and reminding you because I want to help you succeed in gaining as much freedom and responsibility as you desire. I am trying to help you develop good habits now that will mean more freedom for you throughout your teenage years.
Please, next time you are off to do something or go somewhere, when I ask you to have a phone, remind you to stay with the group, or ask you to give me a quick call when your day is done and you are safely in bed, or any other little things that make me feel you are safe, don’t react with anger and frustration. They are small things to do that mean the difference between lots of fun times or being stuck at home because I’m too worried about you to let you go out.
I love you lots Daughter and I hope we can be friendlier to each other in the future when discussing these types of things.
Edited by tr2, 09 December 2012 - 08:25 PM.