On this week’s Thrive For[e]ward podcast we welcome founder of KIP Consulting Services, LLC, Ann Dillard, LMFT . Ann is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, Internal Family Systems, and Brainspotting Therapist and is passionate about instilling hope and empowering individuals to live their best lives. She operates a thriving private practice in Decatur, GA, where she offers mental health services to teens girls and their families. Additionally, Ann hosts conversation circles and coaching programs internationally, where she helps women of all ages to navigate challenges in their mother/daughter relationships.
As the co-author of the Amazon #1 Bestseller Unchain My Legacy, Ann has created several tools to help foster healthy relationships and stronger mothers and daughter bonds, as well as parents and their teenagers.
When Ann and I first connected, we opened up to each other about our own relationships with our mothers and how it has impacted the relationships with our daughters. Often I hear these same underlying conversations through financial planning discussions. The significance of the relationship of our mother (or mother figure) can be lasting well into our mature years of life. For the reason of moving into healthy healing and love for our experiences, I wanted Ann to share her experience with us.
During the course of our discussion we address how to best navigate relationships with our children, especially as they seek their own independence, voice and path in life. Ann quotes Christine Langley-Obaugh she says “We repeat what we don’t repair.”
This is boldly true and something I too can relate to as a mother to two young girls when I look at the household I grew up in. It’s important to recognize what areas we want to change, to do better at and also to allow ourselves to not live in a perfect mom mode (newsflash – something that isn’t a reality).
A common mistake that many of us mothers can make is becoming so focused on what we might not want to have happen (such as history repeating itself), rather we should have a more balanced approach, and seek a conversational approach with our daughters.
Ann shares that during the course of her work with teens and their mothers, the common feeling that many of the daughters have in gaining their independence and finding their own individuality that they are still looking for approval and validation from their mothers. The main piece that they share is the lack of feeling heard. Something I bet some of us can truly relate to. So how to we help them? What is the common ground?
During these conversations, we learn more about how our children might be struggling – especially now still living in multiple pandemics. We see an increase in mental illness with our entire society, especially children, even a rise in suicide with our teenagers and young adults.
According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at Michigan Medicine 46% of parents say their teen has shown signs of a new or worsening mental health condition since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Parents of teen girls were more likely to say their child had a new onset or worsening of depressive symptoms and anxiety than parents of teen boys.
Ann suggests the following three areas to focus on as we work to create a “new normal” and be there for our children.
1. Take care of your own mental health and model the behavior you want your children to implement.
2. Practice your core and family values and share often with your children.
3. During transitions such as children leaving for school, don’t pull away. Lean in and understand that your child might be experiencing separation anxiety and their behavior towards you isn’t personal.
I think one of the impactful and true statements that Ann shared was that “our children are not here to carry out our unmet wishes and dreams they are their individual selves.”
We must give ourselves grace and give our children grace. By doing that, we allow connection. It doesn’t mean we don’t adhere to rules but that we understand we are all human.
GET IN TOUCH WITH ANNE
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/MotherDaughterGroup
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