Just talk to me
I don’t know about you but it was very difficult to talk to my mother when I was a teenager. I mean she was there…I suppose but I felt as though I couldn’t just be with my mom the way I could be with my friends. Even my guy friends.
I had a strict upbringing and there really wasn’t any room for “conversations” with my mother because she was always doing something or going somewhere. I could count the number of times I had a heart to heart with my mom. Those days came much later.
So mom’s how do you communicate with your daughters? Do you make a point to talk with them? On daily basis? Don’t get me wrong. It’s a frickin job. As a mom I try to make it a point to at least give my daughters 5 -10 minutes initially. Then I’m off doing some other household task. We do alot! I mean who has the time? Well… make the time because if we don’t, we could be missing out on way more than we would like.
Here’s 5 ways to turn up volume on chatter that’s happening in your daughter’s life.
Face to Face
Girls really open up when you take the time to stop moving and give them face to face communication. Stop trying to multitask like ah boss and pay attention. Many times we want to be great moms and think that this type of a check-in will suffice. It won’t. Our daughters need our undivided attention. Face to face, in this very techno time where our daughters communicate by texting, cellphones and other forms of social media, face to face gains the title of special time. Set aside time for you and your daughter. When we give our daughters face to face communication they will feel how important they are and their conversation is to us through our body language and facial expressions. The dialogue will be relaxed and our girls will open up just a little more each time you sit down for a face to face.
Expect the unexpected
So just when you think you know your daughter… a new bomb gets dropped. I have three daughters and raising my first daughter was an eye-opening, learn by the set of your pants, and sometimes hurtful, experience. But I wouldn’t trade a thing. She taught me having little girls is not sugar and spice and yeah it wasn’t so nice a couple hundred times. So she was definitely my “tester” baby because boy I was ready for the next and the next well mostly. Those stalk deliveries carried a little something extra. I’m so damn thankful.
So expect the “oh yeah mom my friend’s boyfriend felt her up and what do you think I should tell her?” (my friend?) or They want to know about trying some Patroen. I kept it light. I have some real doozies. Expect the unexpected. Let go of the expectations remain open. Breathe cause it’s coming.
Listen with empathy
Empathy is defined as being aware of the others feelings and thoughts. To place yourself in another’s shoes. In other words stop talking and over talking your daughter. Listen with your heart and not your mind. I know that sounds like it came out of some new age CD but as moms we don’t know everything. And if you want to know some things listen. When we listen we hear with more than our ears. We feel their frustration, confusion, joy and pain. We show we have genuine respect for our daughters when we listen. We acknowledge and validate her existence when we listen. She really does have something to say. She who is a gift given in our care and soon will leave us. When we listen with empathy we teach empathy. When we listen love becomes a verb not a noun.
Remain calm and smile
We will always have those days where we wish are children to another dimension. Not forever (wink) but at least until we can take a deep breath. Our days get so hectic as moms and we, let’s face it, forget to enjoy the moment. We…are…busy, I don’t have to tell you that; but when it comes to keeping those lines of communication open between you and your daughter; stop, remain calm, listen and smile. What she has to say is important. Why? because she has chosen to share. A rare sighting indeed when you have a teenage girl. I heard once in a movie “ It is always surprising how small a part of life is taken up by meaningful moments. Most often they are over before they start, although they cast a light on the future and make the person who originated them unforgettable. “ This always reminds me to grab the meaningful moments when you can. Your daughter will not forget.
Tell her who you are
Girls love to hear stories about you. When you were a preteen, teenager and young adult. We weren’t always adults. I tell my girls “ I wasn’t always this put together (wink)” But I am willing to bet we could share some hair raising schemes we were involved in and didn’t blink. I think back sometimes and I am amazed I made it into adulthood and had kids! Girls want to know about old love stories, high school drama, your challenges and wins. It is empowering for them to learn how you handled your drama, escaped the clutches of detention and dealt with that one girl who just rubbed you the wrong way. We should never strive to be perfect; we should strive to be human with all our bumps and bruises.