Don’t Judge, Get Curious!
Is your daughter really sensitive? Does she get defensive or shut down when you express your opinions? One of the most common complaints among my adolescent girl clients is that they often feel judged, insulted and misunderstood. And understandably so, as many parents are often guilty of unintentionally poking at their daughter’s greatest insecurities. “You’re wearing THAT?” “You actually like this music? Sounds like noise to me!” “You’re not sick, you’re just looking for attention.” And so forth. Ultimately, girls are left feeling disconnected, defensive and bitter.
So, mom and dad, I offer you a challenge: watch your judgments. It’s true that we are all guilty of forming quick opinions or making snap judgements at one time or another. And, experience has shown me that for many parents, their judgment isn’t coming from a place of disapproval, but rather a lack of understanding or education.
But here’s the reality: by making snap judgments or unfounded criticisms we are inherently devaluing another person. More often than not, I find that parents are in the dark about who or what may be informing their girls’ current choices, style, perspective, ideas, thought processes, etc. When you take the time to understand your daughter’s perspective, you are honoring and respecting her rights as an individual and as a human being.
Next time you find yourself judging, I invite you to make a massive shift and get curious. Inquire about where she’s coming from. Ask what inspires or motivates her to do/act/be a certain way. From that point you are free to choose to agree or disagree with her perspective, and most importantly you’ll be coming from a place of integrity. Opening your eyes and heart to your daughter will undoubtedly lead to a deeper connection and a mutual respect.