Ask Dr. Joy: Enhancing your relationship with "mom"

By WEEK Producer

May 8, 2013 Updated May 8, 2013 at 7:11 PM CDT

Sunday is the day that we honor our mothers. In this edition of Ask Dr. Joy we will investigate some concrete methods for enhancing the relationship with the “mom” in your life.

Whether your mom is your best friend or someone you talk to once a week, Dr. Joy has some tips to improve that important relationship to share with us.

* Be an active listener. Listen to the feelings of the message, not just the words. Sometimes our relationship with our mom has hidden meanings that we miss.

* Take the first step. Many times mothers feel on the outside and need to know that they still matter to their children. Reach out and call, send a card, write an email, or just stop by and give her a hug.

* Have realistic expectations. Your mother may not be able to be everything you want, but be realistic about what she can offer. She may be the one who is always your cheerleader and your supporter and remember to see what she can give to your relationship.

* Stick to the present. Some relationships between mothers and their children may have some sticky times. The best way to stay focused on your relationship is to stay in the present and try to let those tough times in the past stay in the past

* Balance your closeness and your individuality. It is important to build your own identity, but you don’t need break off your relationship with your parent to be your own person. Find a balance where you can focus on being yourself and being close

* Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Sometimes we only see things through our own eyes (which is natural)… but you can gain some real perspective by trying to see life through your mom’s eyes. Perhaps that means really asking more questions to understand her insights and thoughts.

* Remember the key to the relationship is YOUR connection. The important element is keeping the relationship free of third parties and try to build something strong and meaningful for both of you.

Hopefully, these suggestions will enhance your relationship with your mother.

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