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Ending the Mom Wars

Déja vu. Are you at odds with a parent over the same prob…over and over again? Here's how to make peace, once and for all.

NO FAIR! Feeling stifled by “unfair” rules, like no phone after 9 p.m. on school nights or a way-early bedtime?

If you feel Mom isn’t giving you a fair shake, ask yourself if she’s laid down a rule that’s truly cruel—and be honest! After all, you’ve gotta admit you’d easily set a world record for longest chat on a cordless if left on your own. But if you genuinely feel Mom is not giving you a fair shake, talk to her about it. It’s all about compromise!

The Countdown Conflict

4 CENSORSHIP STINKS Mom is so freakishly old-fashioned that she listens to Neil Diamond. She doesn’t let you watch cool shows like Gossip Girl, so you have to pretend you saw last night’s episode when your girls are talking about it. Kanye is a no-go. You’re not even allowed to catch a PG-13 movie.

So? Find a cool CD that doesn’t contain wall-to-wall graphic lyrics—yep, they do exist—and play it for Mom. Bet she’ll OK it. She simply doesn't want you filling your ears with icky stuff that’s totally beneath you.

When it comes to TV and movies, ask Mom to watch something with you. Often, parents outlaw all PG-13 flicks, thinking every single one contains way objectionable stuff. A good place to start? Rent Mamma Mia! on DVD and have a mom-daughter night in.

3 CLASHIN' OVER FASHION You want to wear a fab dress with spaghetti straps to the Spring dance—but Mom insists you’re wearing a droopy tea-length skirt and a lace-collared shirt covered with flowers. Aaarrrgghhh! First off, understand that very few moms go for barely-there tanks and lower-than-low riders—and that’s not such a bad thing. After all, that look is tarty and tired.

But if your conflict is along the lines of Mom wanting you to dress preppy but you love punk, try to meet somewhere in the middle. Maybe you could deck out more conservatively on school days, and don the combat boots and safety-pinned mini-kilt on weekends only.

Another solution: Shop with Mom to find items you both agree are OK. Who knows? You might find out your mom can totally get behind that amazing pair of jeggings!

2 BOY BATTLE ZONE A common area of mom-daughter warfare is, no mystery, dating. Mom thinks you’re too young to go out, restricts phone calls from guys and won’t even let you go to boy-girl parties.

You want to get together with your crush; your mom wants to protect you from getting in over your head. So map out a clear game plan for hanging with boys in stages. Is it OK to go to your BFF’s co-ed birthday bash, since her ’rents will be there every second? Mom will probably concede to that.

Next, Mom might let you go with a guy-girl group to Pizza Palace. Phone chats could follow. But don’t stay out late chatting with Kevin from bio class, even once, because you’ll prove to Mom you’re not mature enough to handle the whole boy-girl thing.

1 PRIVACY PROBS Mom back-keys your PC to read your e-mails? Thinks nothing of rummaging through your bag, sneaking a peek at your diary or eavesdropping on phone chats? Is this not the worst?

When mom tries to nail you on the down-low, she may think she’s nipping potential probs. Still, you feel rotten because she clearly doesn’t trust you. Plus, everyone deserves some private space. You’re right to feel kinda violated.

If you’ve given her absolutely no reason to question your integrity, speak up. Say, “Mom, I feel bad when you read my diary—those are thoughts I want to keep to myself. I’m not doing anything wrong, so why don’t you trust me?”

Maybe she’ll apologize on the spot. Maybe she’ll tell you she’s nervous because you’re getting older. Whatever her reason, by talking honestly about how you feel, you show maturity. When you clear the air, not only do you solve a major prob—you two get closer than ever.

By: Lisa Mulcahy

POSTED ON 2/17/2010 1:06:00 PM

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