As mothers, we are weavers of words, menders of hearts, cuts and scrapes, too. We walk alongside our children in some of their most difficult moments if they allow us.
But what if they close us off? Was it something we said or didn’t say?
We have discovered some powerful words that allow you to invite yourself before you explain your perspective. It gives your child a sense of ownership and responsibility to allow you in rather than feeling like you have inserted yourself without their permission.
You can say, “I see that you might be having some difficulty with __________. Is it okay if I make a suggestion?” Or, “Is it okay for me to give you an idea of how to help that situation”? Or even, “Would you like me to share with you how I used to handle _________ when I was younger”? It’s a respectful way of asking if they would like your input without you seeming like you are giving your explanation for their situation. Sometimes it can feel like over-love. Many over-reaches made by well-intentioned mothers to “help” might seem loving, but in many cases they are over-loving. It is a subtle form of control.
In our book, we share how one of the things that we all love most is to feel like we are doing something right. We don’t like receiving advice but being asked permission if it’s okay to share. And children are the same way.
When you ask their permission to speak to them about a concern, it signals, “I trust that you can tell me if this feels okay or not. You don’t have to say yes and I will respect you if you say you don’t want to talk about it.” It’s showing them that they have the ability to allow you in or not. And we have often found, that sometimes even if they don’t allow you in with them at the time, the door is open to talk with them later if you leave it that way. It can sound like, “I’m here for you if/when you’d like to talk but if you don’t want to, I’m okay with your choice.”
When there is a good relationship between us and our children, the results can be really good between us. If there is any uneasiness between you on any level, then any type of advice giving will not be received well. You always want to clear up anything between you before sharing. We all love to be invited to something, don’t we? [click_to_tweet tweet=”Let’s be invitation initiators, shall we?” quote=”Let’s be invitation initiators, shall we?”]
Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters by Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh can be found at BN.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, CBD.com, and Amazon.com. Additional resources, along with 7 Ways to Start a Conversation, are on our website: www.ourmendedhearts.com.
Blythe Daniel is a literary agent and marketer with 20 plus years of experience in publishing. She is a speaker at writer’s conferences and is interviewed for podcasts and webinars. She links hundreds of bloggers with millions of readers through BlogAbout. Her passion is helping authors share their unique stories. She is the daughter of Dr. Helen McIntosh and co-author of Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children.
Dr. Helen McIntosh (EdD, Counseling Psychology) is a counselor, speaker, educator, and author of Messages to Myself and Eric, Jose & The Peace Rug®. Her work has appeared in Guideposts, ParentLife, and HomeLife magazines. She resides in Georgia with her husband Jim. They have two children, son Bryan and daughter Blythe, and five grandchildren. She is the co-author of Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters.
Brenda Yoder is a speaker, author, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and life coach whose passion is encouraging others when life doesn’t fit the storybook image. Her new book, Fledge:
Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind is a personal handbook for parents in the season
of raising and releasing kids and is endorsed by Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. Brenda’s been
featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the Washington Post, and For Every Mom. Brenda
is also former teacher and school counselor and was twice awarded the Touchstone Award for
teachers. Her ministry, Life Beyond the Picket Fence, is found at brendayoder.com where she
writes about faith, life, and family beyond the storybook image. Brenda is a wife and mom of
four children, ranging from teens to adults, and lives on a farm in Indiana.
She also sends out an occasional prayer letter including her latest information on faith, parenting and mental health as well as speaking engagement locations and topics. Please subscribe here for that information
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