Recently, I taught the Mothers and Daughters: Keeping the Closeness parenting class. The moms had an inspirational evening because they learned how to choose the best words to keep their girls connected and talking with them no matter how old they become. There is a common developmental shift when a girl’s focus goes from thinking “Mom walks on water” to “Leave me alone!” and this worries most moms.
I feel deep satisfaction answering the moms’ questions and hearing their insights because I know their growth will have a positive impact on their families’ happiness. I was feeling “high” after the workshop because of the connection, trust, and sharing that bonded us together. For 25 years, I taught in-person classes that automatically created this bond. Now, with online lectures, we are often isolated with cameras and microphones off. We don’t realize that this isolation hurts us. So, thank you to the moms who attended and participated because I love the dialogue when the cameras are on!
Back to some amazing revelations the moms had during the workshop.
- It’s important to provide a safe space where girls can express themselves.
- As kids express themselves, their thought process is a messy one.
- Thus, while you are listening to their emotional and confused venting, it’s important to not let your fear, anxiety, confusion, and judgment cause you to respond with a communication block that shuts them down from talking.
- One mom shared how she had a hard time hearing her daughter say negative things about herself, so her anxiety led her to try and make her daughter feel better. Her daughter only argued harder about her faults. The mom learned that she was using a communication block called placating.
- Another mom, who is a therapist, would try to “help” her daughter understand why she was feeling the way she was. Well, her daughter told her to stop “analyzing” her. This mom learned that she was using a communication block called psychologizing.
- So instead of using words that turn into communication blocks, use what I call “empathetic phrases” instead to encourage children and teens to keep talking. Learning a few key phrases will keep your connection going.
I could see the mom’s “lightbulbs” go on. They had never heard about these blocks. (Because I’m the only one talking about this communication challenge.) In the end, they were all determined to work on not blocking communication and to respond with empathetic phrases instead. They KNOW that implementing this new wisdom and skill set will keep the connection open with their girls.
How are you doing with your connection with your children, tweens, and teens?
If it isn’t as good as you want, do you know why? Understanding why your children aren’t as open as you want is the ESSENTIAL first step. You need to STOP what isn’t working first, and that means not blocking communication.
I’m passionate about sharing the communication skills I learned 30 years ago that I’ve put into practice successfully with my now-grown daughter. She knows she can call me anytime and feels confident that I’ll support her without judgment. My dream was to have a grown daughter who would continue to feel loved and supported and want to love and support me in return. I practiced what I now teach parents, so I can say without a doubt that my Family Harmony Approach works!
Contact me if you want to know how to learn what these moms learned. The strategies work for dads and sons, too!