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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother And Daughter Seek To Narrow Distance Between Them

DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl who would like to fix my relationship with my mom. I love her dearly, but sometimes it is difficult to spend time with her. We have different tastes in music, clothes and what is fun. I know she notices the distance between us and would like to spend more time together, but the things she suggests we do don't appeal to me.

Dad and I are close, which is probably because he's more like a kid. We have similar likes, and he isn't as overprotective as Mom is. We're more like friends than father and daughter.

I really want to be closer to Mom, but I don't know how to do it so we'll both be satisfied. Is this a normal teen thing? -- MAKING AN EFFORT

DEAR MAKING AN EFFORT: Yes, I think so. However, I'm pleased that you want to build a closer relationship with your mother because, at your age, it's important. Being a mother these days isn't easy, especially if being the disciplinarian and drawing the line is a role that was "assigned" to her by an overly permissive father who prefers to be more of a pal than a parent.

You and your mother need to compromise regarding the things you do when you're spending time together. Part of the time, try the things she wants to do. If you do, you might surprise yourself and discover you enjoy them -- and vice versa. Talk to her about your desire to be closer to her and give it a chance. I'm sure the result will be rewarding for both of you.

Read more in: Teens | Family & Parenting