Mary Marcdante, author of My Mother, My Friend, says that unexpressed needs cause most mother/children conflicts. So, here's her three-step plan to help you resolve any problems with your mom:
  • Acknowledge: Set aside your judgments until you understand why your mother's perspective is the way it is. It's important to let her know that you're willing to hear her out, so use these phrases:
    - "I hear what you're saying-"
    - "It seems like-"
    - And, "I'm guessing that you're feeling pretty upset about this-"
  • Empathize: Even though you might not agree with your mom, her opinion is important to her - so tell her you realize that.
  • Assert yourself. This is the part where you take your position. Whatever you say, though, make sure you start your statements with the word "and." The word "but" disqualifies what your mother is saying. For example: "And, Mom, I have a different view on this-" Share your feelings, and then let her know what you want from the situation.