Moms, right? Sometimes they feel like your best friend, sometimes you wonder if you were adopted by an alien whose sole mission is to ruin your life (spoiler alert: you weren’t). Even if you don’t get along all (or even some) of the time, mother-daughter fighting can be seriously stressful. Read on for our best tips on how to fend off a screaming match—and what to do after one.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
If your mom does something that makes you want to go bananas, step back, breathe, and take a mental quiz. Is my mom really bugging me? Or am I annoyed because a) someone said something rude at school, b) I have a stressful project coming up, c) I need a snack, or d) all of the above? We’re prone to take out our frustrations on the people who are closest to us instead of getting to the heart of the matter. And like, maybe you just need a snack.
Put yourself in her shoes.
Try to imagine if the roles were reversed. How would you feel if your kid (or anyone, for that matter) was yelling at you? Pretty terrible, probably. Talk to your mom calmly and with respect; she deserves it, as do you. If a rough day at school is fueling your rage, think about your mom’s day. Maybe she’s in a bad mood, too (yes, parents are allowed to be off their game). And when you feel like your mom is babying you, it’s not because you’re immature, it’s because you’re LITERALLY her baby. This whole you-growing-up thing is as weird for her as it is for you.
Sometimes mother does know best.
Maybe, just maybe—hear us out on this one!—your mom has a point. We know it’s tough to admit she’s right (and that’s not to say she always is!), but there’s probably some logic to her rhetoric. Her tough stance on curfew isn’t to spoil your fun, it’s to make sure you get home safely. Let’s be real: Ultimately, you want that too. Try to find the little nuggets of wisdom your mom’s trying to impart. It will help you realize she isn’t on your case to be annoying, she just cares a lot about what happens to you.
But, eek! It’s too late, and we already got into a fight. What now?
Cool down. And then cool down some more.
After a blowup, get out of each other’s hair for a bit. Quiet time to yourself will make you feel better and give you the chance to regroup on your own terms. You’ll find that going for a long run, or even just taking a hot shower, will allow you to compose yourself enough to have a rational follow-up conversation with your mom. And the sooner you calm down, the sooner things can get back to normal—seriously don’t let things linger. You know the expression, “Don’t go to bed angry?” You’ll sleep a lot better by having an even-keeled chat before hitting the hay.
Get some perspective.
We often fight with family members because they’re the ones who’ll love us no matter how many times we tell them they’re unfair or mean or totally don’t get it. After you’ve slammed the door to your room, take a moment to appreciate all the things you tend to take for granted about your mom. Does she go to every one of your field hockey games? Did she buy you your new favorite coat? Make a mental note of all the stuff she does for you and this fight won’t seem quite as important.
Write it all out.
If you’re still feeling upset and confused after attempting a mom makeup, now’s the time to leave it on the page. Writing in a journal is even better than complaining to your best friend! It’s a tangible way to see your own thoughts in print and sort out what’s really on your mind. Who knows, maybe you’ll turn it into a novel or TV show one day. (Calling Lena Dunham…) Also, we recommend an old-school paper journal, not a Tumblr or blog. Some things, like family matters and your BFF’s secrets, should be kept private.
BY Alexandra Fiber and Danielle Gibson