My mom doesn’t listen!

She even blamed me for burning the cookies. What can I do?
If you’ve ever had trouble getting your voice heard, our elder has some tried and tested strategies.


Dear EWC

I feel like my mom doesn’t really respect me. Every time I suggest something she doesn’t listen to me. She doesn’t trust my judgement because she always thinks that her ideas are better even though sometimes her ideas don’t even make sense. And every time she does something wrong she always blames me. For example, she forgot about the cookies she was baking despite me having to remind her every minute and blames me because I didn’t remind her. What advice can you give to me that could help me survive this madness?
ConstanceF replies

It’s really hard sometimes to relate to our parents as we get into our teens and start to feel as though we can/should control our own actions. And yes, sometimes parents are crazy-making!

I think the best thing you can do is to try to listen to your mom to find any shred of good content in what she’s saying. Then try to feed that back to her by saying something like, “I understand that you want me to (fill in the blank) by (doing whatever it is she wants, the way she wants it done). I see why you would think that’s the best way to do it, but have you considered that (your idea) is more likely to achieve the desired result because (your reasons). As an example, if she tells you she’s baking cookies and you need to remind her in eight minutes to take them out, you can tell her “I understand that you want me to remind you to take out the cookies in eight minutes, but have you considered that setting the timer on the stove will be far more accurate?”

The idea is to let her know that you’ve heard her, but that there may indeed be a better way. If you get really good at this, you’ll be able to make her think it was her idea all along. It will also make you really listen to her, which is a great habit that very few people cultivate any more. One last word of advice—buy a timer!

Best Regards,

Elder ConstanceF

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