Using Crafts to Communicate
with your Teenage Daughter

By Silvana Clark

The early teenage years provide a unique opportunity for strengthening your relationship with your young teenage daughter. It's a time when girls still want to confide in their moms and ask those crucial questions about God, friends, and boys.

Though mothers desire to strengthen the bond with their daughters, many lack the time and creative resources to plan quality time.

One excellent way of opening the lines of communication is to work on craft projects together. This is especially effective when your teenager is going through a difficult time. Any mother knows that asking, "Hey Samantha, why don't you tell me what's wrong?" is likely to produce a muffled "Nothing" in response.

Try taking the pressure off conversation by working on a craft project together. Simple acts like sharing glue and laughing about crooked paint lines provide a natural avenue for open discussion. Teens are more likely to open up when there isn't direct eye contact. (Think about the times you've had meaningful discussions in the car, because your daughter knew you had to keep your eyes on the road.)

Working on craft projects opens the door for your daughter to say, "Hey Mom, what do you think about girls who start dating at 13?" You can hide your look of horror by continuing to glue sequins on your visor. After gaining your composure, calmly answer her question.

The following craft projects utilize common household items. Don't worry about attaining a perfect end result. The process and conversation are far more important than picture-perfect craft projects. If you find your daughter is unusually quiet, try using some of the conversation starter questions listed below with each craft.

Craft: Matching Mother-Daughter Visors

Supplies:

2 sheets 8 ½" by 11" craft foam, any color


Visor Pattern
(Click to enlarge)

1 piece paper, 8 ½" x11"
Scissors (Pinking shears or scalloped edged scissors are fine)
Pencil
Sequins, craft foam scraps, buttons, markers etc,
Craft glue
Hole punch
1 pair stretchy, coiled shoelaces

Instructions:

1.

Trace the pattern on a piece of paper (size so approximately 9" wide and 6 ½" high from lowest point to highest point). See visor pattern above.

2.

Cut along the lines of the traced pattern.

3.

Lay the paper pattern on your craft foam.

4.

Lightly trace the shape onto the foam.

5.

Cut out the shape. This is your visor.

6.

Use a hole punch to make a hole on each end of the visor, at least ¼" from each end.

7.

Get creative and use any assortment of beads, craft foam or markers to decorate your visor.

8.

Ensure the glue has dried.

9.

String one end of the coiled shoelace into each hole. You can easily adjust the coiled shoelace to custom fit your head.

Mother-Daughter Conversation Starters:

Mothers:

  • Share a time that you helped someone when you were a young girl.

  • Can you remember a time when someone unexpectedly helped you when you were feeling sad or discouraged?

  • Describe a situation to your daughter when you knew God was telling you to help a person, but you hesitated.

Daughters:

  • Tell your mom about a situation at school where you saw a teacher help a student.

  • What is the difference between helping your best friend and helping a girl at school who is shy and unpopular?

Craft: Flower-Power CD Craft

Supplies:

  • Scissors

  • Craft foam

  • Glue

  • CD's you don't need

  • Scrap cardboard or wooden paint stirrer

  • Flower pot or vase

  • Acrylic paint and brushes

  • Sand, dirt or clay

  • Green scrap paper

Instructions:

1.

Cut out 6-8 petal shapes from the craft foam.

2.

Glue the ends of each foam petal to one side of the CD.

3.

Glue the wooden stick to the back of the CD also, creating the flower stem.

4.

Glue another CD to the back of the first CD, making a double sided flower.

5.

If you want, cut out some green paper leaves to attach to your wooden flower stem.

6.

Let glue dry.

7.

While glue is drying, decorate your flowerpot with acrylic paint.

8.

Add sand or dirt to the flowerpot.

9.

"Plant" your flower in the dirt and display on a windowsill.

Mother-Daughter Conversation Starter

Mothers:

  • What was something you wanted to do when you were a young girl, but your parents wouldn't let you?

  • Tell your daughter about something "wild and zany" that you did in grade school.

  • Discuss with your daughter some things Jesus did that were "out of the ordinary".

Daughters:

  • If money were no object, describe how you would decorate your dream bedroom.

  • What is something you'd really, really like to do, but haven't asked your mom because you think she'll say, "NO!"?

Craft: Flying Apple Butterfly Shirts

Gather these supplies:

  • Solid colored T-shirt that has been washed

  • Old magazine

  • Brush on fabric paint

  • Paper plate for paint

  • 2-3 contrasting colors of "puff" paint

  • Cutting knife

Instructions:

1.

Place your shirt on a flat surface like a table or kitchen counter.

2.

Slip the old magazine inside the shirt. This makes sure the paint doesn't soak through to the backside of the shirt.

3.

Pour about 2 Tablespoons paint on the paper plate.

4.

Cut the apple in half, starting from the top where the stem is. This creates a "butterfly" shape.

5.

Press half the apple in the paint.

6.

Press the paint-covered apple on the shirt. This is your butterfly shape. Repeat the process, making as many butterflies as you want. You can make random prints or create a butterfly border around the neck of the shirt.

7.

Let the paint dry overnight.

8.

After paint is dry, use the puff paint to add embellishments. Add an antenna or draw designs in the butterfly wings.

9.

Let the puff paint dry and wear your new nightshirt to bed tonight.

Mother-Daughter Conversation Starters

Mothers:

  • Tell your daughter about a time you did something out of your comfort zone.

  • Share a Bible verse that has affected your life in a positive way.

  • Think back to when you were a teenager. (Yes, that was many years ago!) Tell your daughter when you tried to do something new and ended up in a humorous situation.

Daughters:

  • What's the difference between doing what everyone else does and being a "free thinker"?

  • Tell your mom about a time you did something that was out of your comfort zone. Was it worth taking the risk?

The next time your young teenage daughter comes home complaining, "Everyone hates me! I'm not good at anything!" give her some time to relax. Then bring out the crafts and watch the conversation flow as she gets involved in her project….while sharing her heart with you.

Silvana Clark is a professional speaker and the author of 8 books including, 301 Bright Ideas For Busy Kids and Stuffed Animals From The Ceiling Fan. www.silvanaclark.com


 
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