3. Show that you are interested in what she has to say about sex.

  • Allow pauses in your own speech; these will invite her to respond.

  • When she does speak, take time to think about what she has said and ask for clarification.

  • Avoid jumping to conclusions about what she thinks and feels.

  • Avoid telling her what she should think or feel.

4. Improve opportunities for genuine conversations.

  • Find time to spend doing stuff that she enjoys.

    • Talking is often opportunistic. You cannot jump-start a conversation. The best information is often given informally, with sensitivity to context. It has to develop. Some daughters enjoy cooking with their mothers, and this allows talk time. Some teens enjoy shopping with their mothers, and this allows talk time. Sometimes snack time is special; but whether you choose a special meal in a restaurant or a joint session over laundry, you can be led by what makes your daughter feel comfortable. You can keep tabs on this. Listening to a daughter covers a broad range of behavior.

  • Use her own interests to emphasize the expectation that she should have a say in what happens in relationships.

    • Key in to her favorite programs. Use media as starting point for thinking about power, agency and respect. (Ask, "What do you think is happening between those two characters?" and "What do you admire about her?")

  • Learn to be comfortable with you and your daughter having different opinions. You can still listen and have a good conversation even when you do not agree with her. It can give your daughter an enormous boost to see that you are listening to her, considering her point of view and perhaps revising your own perspective in response to what she says.


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