How to get a parent to be more parental

Werewolves asks: Hi Shirelle. My mother is a very sweet person, almost like my sister, and I can tell her anything (including my crushes). But now I have lost my respect towards her as my mother, because I treat her like my sister, and so we fight for small, silly reasons, and I feel really bad when she cries because of it. I also have tried to tell her that if she acts like my mom, I will treat her like one. I really don’t know what to do. HELP ME!!!!

Hi Werewolves –

What a fascinating problem you have!  This takes a lot of thought!

It would be easier for me to give advice to your mother on this issue, but since it’s you who’s writing, I’ll try to throw a few suggestions out.

First, it would be great for you to sit down with her and talk about this.  You should tell her how great it’s been to have a mother who’s such a “best friend,” but that you also need a strong mom these days, one who you can count on, and who you can defy without her breaking down.

Second, It would also be great for the two of you to make a list of things you need from each other, to avoid all these “small silly” fights.  Maybe if you keep your room clean, and she stops asking you where you are every half hour (I’m just guessing with some normal parent/teen complaints), there can be less of that bickering.

But third, it really sounds like she needs to work on her own identity as an adult and mother.  And that’s hard to do by yourself.  The best method I’ve seen for this would be for you and her to go to a family therapist together.  It doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money, just enough for them to see how you two work together, and give you some assignments to help strengthen you in your roles.

She is a very lucky mom to have a daughter as insightful, mature, and aware as you.  Most teens would never ask for their parents to be more parental!  So this is a great opportunity for her to move forward in her life, both in her relationship with you and in her dealings with the rest of the world.


Let me know how it goes!



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