Be patient; don’t expect your mom to respond to your questions immediately. If your mom tries to argue with you, be calm, definite, positive, and persistent. Simply repeat what you have to say in a respectful tone of voice until she begins to listen to you. If your mom is determined not to change, choose to accept that and be creative about setting healthy boundaries in your relationship with her. As you discuss hot-button issues between the two of you, remember that both you and your mom’s perspectives are valid. Honestly try to learn what you can from her point of view. Have the courage to fully express yourself, no matter how she responds, so you don’t have to regret your silence later. Get whatever is bothering you out into the open so you both can deal with it. Always keep in mind that peace and joy together are possible if you’re both willing to make the effort.

Adapted from Making Peace with Your Mom, copyright 2006 by H. Norman Wright and Sheryl Wright Macauley.  Published by Bethany House Publishers (a division of Baker Publishing Group), Bloomington, Mn., www.bethanyhouse.com.

H. Norman Wright is a licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, as well as a certified trauma specialist. The author of more than 70 books, Wright has pioneered premarital counseling programs throughout the country and conducts seminars on many subjects, including marriage enrichment, parenting, and grief recovery. His current focus is in crisis and trauma counseling and critical incident debriefings within the wider community. He and his wife, Joyce, live in Bakersfield, California.

Sheryl Wright Macauley previously teamed with her father, H. Norman Wright, as the illustrator for his books The Perfect Catch and That's a Keeper. Making Peace With Your Mom is the first book they have written together. Sheryl and her family live in Bakersfield, California.