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This is a retro post from several months ago…powerful post!

This is a post that I read this week from Mary Jo Rapini…I found it on www.parentingpink.com. Here are some great practical tips on communication with your teen-age daughter.

Having a teenager is one of the most challenging times in a parent’s marriage -as well as their life. It is scary, frustrating, and chaotic. It is a time of letting go, enforcing rules, strengthening boundaries and also nurturing. Teens may appear to be fighting against us at times — rebelling against our rules, pointing out our inadequacies, and telling us how “out of it” we are.

However, they also still love and need us. They need their mom and dad to stay strong and enforce the rules and structure that help make them feel secure. There are certain things teenagers really need to hear from their parents. You cannot say these things when they would be most apropos. However, you can say them at night when the child is relaxed and going to sleep. They offer less resistance at night just before bedtime. They will remember what you said, and they will reflect on it when you least expect it.

15 things that should be said during your daughter’s teen years:

1. No one will ever love you in the same way or

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have your best interests at heart more than your mom/dad and I will.

2. You have so many gifts and options; I will help you capitalize/benefit from them as best I can.

3. How can I help you reach your dreams?

4. No matter what you confide in me, I will always love you and do what is best for you.

5. My job is not to be your buddy. I am your parent and will love and mentor you.

6. I am sorry. (Say this whenever you hurt your child, or your child is in pain from something someone else said to them.)

7. I embrace your friends, but I love you the most.

8. It is okay to mess up; I do it all the time.

9. I am sorry you don’t like my rules, but you will have to abide by them. I will hold you accountable if you break them and there will be a consequence.

10. If you are in trouble, call me first, no matter where you are. I may be angry, but my first concern will always be your safety. We will talk about punishment or consequences later.

11. You are an integral part of this family, and the family needs you to run smoothly.

12. I don’t care what your friends get to do. I am not their parent; I am yours and you are my main responsibility and concern.

13. I admire you more than you can ever understand or know.

14. If you get in trouble at school, be honest with me. Your teacher is the authority at school and if I hear it from your teacher before I hear it from you, I will feel betrayed or deceived. I may react to this breach of trust.

15. From the first time I saw your eyes, I vowed to be the best parent I could be for you. I make mistakes but they are not meant to hurt you. I make them because I love you so much and get scared sometimes. It is hard parenting a teen (your child
will understand this confession).

Which 1 of these do you need to tell your daughter?

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Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at www.StartTalkingBook.com and more about Rapini at www.maryjorapini.com.


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Author: ChrisSprad View all posts by
Chris Spradlin (AKA Sprad) is passionate about Jesus, he doesn’t drink coffee, is bald, has a chinhawk, lives in Edmond, OK., loves to fly fish and snowboard. He has been married to his smoking hot wife Jodie for 18 years and they have 3 kiddos also known as Team Sprad. Chris if the founder of EpicParent.tv and has been in ministry for 20 years. He has served as a Pastor and Team Teacher with Craig Groeschel at LifeChurch.tv and currently serves on the Executive Team and a Team Teacher at the multisite NewHopeChurch.tv. You can find Chris on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


  1. Sarah Cook November 23, 2010 at 7:30 am - Reply

    Another great article Chris! Thanks for finding that Mary Jo wrote it!

    Sarah Cook, http://RaisingCEOKids.com

  2. VPhillips November 23, 2010 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    This was great! I hope this gets out to a lot of parents, because it really puts it out there as to what needs to be communicated to the kids.

  3. ellyn November 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    If you get your parenting legs knocked out from under you (and you will) this article feels helpful in getting them back under you! Stand-up again and keep at it….your kids need you to!

  4. Lisa November 26, 2010 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    These are great! I think I’m going to write one on my hand each night so I won’t forget! 😉

  5. Emily Vollmeier November 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Chris… I needed this post!!! My oldest daughter just turned 13 & each day is a new experience with her (some good, some not so good, & some almost drive me to cussing)!!! I did not grow up in a Christian home so there are times I’m not sure what good solid Christian parenting looks like. Your posts give my husband & me the guidance & reassurance we need!!!
    Chris Spradlin = the bomb.com!!! (cheesy…yes, please.)

  6. Rocco April 29, 2011 at 9:52 am - Reply

    I am finding that when I focus on things like numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 13, and 15, the other numbers don’t even need to exist. If I am ‘communicating’ Love to my daughters, I don’t have to communicate Authority.

    Anyway, I recommend the book “Loving Your Kids on Purpose”, by Danny Silk, to anyone who has any age children!!

  7. Julie September 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Thanks Chris! I needed this. We are parenting two teenager daughters at the moment and sometimes it is so disheartening. This is a reminder that they NEED to hear words of love and encouragement too!

    • ChrisSprad
      ChrisSprad September 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks for piping in Julie. So glad the post spoke life to you today.

  8. Naomi September 9, 2012 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Wonderful Chris. I think these things sound great coming from both parents. Wonderful to hear from dad in that daughter and dad relationship.

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  10. Tracey Teague June 7, 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Thank you this will really improve my relationship with my daughter you have changed our lives forever :)

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