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Treat Her as an Authority

You know what your daughter wants? She would like to be treated as an authority. No, I’m not talking talking about leaving her in charge of the house every time you’re gone, and now when you ask her for something she’s disrespectful because she thinks she’s running your place.

I mean things like asking for her opinion. Give her a mission the two of you all need to conquer together and let her be in charge.

When I was 13, my mother was celebrating both her birthday and Mother’s Day on the same day. We were known in our neighborhood for having the best backyard barbecues. My dad came to me about a month before and said, “What do you think about throwing your mom a surprise party?” I still look back in amazement as he handed me a Rolodex, stated to make a guest list and menu; and made me promise I wouldn’t share it with anyone — specifically one of my big sisters, because she didn’t know how to keep a secret.

Over the next 30 days I planned everything from the menu, to the invite list, to making the calls for inviting others, coordinated a big tent in the back yard and even baked the cake. My dad often pulled on me to ask for my opinion on what I thought of his outfit for a night out, or took me to the jewelry store to determine what to buy my mother that year for a special occasion. He made me feel like my opinion mattered, which in turn made me comfortable with voicing my opinion in social situations. Not only was he grooming my talents for event planning, which I spent over 3 years of my career doing, and still love planning intimate dinner parties to this day, but he was building up my self confidence, just in doing those little things.

Give your teenage daughter room to grow and treat her as an authority. You’re developing skills not often provided in the classroom.


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