How to talk to your daughter after a hard day at school

Your daughter comes home and she has some BIG feelings. What does that look like? It could look like her getting snappy and short with you, or crying, or retreating to her room and demanding no one talk to her. 

If you get reactive when your daughter comes at you like that, I hear you! Our natural instinct is to protect and defend ourselves from what feels like an attack. And if you’ve yelled back or shut her down for treating you that way, please know that you are normal and there is nothing wrong with you. It can be hard to feel the motivation to listen to her when her words are hitting some of your inner wounds. 

Our job is to turn those wounds into scars so things don’t hurt and create a big reaction in us.

So what do you do when she starts having a big emotion? 

You pause and just listen. Don’t be thinking of some motherly advice about what she should do about it. Just be there with her and hold that space for her. She is craving to know her emotions are safe with someone. 

Listen without interrupting. Don’t jump to conclusions about where the story is headed. 

Listen and accept her version of the events. The important part is to validate her feelings and not necessarily the story.

Listen without dismissing the gravity of the problem for her. Our adult brains tend to forget what it was like to have little people problems. It’s a big deal to them!

Listen without any judgment of anyone in the story. This is not the time to be jumping in and bad mouthing the girl who said the mean things to her. 

Types of things to say as she is expressing herself:

How did that make you feel?

What did you think about that?

I can see why you’d feel that way.

I can understand that.

That sounds really hard.

Tell me more about that.

I hear you and I love you.

Once she has gotten it all out, ask her what support she needs from here. Does she want a hug? Does she need some quiet time? Does she need ideas? Does she need to listen to music?

These steps will help you to create a deeper connection with your daughter. It will also set the foundation for her to learn conflict resolution skills. If you need help on how to do this in real life, I’d love to help you. We all need some parenting support at times. 

Go to my coaching page to schedule a free call with me to see how I can best support you.