When I'm trying to explain something to my 14 year old daughter, she becomes very resistant to what I say or advise. I do understand that she has a hard time due to her age, both physically and psychologically. In addition to this, she does not see her father, as we are divorced.

I'm trying for her to develop mathematical thinking and math skills - which she finds boring.

We live in war zone in Eastern Europe and sometimes can't leave the city, so for her it's hard to not go for holidays and relax. We have internet, she can watch films, listen to music or acquire information, but I understand that it's not enough.

So from said above:

How can I make this transitional period easier for her, which I guess will still continue for some years, and how to overcome her resistance or what would be the right approach to it for me?

Is there anything I can do to spark an interest in her for math and numbers?

How can I diversify her life here at home and when we can go to the capital for her age to ensure her well-being?


No,they teach math in school,but she finds it boring and I try to instigate in her the interest to the math,also the program in school is old,no new approaches. She is not homeschooled,she goes to the public school. Education she gets there is not the one I would wish for her. Transitional period - I meant puberty. I want develop math skills so she can have a good career in future and stable position in life. I care more about practical appliance of math to life.
About well being I wanted to diversify her life with age relevant entertainment (we go to the theater,cinema when in the capital) What else we can try when we have time together? I worry about the fact she is resistant, I know it's somewhat normal for her age. I wanted to know what is the best approach I can have to it? Do I need to insist her to be not resistant or I need to take it easy and patiently wait when understanding will come? Yes,I realized that it would be better if I'd have broke this into two questions,but it's done now.

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    Your question leads to more questions. Is she being homeschooled? Do they not teach math at school? Why are you teaching mathematical skills? What transitional period do you mean, the divorce or being in a war zone? What do you thing she needs for well-being. and whose definition of that are you taking into account? In other words, your question is unclear on a number of points. To get a relevant answer, it would help greatly to clarify your post (you can use the edit button under the question). Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 19:04
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    @anongoodnurse: My bet is on puberty being the transitional period.
    – sbi
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 20:36
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    I think that you might want to break this into two questions: how to a young teen cope with the additional stress of a war zone, and how to interest a young teen in math. Both can be very challenging!
    – Acire
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 22:11
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    I made update of the question.
    – Sofiko
    Commented Feb 10, 2015 at 20:12
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    You can ask a new question any time, it is not a problem :) StackExchange is designed to allow for a lot of edits and adjustments to get questions to as answerable a shape as possible.
    – Acire
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 12:54

3 Answers 3


You may already be doing this, but I would suggest finding 1 or 2 interests she has and developing a deep interest in them over time.

I don't think it will fix the problem directly. But, I do think it will open up new lines of communication and a new way to understand each other as she grows from girl to woman.


Teenagers want to forge their own path

It's entirely normal for teenagers to become disinterested in what their parents have to say and to strike out on their own path.

Consider for a moment how you, as an adult would feel if someone kept on telling you what to do.

A new phase in the relationship

There comes a point where you need to stop relating to them as little children and enter a more collaborative relationship, where they are making choices and you are taking on more of a supporting role.

You can no longer force an interest in maths on her. You can find out what she is interested in and work with her on that.

I'm assuming from your post that you are in the Ukraine. Best of luck, I hope things get better for you over there.


Same gender parent child relationships are often confrontational, it's normal. As you're probably already doing, you need to find the right level of push. Too much pushing school subjects on kids can have the opposite effect. Offer help rather than enforcing study, if your daughter really isn't into it she'll actually be learning to hate it. You will have to let her be her own person after all.

Math isn't everything (although it was to me... and now I'm an engineer); I recently was trying to help my niece with some math, it was about refactoring mixed radicals. It's ok if your eyes glaze over on that, my niece's eyes did too. I wasn't able to come up with a decent reason on how it could be useful to answer the prominent question "why do I have to learn this". The only reason I could think of is to see if her mind was ready/willing to understand that concept... which is of no value to a teenager, and questionable value in everyday life also. When was the last time you heard someone remark about an irrational number verses rational?

Long story short, I failed too.

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