I have recently returned from hosting Mother & Daughter Mini Retreats in my hometown in Saskatchewan. Not surprisingly I was met with remarkable prairie hospitality. Every time I work with women, whether in a group or individually, it seems as though I am also left better than I was before. To see connections deepen and witness hearts open is truly a pleasure.
I shared with them one of the most important things we need to know about ourselves and each other within our relationships- that our behaviour and our actions communicate something that we need but are struggling to ask for. It isn't always easy to SAY what we need so sometimes we SHOW it instead. And a lot of times we don't even realise that we are doing it.
Communication is an art. We have to learn how to communicate with others and teach them how to best communicate with us. It requires effort and openness. Willingness and understanding. That means that it's also a process that takes time.
Get to know what your daughter is saying through her actions. Learn what she is really asking for when you encounter 'challenging behaviour', 'attitude' or 'resistance'. I can assure you that more often than not, what she is really needing is more love. When we are 'seeking attention' what we are really looking for is connection.
In those tough moments, if we can stop, take a moment, take a breath and shift our perspective, we understand that it is not personal, she is not being difficult and she is not intending to make things harder. She's looking to you for something that she needs but is not getting.
Maybe it's a hug. Maybe it's some encouragement or acknowledgement. Maybe it's an uninterrupted hour spent together. Not sure how to begin to figure out what she is saying by what she's not? Ask.
Let her know that you see that she needs something that she is not getting and start by asking in a genuinely interested way what that is. She may not know exactly what it is either, but together you can figure it out. And over time you will be able to give her exactly what she needs when she needs it.
I guarantee you that the impact of that alone will change everything for the better. Start now, connect today.