I’ve been running models on my relationship with my daughter, but I’m not sure what to do with the information. She’s 16, and based on past risky decisions she’s made and lies I’ve caught her in, I don’t feel I can trust her. I really want to have a solid relationship with her more than anything. I’ve run some models on this subject, and one of them looks like this:
T: I can’t trust her
A: I question her about her plans, I verify plans with other mom, I ruminate about past lies & trouble she’s been in, I talk about it with her dad and my sister, I am guarded with my responses to her, I check Life360 to verify where she is, I find evidence to support my thought; after she gets home, I try to keep my questions light and not accusatory and let her tell me as much as she will about her time
R: I am guarded/worried she’s not being honest
We go through periods where we talk about what’s going on in her life, our feelings about changes that have taken place in our lives, her friends, situations with her friends, what’s going on in my life, etc. She’s very loving, and I feel like I’m an available, loving, and supportive mom. It seems every time I let my guard down, she gets caught doing something or lying, and I feel so much disappointment, and I believe it means we don’t have a good relationship.
T: I wish she wouldn’t make risky decisions and lie
A: I question why she lied, I either get quiet or I get mad, I cry sometimes, I bring up similar situations/find evidence, I ruminate, I talk with her dad or my sister about it, I get upset when I try to talk to her about it and she won’t converse
R: ?? (I allow the above to mean we don’t have a good relationship…is this a result, or is this a new thought?)
Logically, I know all teenagers lie, experiment, etc. I allow myself to believe that it means I’ve done something wrong as a mom, and I’m responsible for the poor decisions. I know that I can choose to believe that she’s being a normal teenager, but I feel if I do that I’ll think I’m not doing my job as a parent.
She’s told me she wants to be able to tell me anything like some of her friends do with their moms. I want that, too. I feel very resentful when I feel I’m creating a space for her to be open and then she does something else she knows is unacceptable behavior.
Please help. This relationship is so important to me.