Odd Suggestion

This may seem like an odd suggestion, so bear with me. Teen daughters fare better when they are given structure, guidance, and daily expectations from fathers. 
 
mother teen daughter
 
Adoptive mothers (or any parent who is seen as the primary nurturer by the child) often, though not always, are the targets of projective anger from past abuses by birth mothers. During the teen years, when identity development, separation, and individuation are the developmental goals, teen girls often up the ante on rejection of their mothers and intensify their reactivity when being corrected.  
 

father daughter

Since reactivity is intensified in the teens years, it makes sense to enlist fathers to do most of the corrective parenting, structuring, and guiding. Teen girls can often take in information from their fathers in a way that they cannot from their mothers.
 
While this is painful for adoptive mothers, having fathers step in more can keep girls from running away, reacting aggressively, sexually rebelling, and refusing to do anything suggested by a reasoned mother.
 

mother daughters

 
The good news is that this phase doesn’t last forever. Young adult daughters usually come back to their mothers for guidance as they age into their childbearing years.
Love Matters,
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Ce Eshelman, LMFT 
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