Mother-daughter relationships can be stressful. I have many girlfriends with girls who are DREADING the oft tense pre-teen/teen years coming up. I’m just SOoo fortunate to have a great relationship with both of my daughters, but then it’s been easy for me as they were so young and so thrilled to have a new Mom for their beloved Daddy when I came along. I’ve often been told that I’m the “cool Mom”. While flattering, I’m wondering what could possibly make an older, wrinklier version of your kids “cool”?
So, I asked them.
Mom: “So, would you consider many of your friends’ Mom’s cool?”
A – 14yrs old: “No. They’re nice, but they’re not really cool.”
B – 17yrs old: “<steph>’s mom. (I like her too). And two others. (I think they’re cool too). I don’t know many people’s moms.”
M: (to A) “None of them are cool?”
A: “They’re not really like you. (I didn’t even fish for that one!). I guess it’s because they’re older.”
M: “What makes a mom cool?”
B: “They talk to the kids, my friends. They joke around a lot. Not like in an “adulty” way.”
M: “Does it make a mom cool if she dresses at “teen” stores like Garage? Does that make her cool?”
A: “That’s kind of weird sometimes. Like if they look too young. Like, you wear nice stuff that’s cool. But like <susie>’s Mom who’s trying to be too cool, that’s kind of weird. There’s a difference.”
B: “It depends. If it’s one or two things, it can be ok, but otherwise they’re just wanna-be’s.”
M: “If she hangs out with your friends all the time, is that cool?”
A: “Depends how often.”
B: “No. Only once in awhile.”
M: “You don’t want some Mom around all the time.”
M: “If a Mom is on facebook, is that cool or uncool?”
A: “Not everyone’s Moms. Only certain Moms.”
M: “So “cool” would be a balance of being there and not being there.”
M: “Do you think other Moms could be “cooler” or are they just “too old” (those were HER words, not mine!)?”
A: “Yep – they could be. They’re just too stressed all the time.”
M: “They could be cooler if they kind of just chilled and hung out, but only once in awhile.”
A: “Yeah.” (Teens love one-word answers, especially if they’re trying to do their homework, talk on Facebook, and answer Mom’s nagging questions to post on the internet for all to see…).
M: “What’s one thing that makes me SOOOOO cool? (Ok, now I’m fishing…)”
A: “You can relax, and you’re not such a strict Mom. I don’t know – I just compare you to the other Moms and you’re just so much cooler and nicer. And you die my hair for me (bright red streaks at that!). And you let us get piercings and you let us make our own decisions and stuff.”
M: “But I make you talk about all your decisions.”
M: “I like making you responsible for your own decisions though. It makes you more grown up.”
A: “And then when we’re older we’re not depending on other people to make our decisions for us still.”
M: “See? All grown up! Thanks for thinking I’m cool (and for being such a cool daughter). What can we tell Moms to so they can be a little cooler?”
A: “Let the kids make their own decisions, I think. And be more relaxed.”
M: “But talk about about their decisions together?”
A: “Yeah. And Moms that write blogs are cool (haha, A!). And Moms that read Teen Vogue and do their nails are cool (whew – good thing I did those tonight!).”
There you have it. Go forth and be cool.