1. Tell me about it.
Whatever the situation is, this open-ended question lets her know that you’re listening, will value whatever she has to say and tells her that you care, even if you may not agree.
2. How does that feel?
Helping her be aware of and able to clearly express her feelings is key to good communication. Your willingness to listen to her feelings shows her that they can be survived, even if they are difficult.
3. What do you think?
Encouraging her (and even challenging her) to express her opinions and thoughts brings logic and reasoning into her communication. It helps her learn how to figure things out and how to explain her thoughts to others.
4. What do you want to do?
After acknowledging her feelings, helping her make decisions and take action is the most important thing parents can do. This is the time to add your knowledge, (also known as advice), helping her explore possible action
5. I love you. (Best when accompanied by a hug.)
You can’t say this too often, no matter how old she is or what the situation is. We all need to know that we’re loved and need to be reassured from time to time.
And remember, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. The best thing we can do when communicating with our daughters, is to keep it going. Check my book for specific tips about communicating with girls on 96 hot button issues