Today’s Wednesday Wisdom Tip question comes from Nidia:
“As soon as I tell my 12 year old daughter to do her chores she starts mumbling and throwing things; she always has something to say back. The only time we get along is if I do something she wants me to do for her, then she goes back to being mean and angry…I long to have a relationship that other mothers have with their daughters. Is it too late to have that relationship? Do you have any suggestions on how to discipline an emotional and angry daughter and ideas on mending our relationship?”
Nidia, we all want to have loving relationships with our children and sometimes as we head into the independent years it becomes more and more difficult.
In our home, I have found that most conflicts begin when I haven’t made our boundaries or expectations clear. One good example is their bedrooms. One day I want everything off the floor, with the beds made and the next, I simply shut the door on the mess. When I become angry that their rooms are messy, it’s confusing to them. I’m inconsistent.
A more positive example would be spending time with the opposite sex. Our kids are not allowed to spend one-on-one time with the opposite sex until they are 16. When my oldest was under 16, he hated this rule. Since we stuck to it, after a few attempts to get us change our minds, the fighting stopped. With our girls, it came up a time or two, but again, when we were consistent, the fighting has stopped.
Sticking to our boundaries has probably been the hardest part of parenting for us. When we have, it eventually brings peace. When we haven’t, it breeds continual turmoil. Our kids don’t know which answer they will get each time they ask a question.
It takes time, sometimes a really long time, but eventually our kids really do understand that our boundaries are because we love them deeply. Set a rule and with all you have, stick with it!
Do you have something that works in your family to avoiding fighting? We’d love to hear from you! Just click on “comments” below.