Dear Teen Daughters,
Your mothers love you. Many of them are enjoying their adulthood and would love for you to take care of yourselves and look forward to growing up healthy, happy and safely. I listen to your mothers in my role as a clinical psychologist and as a friend. I know that it seems that your mothers nag you simply for the sake of nagging and being controlling. The truth, though, is that your moms worry that you may make bad choices that will follow you into adulthood. Here, through my lens and summarizing years of conversations with your moms, is what they actually want for you:
1. Your moms want you to make wise choices in relationships so that you see partners and the process of coupling as a source of joy rather than as a source of tension, stomach aches and even abuse. It's not simply that they don't want you to be sexually involved or that they don't like your choice of a partner and because they want to interfere and/or be annoying. The true explanation is that they may sense that something is wrong and they don't want you to be hurt. Your mothers are aware through the wisdom of their years that good relationships ease life's journey while problematic relationships may interfere with joyful functioning in all areas of your life.
2. Girls: Your mothers want the aging process to be a healthy and lovely one for you. It is because of this that they remind you to apply sunscreen to your lovely young faces, encourage you to exercise and invite you to eat in a healthy manner. They want you to be free of illness and to take your youthful vitality into your adult years.
3. Yes, your moms seem to talk endlessly about your education. Yep, they sure do. They want to know if you've done your homework, completed the first draft of your college essay and/or have thought about life after high school and college. The truth is that your moms do not enjoy being nags. They want you to be educated and have life goals. They are concerned about you being adrift in a very competitive world.
4. Your moms don't want you to drink, smoke and use drugs. Of course not. They do not want you to be in compromising situations in which you may make bad choices and use less than great judgment. They want your history to be a happy one that is free of trauma and bad memories. They are NOT simply trying to ruin your social life.
5. Girls: Sometimes your moms don't and won't approve of you, your friends, your clothes etc. This does not mean that they wish that you were someone else. I know that you have heard this a million times before but most mothers love you and want what is best for you.
So, teen girls everywhere, know that your mothers love you and that, yes, someday and maybe even when you have kids you will understand.