How to Get Your Mom to Be Nice to You
The mother-child bond is a powerful force from cradle to grave. It’s often been said that nobody loves you like your mother with an unconditional love that no friendship can replace; however that doesn’t mean that you and your mother are always going to get along. The growing need for a child’s independence in adulthood and a mother’s feeling of being unappreciated or not needed, can sometimes drive a wedge between parent and child -- the mother-daughter bond being especially vulnerable. Find a way to connect with your mom and get on the road to an emotionally rich, satisfying relationship with one another. (Reference 1)
Focus on Yourself
If you’re having a problem with your mother, try focusing on yourself and what you can do differently to improve the relationship, suggests family therapist Linda Mintle in her book, “I Love My Mother, But… Practical Help to Get the Most Out of Your Relationship.” You may not be able to change you mother's mind about your career choice, or how she feels about your mate, but you can alter your reaction to her criticism 4. Instead of getting upset and letting your mother's words make you feel bad, take charge of your emotions and separate her feelings from your own. Validate your mother by letting her know you have heard her and appreciate her, even if you don't agree with her opinion.
Therapy often works well on mother-daughter relationships, according to Lisa Brateman, a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist, in an article in the Wall Street Journal Online 12. Often there is less of a stigma than husband and wives have, when it comes to couples therapy for a mother and a daughter. Often both mother and daughter feel misunderstood and want to work things out. Chances are your mother really wants to be nice to you and isn’t intending on hurting your feelings, but there is a disconnect that could benefit by a third party professional, such as a therapist.
Be a Grown-Up
If you’re upset that your mother treats you like a kid, make sure that you're not acting like one. Don’t whine. Set boundaries with your mother. If you don’t want to discuss certain things with her or if you don’t want her input, speak up for yourself. Remind your mother that you are a capable adult, but do it in a calm respectful manner. If your mother offers you advice that sounds suspiciously like criticism, don’t get into an argument about it. Tell her you appreciate the concern but that if you want her advice you’ll ask for it; then move on to a less controversial topic.
Nurture the Relationship
Don’t shut Mom out of your life; instead, include her in the good and the bad on a regular basis. Make her feel special and nurture the bond that you have together. Call her at least once a week if you can, even if it’s only for five minutes. Let her know you’re thinking of her. Call randomly just to say hello. Plan a special, fun activity to do with your mom from time to time. Build happy memories and shared experiences together for positive results. Get vulnerable and tell your mom you love her.
- Psych Central: 15 Insights on Improving Mother Daughter Relationships
- The Wall Street Journal: 'I'm Not Your Little Baby!' Calling a Truce in Mother-Daughter Conflict
- Psychology Today: Mother Daughter Dysfunction
- “I Love My Mother, But… Practical Help to Get the Most Out of Your Relationship;” Dr. Linda Mintle, Ph.D
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