You know the feeling. You are just itching to give advice, but you can sense it isn’t the best thing to do.
Does your daughter really want your advice or so they just want to be heard?
Your advice always seems to fall on deaf ears.
Or worse, your daughter appears to listen & seems to agree, only to go right ahead ignore everything you have said.
You can sense your daughter isn’t telling you everything. There are parts of her life she doesn’t share.
If this happens more than you care to admit, and resentment has begun to set in, perhaps it is time to take a step back and reevaluate your approach.
Ask yourself this; do you want to be right or do you want to feel connected?
Getting clear on this may be harder than you think.
You may feel internal pressure to be right, to have the answers.
However, the answer to this question will lay the ground work for switching up your approach if it is connection that you want.
You can increase your sense of connection by asking questions that keep the focus on your daughter who is struggling, rather than telling her what to do.
6 THINGS TO SAY INSTEAD OF GIVING ADVICE
(when you’d rather be close than be right)
Here’s what you might say:
1. What do you see as your options in this situation?
2. How do you understand the problem?
3. What do you feel is at stake here?
4. What is it that you want out of the situation?
5. If you could bring yourself to do anything, what would that be?
6. What kind of outcome would you consider a success?
By asking follow-up questions, you convey that you trust the intelligence, sensitivity and competence of your daughter.
This helps her feel valued instead of corrected.
When they she feels valued, she will be more open and less guarded with you. And, over time being open and accepted builds feelings of trust.
If it is connection you want, you want to emphasis that you care more than you need to be right.
When you ask questions rather than give answers and opinions, you are showing that caring.
What’s more, when you have nurtured a genuine connection, any advice you give actually has a better chance of landing.
As a therapist to women for 27 years, I see that many women, especially mothers, feel that they need to provide answers. Many times their daughters want, not answers but witness, acceptance, warmth and connection.
If I could put a bug in many a mother’s ear of a grown daughter this is what I would say.-
” Your daughter is trusting you with her struggle. Listen generously, and only give advice that is asked for. You need to make sure that your daughter feels heard, accepted and valued before you even think about giving advice.
This is how you make your daughter feel loved, not fixed.