Teen girls, who could easily be your daughter, confide in me secrets that they don’t share with their moms.
I know this to be true because of what they’ve told me.
I wake up and ask myself every day, ‘Why did you have sex with him?’ and I can’t even answer it. I just felt like I had to…I refuse to tell my mom. I never want her to find out. I hate myself for not being able to control this stuff.
Fears Fueling Girls’ Secrecy
So why do teen girls pour out their heartfelt secrets to me? And how can moms like you apply what works for me with your own daughters?
Here are three reasons why your daughter may be keeping secrets, along with tips to help you help her so she’ll know it’s safe to share both her highs and her lows with you.
1. She’s afraid you’ll judge her.
The key to removing this barrier is to listen without jumping to judgements.
On any given school day, you can find me in a health class dishing out healthy doses of tough love to students for their poor choices. Believe it or not, many of them come back and thank me for it.
Because I don’t judge them.
When you spoke, you brought tears to my eyes because it's like you understood and weren't passing judgment.
Think back to when you were a teen. Remember what happened the moment you felt like your mom or some other adult was judging you? Whatever they said went in one ear and out the other.
I only get three days of classroom time with my students. I can’t afford to have girls (and guys), ignore the potentially life-saving information I have for them.
So, I listen.
And here’s what I’ve found that I believe will help you engage more effectively with your daughter.
When I hold off on judgements and take the time to really hear what girls are saying, the pain at the root of their behavior will often reveal itself.
For most girls, I teach, sex is just a symptom of something deeper going on. And that’s where I believe our focus as caring adults should be.
But you can’t get to the root of what’s going on with your daughter and any secrets she may be carrying, if the moment she attempts to confide in you, your first move is to jump to judgements.
2. She’s afraid you won’t love her.
Sounds crazy, right? Of course, you love your daughter. Nothing could ever change that! But does she believe that? It’s up to you as her mom to make sure she does!
I wish I had met you about three months earlier. I unfortunately [lost my virginity to] a guy that didn’t even have the audacity to call me the next day. I had a ‘pregnancy scare,’ and I had to go through the entire emotional trauma alone…I had to go to my mom…The only thing that’s helping me is knowing that my mom still loves me. Please stop other girls from making my mistake.
Notice the relief in her words? This young lady knows she messed up.
The consequence of her adult decision was not only a pregnancy scare, but the emotional trauma that comes with it for teen girls.
Her one saving grace? Knowing that her mom loved her despite her poor choices.
Given that, what do you think the likelihood is that this young lady will confide in her mom the next time she’s uncertain about how to handle a heavy issue?
I’m guessing strong. Isn’t that what you want for your daughter? Her to know that she can come to you with anything?
That’ll only happen when she believes you love her unconditionally. Please don’t assume she already knows that.
In my experience working with teens, showing is always better than telling.
3. She’s afraid you’d never understand.
Your daughter faces a lot more distractions and potential pitfalls than we did at her age. But while times have changed, teen drama remains the same. You understand more than your daughter thinks you do. And that Mom, is the problem.
What if your daughter’s keeping secrets from you because she doesn’t think you can relate to what she’s going through?
Know anything about grappling with low self-esteem, fear of rejection, trying to fit in, daddy issues, or simply making bone-headed decisions as a teen and/or young adult?
Good! You can relate!
I always tell my students that they don’t have to make ALL the mistakes themselves. That’s why I make it a point to read letters of regret I’ve received from previous students.
Girls in my class learn from the stories I share. Your daughter can learn from yours too.
It’s one thing to tell your daughter to “do as I say.” It’s quite another to explain why you don’t want her to do as you did.
Don’t worry. She doesn’t need to hear the sordid details of your past. The Cliff Notes’ version will do.
The point is for you and your daughter to connect over shared experiences, and grow from them—together.
Helping Mamas Know Best
While teen girls often confide in me, I know the person most qualified to meet their needs is their moms.
That’s why a week ago, today, I held my first webinar for moms of teen daughters, entitled 7 Secrets Your Teen Daughter Will Never Tell You: Discover What She May Be Keeping from You, Why She Hasn’t Told You, And What You Can Do to Help Her.
Y’all the response was incredible! Almost 800 people signed up!
The feedback I’ve received since, from both moms AND dads, has blown me away. (Kudos to those fathers who saw the need and literally answered the call even though it technically wasn’t for them).
If you couldn’t join us last week for my special online training, I’ve got great news. I’m doing it again!
Stay tuned for details. For the sake of your daughter, you don’t want to miss it twice!
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Brittany JonesMarch 19, 2017 at 9:49 pm
This was awesome!!!!!! Thank you
Jackie BrewtonMarch 24, 2017 at 2:37 pm
Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it.
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