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How to Build a Relationship With Your Mom

by Eliza Martinez, studioD

Parent-child relationships aren't always easy to navigate, especially once you reach adulthood. Past issues and mistakes on both your parts can result in a strained relationship. Many people lose their mother without resolving problems, so it might be time for you to work on things with your mom. It might not be easy, particularly if you are upset or resentful of your mom, but taking steps to improve your interactions mean you won't have any regrets when the time comes to say goodbye to your mother.

Try to see your mother as a person, suggests family therapist, Lori Yusishen on the Canadian Living magazine website. You might only view her as your caregiver or the person who loves you without condition. Viewing her as someone who has her own dreams and passions and who makes mistakes can make it easier to have an adult interaction with her and understand her better.

Communicate with and listen to your mom. Let her know when you're upset, happy or confused. At the same time, listen when she tells you she feels the same way. Maybe you feel like she still treats you like a kid or she gets upset loaning you money all the time. Keeping the lines of communication open can bring you closer and help you both work to improve your relationship. If things get heated, try talking through text messages, email or notes to each other, suggests Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP on the Psychology Today website.

Spend more time together. It might not seem like this will fix things, but enjoying common interests and activities with your mom creates a bond. Try taking a cooking or pottery class together or sign up for tennis lessons with your mother. Join a book club or even just make a pact to try a new restaurant every week.

Establish boundaries. This is important for both of you because it lets the other person know what you're comfortable with. Maybe you want your mom to call before she drops by or refrain from commenting on your parenting skills. Perhaps she'd like notice if you need a babysitter or a ride to the store. Creating these limits keeps you both from crossing the line and helps cut back on conflict.

Seek support. If you and your mother continue to struggle with your relationship, consider looking for a neutral third party to mediate. A family counselor can help you identify and work through your specific issues so you can create a stronger and healthier relationship.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

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