There's no time like the present to begin transforming your relationship with your daughter. Communication is the key and we're laying the foundation today for a more fulfilling tomorrow.
It's easy to accomplish, fun and a great way to kick off the summer.
Let's begin with a quick Mind Acrobatics™ fantasy to get started. Imagination is a powerful tool and luckily we all possess it. Let's have some fun!
Fantasy #1: "What A Surprise"
- Begin by closing your eyes and take 5 slow and relaxed breaths.
- Open your eyes to a sunny Saturday morning in June.
- Looking out the window you notice the leaves swaying slightly.
- Stretching your arms and legs you are about to get out of bed.
- A sudden knock at the door. "Yes" you answer.
- "May I come in Mom" says your teen. "Sure" you reply.
- Your daughter enters bearing a breakfast tray.
- "Hi Mom, I made all your favorites."
- She puts pillows behind your head and places the tray in your lap.
- Coffee, a warm buttered croissant, fresh fruit and yogurt.
- "Thank you dear" said with a quizzical look upon your face.
- "Mom, can we talk?"
- Uh Oh you think, here it comes. "Sure."
"When we're finished we can come back and hit the museum for an hour and then go to a late afternoon movie. I checked and there's a new drama with Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Judy Dench, Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges. It sounds great."
"Afterwards we can grab some sushi, come home and meditate, then finish the evening by catching up with the latest episodes of "Orange is the new Black." How's that sound Mom?"
OK. The exercise is over. How did it sound? Is it realistic that you are going to experience this precise scenario? Of course not. Yet the power resides inside you to turn this fantasy into a reality of your own desire and creation.
First you need to turn off the auto-pilot on which you and your daughter operate. Be aware of what's happening in the moment. Many refer to this as engaging in mindfulness. Mind Acrobatics describes it as settling back, being in tune with the present and then getting in touch with the inner you that resides at the very edge of your subconscious.
To improve our interactions and create these special moments, awareness of what we'd really like to happen in our relationships is key. They occur not by magic... but through introspection and planning.
It's getting harder in this digital age to find ways to get our children to allow us into their lives. We may live in the same house yet spend virtually no quality time with our kids.
They've got their agenda dealing with all the stresses of adolescence, hanging with friends, opposite sex relationships, posting on Facebook and Instagram, peer entertainment, unlimited texting, multi-tasking and the whole host of 'parents-not-invited' activities.
Much of this is part of the developmental process. Teens are experiencing continual social, physiological and emotional changes. It's not easy! Often they'd welcome parental support even though they won't admit it or are even unaware of the desire.
But here's a question. What part do we as parents play in this lockout of activity? Quite a bit actually. We live our lives, occasionally try communicating and most often give up and accept the same static daily routines. It's the auto-pilot syndrome I mentioned above.
What we need to possess is an active conscious vision of how we want our relationship to play out. Of course everything can't be controlled... but your influence is far greater than you think.
Let's try a short Mind Acrobatics™ exercise to gain momentum. This is different than the 'fantasy' in which we engaged above.
Exercise#1: "My Perfect Relationship"
Time Needed: 20 Minutes
Materials: Writing instrument, notebook or journal and comfort food
- Pick a relaxing location and time
- Put on your favorite music
- Take 10 slow breaths
- Now spend a minute or two and visualize your current interactions
- What's working best
- Visualize your perception of a great Mother-Daughter relationship
- Start writing in stream of consciousness about the ideal scenario
- Don't self-censor. Record all you aspire to and dream about
- When you're through, stop writing
- Take 5 slow breaths with eyes closed
- Look at your list
- Pick two or three 'perfect summer moments' you will make happen
Great, you've just created the preamble to transforming future relations with your daughter.
Now that you've brought to the conscious some outcomes you'd like to share, you're in a position to make them happen.
At the beginning of this article I referenced communication. In reality healthy parent/child interactions begin at an early age and progress from toddler through adulthood. In another piece we'll explore how to create a lasting model that fosters healthy fulfilling family relationships.
For now pause and think about your most recent interactions. How well did they go? Were the outcomes all you desired? What worked well? What might you have said or done differently in hindsight? Don't make value judgments or have regrets. Simply plan time in the near future to give the questions some thought to create data for future use.
Moving forward; today you've identified a couple of outcomes you'd like to enjoy with your daughter this summer. That's fantastic.
Whatever you came up with as goals begin working on them now. Devise a plan. Desired outcomes don't just erupt by spontaneous combustion.
Craft the environment that will stimulate your daughter to pause and realize she'd like to spend some quality time with you this summer. You possess the power, ability and will to make this happen. Yes you do!
Go forth, set the stage and create your Magical Summer Moment!
Thanks for reading this article and please feel free to ask questions or share any techniques that work well for you and your teen. I respond to all comments.
Excerpted and adapted from the forthcoming book: "Comfy In My Skin... Transformation From The Inside Out!" by Dave Kanegis
Please visit my HP BIO PAGE for additional articles on building stronger more satisfying family communication as well as techniques to create and implement empowering life change.
Contact Life Coach Dave Kanegis at: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter/MindAcrobatics.