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Posted on: September 3, 2010

              Mother-Daughter Communication
              By: Jenn Fisher
             
              Communication is so important. This is not new
              information to you, since you hear it from teachers,
              guidance counselors, and even the media. But they
              are usually talking about communicating with a
              boyfriend or best friend relationship. How about
              communication with your Mother?
             
              Sometimes that is the hardest relationship to keep
              the lines of communication clear, especially if your
              relationship with your Mother is strained to begin
              with. But healthy and honest communication is a
              must for Mothers and Daughters, and below are
              some tips on how to navigate the waters in calm seas
              or in storms.
             
              First rule for healthy communication is no hidden
              meanings, or sarcasm. Of course we know sarcasm 
              IS an ineffective means to communicate your needs,
              and that is the goal of all relationships…having
              needs met and meeting other people’s needs. So, no
              sarcasm. Instead, try to bite your lip and use ‘I’
              statements instead.

              Here’s an example:

              Mom: “Did you empty the dishwasher like I asked?”

              You: (THE WRONG WAY): “No, Mom, I totally
              ignored your request.”

              You: (THE HEALTHY WAY) “Yep, the dishwasher
              is done.”

              Sounds easy, right? So why don’t we all just skip
              the sarcasm and be more direct? Because sometimes
              we’re not in the mood for a request for a chore.
              (Not to mention that sometimes we don’t feel like
              doing chores period! But that doesn’t give us an
              excuse to take our anger out on other people).
              Another tip is to stick to one topic. No
              fair bringing old, past arguments into the
              current situation, especially when they
              are unrelated.
 
              Here’s an example:

              Mom: “I already told you that you don’t
              have permission to go to (friend’s name)
              house.”

              You :(THE WRONG WAY) “You never let me have
              fun. Remember when everyone else went to that
              party and I couldn’t go!?” 

              You: (THE HEALTHY WAY) “Well, I still want to
              go. I wish we could talk about this. I feel like
              you don’t trust me, and you don’t want me to
              grow up.”

              Communication with your Mother is very important,
              and when you learn techniques for expressing
              yourself in empowering and clear ways, your
              Mother, and eventually the world, will hear you.

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Irene Roth

Irene S. Roth, Freelance Writer for Teens, Tweens, and Kids

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