Moms and daughters: It’s a complicated relationship filled with love, angst, and a mish-mash of I-can’t-live-without-you-but-I-don’t-want-to-be-around-you confusion, especially when you’re dealing with tweens and teens. While there’s no surefire way to navigate this relationship without hitting a few bumps, it’s important to continue spending time together, working to strengthen your bond. Exercise is an excellent way to promote a healthy mother-daughter relationship, as it facilitates communication, silliness, and shared experiences that only the two of you understand.
Moms of girls under 10: Dance, dance, dance
Ah, the young years! The years when your daughter wants to be just like you – unembarrassed by your quirks and in awe of your abilities. Take advantage of her open mind, turn on your favorite tunes, and bust a move so sweet it would make Elaine Benes from Seinfeld jealous. Challenge your daughter to a dance contest and teach her a little about the music of the ’80s as you learn the lyrics to her favorite tunes, too.
Enjoy these years of unabashed dancing because they are fleeting. Before you know it, she’ll want to dance with friends and boys, not her mom.
Moms of tweens: Bend it like Bikram
The preteen years are confusing for everyone – hormones run wild, middle school relationships swing from hot to cold, and a mom may not know when, or what, will set her daughter off. Yoga is the perfect way to find balance together during this tough time. It gives you both the chance to focus and take a deep breath while pushing your bodies to try new things. Plus, early adolescence is the time when many young girls give up on exercise, so offering an alternative that’s a far cry from middle school PE is the perfect way to introduce your daughter to a lifetime of fit experiences. (Not to mention, young girls are pretty darn flexible – accomplishing a tough pose will be much easier now than in the future, giving her the chance to feel accomplished and successful while trying a new skill.)
Moms of teens: Climb to new heights
Think of the teenage years as an extension of the tween years – you’re still dealing with hormones and tough relationships, but now your daughter has greater independence and mobility, as well as more extracurriculars pulling her away from home. Finding a free evening together is tough enough, but disconnecting her from her cell phone is an entirely different story!
Now’s the time to take up a skill together that requires teamwork, concentration, and communication. Rock climbing requires both parties to be completely engaged in the process – you must trust one another to belay correctly to prevent falls, and you must communicate with one another to work your way up a tough route. Without saying a word, rock climbing is a great way to remind your daughter that she can climb to new heights, but she always has her mom to support her if she falls.
Besides, your daughter’s likely to earn some street cred with her friends if she tells them she’s going rock climbing… even if it is with her mom.
Moms of adult daughters: Race for the finish
Your daughter may be grown and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use fitness to strengthen your bond. By signing up for a race together you can hold each other accountable for training while looking forward to the race as an opportunity to share a fun experience as friends. Look for races that excite you both – The Color Run, Warrior Dash, or the all-female Dirty Girl races are 5k options suitable for beginners or seasoned athletes.
Check out SheKnows for 6 Reasons you should make fitness a family affair >>
This post was sponsored by Wii Fit U