Respect is something that you don’t often think of when dealing with a child. After all, they’re a kid! Yet, the respect you show your child will mirror the respect given to you. Learn to demonstrate respect for one another and the bond you share is strengthened beyond words. It’s never too late to develop this valuable characteristic.
Here are six important steps…
1. BREATHING ROOM PLEASE
Give your daughter time to figure out some of the answers to life’s problems. When mothers jump in too soon daughters can’t learn, and she sees mom’s interference as mistrust and disrespect. Oftentimes, when a mother is quick to interfere it’s because she doubts her parenting skills and is transferring her insecurities. STOP INTERFERING. TRUST that you’ve done your job. TRUST that she will make the right decision. RESPECT her right to make her own decisions. When you do this, it is much more likely she’ll open up when she needs your advice.
2. A PAT ON THE BACK PLEASE
Give your daughter lots of love and praise. Don’t be so quick to criticize. This is more than you think. Mothers who acknowledge their daughter’s efforts will one day have daughters who will praise them too.
3. LET GO
Stop being so controlling. It’s very normal for mothers to be very protective of their daughters, but what started out as nurturing when they were young can turn into control as they grow. Control leads to resentment. Learn to let go. This demonstrates respect in her ability to create a life and path right for HER.
4. MOTHER DESERVES A BREAK, TOO
Daughters need to acknowledge a mother’s need to guide more than what the daughter would like is hard-wired into every mother. Be patient and forgiving of one another.
5. GET EMOTIONS UNDER CONTROL
When you are feeling extremely emotional about a subject, it’s the WRONG time to discuss it. Walk away and take time to collect your thoughts so you can be calm and rational. If it helps to stay focused, write down your thoughts and stick to the FACTS, and steer clear of threatening communication. Leave out words like, you always, you never, or you should during discussions. Instead use words such as “I feel…,” “It would mean a lot to me if…,” “I am having a difficult time with [blank] because I need [blank].” This demonstrates respect for the other’s feelings and allows for cleaner communication.
6. PRACTICE TRUE LISTENING, without blame, control or judgment.
This is HUGE. If you find yourself already thinking thoughts while the other person is speaking, you are NOT listening. Instead force yourself to stay focused on her words so you can understand how SHE feels. When she is done speaking you should repeat in your words what she said to acknowledge you heard ACCURATELY what was being said. It would go like this, “I heard you say [blank], is that right?” This demonstrates respect and genuine care. And it can also curtail misunderstandings inherit to verbal communication.
Respect is the key to unlocking the trouble spots that lay within your relationship. Follow these six steps and your mother-daughter team will flourish.
© 2012 National Association of Mothers & Daughters in Business