Last night, I had the fantastic opportunity to spend the evening with a group of Mom's and their daughters. It was the start of a 4-week series with a goal of creating a closer relationship between Mom and her daughter. The activities centered around positive self-image, communication and bullying. Our activities last night were meant to start conversations between Mom and child on the way home and all week. I love working with these groups because I learn something new every time. Last night, I pulled the Mom's aside and I asked them what the positives were in their relationship with their daughters. One Mom said that her daughter says 'I love you' probably 30 times/day. How many Mom's can say that of their teenage girl? One Mom said that even though there's a lot of things their family is going through and a lot of drama at the middle school her daughter attends, all of the anxiety melts away the minute they hug each other. What a fantastic bond! Each of the Mom's in this group had a similar story. I praised every one of them because they're doing something right. As the night went on, what I learned is that each of these Mom's listens to their daughters. Do you remember being young? What did you want most as a teenager? For me, and for a lot of girls, it was just to be heard. As parents, we're great at helping our children with solutions to their problems. This week, I encourage parents to just listen to their children. Let them think of their own solutions and play those scenarios out. This doesn't just apply to daughters, it applies to our sons, too. How much stronger will our bonds be with our children if we listen first?
These strong relationships happen because communication is open. If you're looking for ways to open communication between you and your children, I have a video and tip sheet for you.