Bringing Down the Wall
I was riding my bike around Rice University’s campus and I saw people looking at a 5 foot wide by about 12 foot tall piece of cement with some graffiti on it. I was curious, so I went to see what it was. It was a segment of the Berlin wall. I stood there in awe looking at a part of the Berlin wall that divided an entire city.
How many families are divided by the ‘Wall’?
You know the ‘Wall’. You ask your daughter how her day was and she says, “Fine.” She walls herself off in her room. She spends most of her time looking down at her phone texting or is on Facebook.
When the ‘Wall’ is up there is distance. You feel disconnected. You don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know if she is ok. You don’t know any details about her life at school or friends. The silence can drive you nuts. You may even miss the fights. Here is the worst part of the ‘Wall’. The girl that you love acts like you are a stranger or her enemy.
Moms can build ‘Walls’ too and we may not even know it. Our ‘Walls’ may be a little more subtle. They prevent us from enjoying our daughters and seeing their wonderful potential.
So let’s pretend your daughter is driving you nuts with her behavior. It’s so easy to label your daughter. “She is so selfish.” “She is such a liar.” The problem is the label becomes a ‘Wall’. When you start to think of her that way, it’s hard to see anything else.
Fear can be very useful if you use the fear to take effective action, but it can also be a ‘Wall’. If you are afraid she is not going to be ok, all you will see is fear and not your daughter. You will not be your relaxed self and she will react to you.
This is hard to admit but you may be so frustrated with your daughter that you have written her off. You think I am going to keep this ‘Wall’ up till she is out of the house. Here is the problem. The ‘Wall’ is going to get thicker and higher and it will be harder to take down in the future.
“It feels impossible for this ‘Wall’ to ever come down.”
Many felt it was impossible for the Berlin wall to come down. However, the monument on Rice University’s campus celebrates that walls come down. Your ‘Walls’ can come down too.
3 Ways to Bring the Walls Down
1. Start with your ‘Wall’ first. It is easier to start with you. Can you identify any labels, frustration or fears that have become a wall between you and your daughter?
2. You can’t force her ‘Wall’ down. It’s scary to see your daughter’s ‘Wall’ go up but you can’t force her to take it down. If you do she will build it higher. Sarah is a beautiful mom who came to see me because she was going through a nasty divorce. Sarah was afraid she was losing her daughter. In the session Sarah told her daughter that she had to start talking to her. You guessed it. Her daughter stared straight ahead and said nothing.
3. Throw out seeds. If she is not talking to you then try throwing out seeds. Here is what I mean. You throw out a comment that she doesn’t have to answer and is not a red hot issue.
You can start talking about your dog, cat, or hamster. Thank God for pets. If your daughter is in a funk you can always throw out a comment about the dog which will break the silence. You can start laughing about how the dog did something bad or some silly thing it did.
4. Take the ‘Wall’ down one brick at a time. The ‘Wall’ is not going to come down all at once. It is going to come down one brick at a time. It can start with the little interactions you have throughout the day. She laughed at one thing you said. She volunteered something that happened at school. Start seeing these interactions as hopeful and know the wall is coming down one brick at a time.
Because it takes time to bring the wall down I created my Power Your Parenting program: A 7 Week Program to Help You Reconnect with Your Daughter and Reclaim Your Life. It is starting next Monday April 18th. I have seen the walls come down for so many of my moms and their daughters over and over again.
I am offering this program only one time this year. You get daily support for 7 weeks and 6 coaching calls with like-minded mothers.
I would love you to join me. It starts this Monday April 18th. I only have 2 spots left. Send me a message if you would like me to find out more about the program.