Daily Mirror


Dear Coleen


I have two daughters who are 14 and eight. The youngest is very sweet and easy going, and we get along really well. The 14-year-old, however, is a right madam and always has been.

Even as a toddler she was hard work, and even now she’s always falling out with her mates, or her sister, or me and her dad.

Now she’s a teenager our rows have got even worse and she’s always telling me she hates me, and that I favour her sister, and that she can’t wait to leave home.

I know all teenagers can be tricky, but we’ve always had a difficult relationsh­ip and I worry that this is just how things are going to be, and that in the future we won’t be very close.

I lost my mum when I was 24 and we were very close, so I always wanted the same close relationsh­ip with my own daughters.

Coleen says

Well firstly, she’s only 14, so it probably might continue for a few more years yet. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be forever.

I know loads of friends who had terrible relationsh­ips with their kids during the teenage years, and then somehow it all got better when they got older.

While I know it’s hard not to compare your girls, try not to. Your eldest probably sees you praising your youngest every five minutes, and that’s hard to hear.

You risk chipping away at her already fragile self-esteem and reinforcin­g this idea that she’s the ‘bad one’. And think about it, she had you for six years all to herself, and then this little angel came along. A lot of her stubbornne­ss could just be attention seeking.

So give her a break, spend some one-on-one time with her, and tell her constantly that you love her and will always be there for her.

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