Raising Your Mom

By: Melissa Worthington

Okay, so right away you’re probably wondering why it should be your job to train your Mom. After all, she is supposed to be raising you, right? While it is true that your Mom is there to love, support, and keep you safe, when it comes to understanding, she needs your help, no matter what age you are. You see, your mom grew up in a time completely different from you. When she was your age, chances are the closest thing her family came to a computer was an electric word processor, a kind of glorified typewriter, which means no Internet at home. There were no i-Pod’s, no laptops, and music was purchased on cassette tapes! She did her research by going to the library’s reference section, and reading books!

What does this have to do with you and how you communicate with your mom? Plenty. Our outlook, or how we view the world around us is based on our experiences in it. Meaning, you, just by virtue of the fact that you are growing up in a different time, have different opinions, ideas, and expectations than your mother did, (just as she did with her mother). This is something we tend to forget, as we get older. The interesting part is that in spite of all these differences, the very things you want from her, and feel like you’re not getting, are the exact same things she wanted from her mother. Just like you, she wanted to be loved, understood, her opinion to be heard and respected, and to be allowed some freedom. And, just like you, she turned to her friends when she didn’t get what she needed at home.

So how do you communicate what you want without it turning into a screaming match? You will need to remember a few things.

First of all, you need to listen. If everyone is talking (or screaming) no one is listening. And it is the quickest way to guarantee you will end up not getting what you want, or worse, grounded. If you and your mom have tangled before, chances are she is bracing herself for a fight every time you ask her for something. Next time she says “no" to something you want, stop. Take a breath. Then think about why she may not be able to say yes. Be honest with yourself. Does what you are asking go against rules she has set up for you? Is it dangerous? If not, did you explain to her why it was so important to you? Is it really that important to you?

Second, choose your battles. If you are always at war with your mom, then you have created a relationship closer to enemies than friends. Think about what is most important to you, and why. Anything else you are asking for doesn’t really matter, does it? When it isn’t that important, try backing down. When she says “no", just say “okay," and accept it. Ask her why she is saying “no," as long as you can ask calmly and politely. Try saying “May I know the reason why you are saying ‘no’?" instead of yelling “Why Not?" She may initially tell you it’s because she said so, but if you consistently behave in this manner, you will be amazed at how much further you get in your relationship, and how much more you will earn her trust.

Finally, put yourself in her shoes. You may not realize it, but your mom has a very difficult job. Not only is she supposed to raise you, and teach you about the world you live in, but she is also supposed to keep you safe, out of trouble, and turn you into a productive citizen. Even more difficult than that, she has to watch you stumble through many of the same mistakes she made, knowing that the best she can do is be there for you, to help pick up the pieces, if you will let her, so you can learn and move on. Instead of thinking that she says “no" to be mean, or control you, consider that she may be saying “no" because she’s been there before, and doesn’t want you to suffer as she did.

This is not to say that these three steps will instantly improve your life at home. But try them for a while, and see what changes happen. Just for fun, start a journal today, before you make any changes. Write down how you feel about your mom, your relationship with her, and if you feel loved, respected, listened to, etc (all the things you want from your mom). Make special notes of when you use these stepsComputer Technology Articles, and what happens. Don’t look back for at least a month after you use them consistently. You’ll be amazed at the progress your mom has made!

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