Share your most embarrassing moment.
“So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.” 1 Thes. 5:11 (MSG)
Facilitator: Share a story about someone in your life whom you enjoy their communication (How do they make you feel and do you want to spend more time with this person?)
Mothers and Daughters ask each other:
- What do you like about the way we communicate with each other?
Individually ask your daughter:
- What would you like to change about how we talk to each other?
Use your own story to share, or use one of the examples below:
“When I asked my daughter this question, how do we “care for and protect our relationship?”” She stated, “The way we talk to one another.” I would not have thought this would have been her first answer. She is quiet and reserved and I am a talker. When she was little, I remember my mother telling me, teach her how you want her to talk to you and it will bless your relationship. When she is talking, I am always thinking – respond in a way that will make her want to keep talking. My tone, my words, even my ability to listen – all open or shut a door to our conversation, and I want the door to stay wide open. (Becca)
Jesse and I are different in a lot of ways. We have different interests and hobbies. For example, Jesse LOVES to shop. My definition of shopping is sitting at my computer on Amazon Prime. However, one way I know I can love her well is to go shopping with her (it nevers hurts when I actually buy her something too). Jesse also loves to run. I do well getting in my walks. But we also have similar interests. This is where we lean in to our relationship. We find those things that we both love to do and do them together. We love to travel. So one time, when Jesse was home from college, we planned a very quick, and very budgeted, trip to NYC. We were gone for 34 hours and did and saw so much! It was a blast! We also love to get our nails done, so we make time to visit the nail salon together whenever we can. Time spent together will always be a win and it will communicate to each other that you value your relationship. (Wendy)
We teach our daughters how to communicate by modeling a healthy tone and volume, and by choosing our words carefully.
Weekly, we can ask ourselves, “are my words making my daughter feel loved?”
Making each other feel loved and cherished by the way we communicate can be challenging when our relationships go through challenging times. We need to think before we speak, yet if we look at each other in love, we will want to speak life into our relationship.
The way we communicate to each other is powerful, it sets the tone of our relationship. Communication is one of the most important ways to “cherish and protect” one another. Healthy Communication means believing, “I care more about you than what I want to say to you.”
Words stick. They echo, they cause joy or resentment in relationships! Speaking to each other the way we want to be talked to is so important in our mother daughter relationships. We all want to be told, “you are treasured, I love you, I am so thankful for you, I appreciate you…” If we have other messages to communicate, they must be wrapped in love. Protecting communication means that we are real with one another, yet we think before we speak. Words can’t be taken back. Often our loving or painful words become the echo in someone else’s head.
Healthy communication consists of thinking before we say something. Before we speak we can ask ourselves, “would what I am about to say build a bridge or a wall in our relationship?” Or, “if I say ________ will it build our relationship up, or tear it down.”
Another communication key we can use is this phrase,
“When you said ______, I heard ________, is that what you meant?”
“When you say _______, I hear _________, is this what you are trying to communicate to me?”
We get to choose our words!
- Is there a time in life that you wish you could have taken your words back?
If the message that we need to deliver would build a wall then we need to rephrase it or pray about it before we speak it.
- What is one thing you love to hear from one another (moms and daughters)?
- When do you really enjoy communicating with each other?
Healthy Relationships Choose Humility
As moms, we do not have to be perfect. We aren’t! Sometimes the most powerful thing that we can show our daughters is that we mess up, we struggle, and we need a Savior. We can say, “I am sorry, please forgive me.”
Facilitator can share a story, or use the example below:
“In one conversation with a wise older mom, I went through my checklist of all the things that I was trying to do to “get it right” with my kids. She gently replied, “one of the best things you can do is show your kids that you don’t have it all together and that you are not perfect.” Her sweet response redirected and humbled me (in a good way). I was striving so hard. I forgot to share my struggles, be real, share my need for Jesus.” (Becca)
The first step to changing communication style is apologizing and then choosing to build a bridge before we speak. It is important to pay attention to the words spoken from the heart in the question we are about to ask each other – this question can help you know what your daughter loves hearing and what you need to repeat. If the answer is negative, this is also a gift, for you can apologize and forgive.
Mother/Daughter Question: to ask each other (not sharing with group):
- Is there anything I have said that echoes in your head?
Prayer time can be in a group setting or, prayer can be after the last question on your own with your daughter..