As I browse through Facebook, I am starting to see so many wonderful mother/daughters photos to celebrate mother’s day. Mothers can influence our lives in so many ways, here are some key factors in improving the mother/daughter relationship.
So I am going to speak from the daughters perceptive and my mom, Kappie Bliss, LPC, former school counselor for 20 plus years will speak from the mothers’ perspective. My top three tips on communicating with your mom in an effective way are….
Don’t assume that everything is a judgment. When your mom makes a comment about your dress, hair, make up etc. don’t automatically get defensive.( easier said than done) If she is making an unhelpful comment about your appearance, simply state how that makes you feel and what a helpful comment would sounds like. Most of the time, they are trying to be helpful and even prevent us from being judged by others.
Don’t hide your feelings; learn how to discuss feelings in a healthy way. Usually when I am upset with my mom, it’s because I have let things build to the point of blowing up. Not super helpful…
Nobody’s perfect including your mom. We are all learning and even parents make mistakes. Sometimes our job as daughters is to also teach our parent’s that’s its ok to make mistakes. Accepting each other fully can be challenging, however, mistakes are opportunities to do things differently next time. We all lose our temper and sometimes yell. We can “circle back” , a term we use in the Daring Way™, when we have failed to understand and support each other in a meaningful way and also say I’m sorry.
Top three tips rom Kappie’s perspective ( aka mom) for mothers:
- “ Zip it”, when they show up with the neon green lace top, say nothing( lots of practice here). I did have a secret party when Shayna was able to “let go” of her dressing like Madonna years. When it comes to issues around appearance, its very hard to not say things in a non-judgmental tone.
- Be available when they want to talk, sometimes we get so busy that we forget to simple check-in with our daughters. Of course, we all have great advice on how to handle most situations, however, don’t give it. Back to number 1. Sometimes, when we give advice or try to fix it, it can actually take away from the connection. Also, along those lines, don’t take it personally if they don’t take our advice on things.
- At any age, never miss an opportunity to say how much you love and appreciate them. It’s the small acts of kindness that can really build a relationship with your daughter. Plan a special “mother/daughter” time when you are feeling disconnected.