“Young lady, you’re just not listening to me!”
“But, Mom, you just don’t understand!”
The love between a mother and her daughter is a special bond but it does come with challenges in communication, in understanding one another.
Hearing is not the same as listening and looking is not the same as seeing. As moms and daughters, we need to listen with our hearts, not our ears. We need to see with our hearts, not our eyes.
By God’s design we are people who want to be understood. God puts us in families but shapes us each as unique individuals. Our one-of-a-kind shape influences how we relate to people and solve problems.
Our different personalities cause us to respond differently. We think that our preference is “the best way” to approach something but in reality, it is just our preference. There are strengths and weaknesses in each of us.
Understanding grows if we are willing to see and listen to each other, but the key word is different for moms and daughters:
Mothers must listen in order to see with understanding, because understanding must precede advice.
Daughters must see in order to listen with understanding, because accepting influence opens the door to understanding.
Moms must LISTEN.
Listen with compassion.
Open your heart to hear the emotions not just the words. Pay attention without interrupting. Recognize God created her and see who she is becoming. A compassionate response means you need to hear her out before you speak into.
Listen with calm
Take a deep breath. Resist giving advice; instead, ask questions to find out what’s really going on inside. Help her follow her feelings below the surface without judging, commenting or “fixing.” Some clarity-creating questions are:
“Will you tell me why this so important to you?”
“Is there a fear or a dream behind this?
“Could you help me understand what you’re feeling?”
Listen with consideration
Consider your daughter’s personality, how she thinks and feels, how she is “wired.” If you think she thinks just like you think but don’t try to understand who she really is, any advice you give isn’t likely to “stick” – it’s more likely to go in one ear and out the other.
- Understanding must precede advice.
Daughters must SEE
See who your mom really is
She has your best interest at heart. She is your lifetime cheerleader and champion—someone God has placed in your life to nurture, encourage and keep you from harm.
See what she really knows
She has experienced life and has acquired wisdom. Give her a chance. Remember that your mom was once your age, with similar issues and feelings, with fears and confusion, hopes and dreams.
As daughters, our usual response is to think our moms couldn’t possibly understand us. To accept influence and open up to your mom takes courage. Courage to tell her what is going on deep inside you, to be real, to be honest and willing to trust that she wants you to become “the best you you can be” – “the you that God made you to be.” If you’re willing to see, you may begin to listen, understand where she’s coming from and even appreciate her perspective.
- Accepting influence opens the door to understanding
Moms, Listen to your daughter. She is a person God created, a person like no other, a person with intense feelings, unique personality, and distinct temperament. By God’s design, she is a person who wants to be understood. Listen to her from your heart. See her as someone who loves you no matter what, the one God gave you to be in a forever relationship – treat her like the treasure she is.
Daughters, See your mom. She is a person God created, a person like no other, a person with intense feelings, unique personality, and distinct temperament. By God’s design, she is a person who wants to be understood. See her with your heart. Be open to her influence and listen to her as someone who loves you no matter what, the one God gave you to be in a forever relationship – treat her like the treasure she is.