Forget flowers, brunch, or even sappy Hallmark cards. This Mother’s Day, take a minute to think about what your mother really wants from you. Hint: it’s not Alexa, the latest book from her favorite author, or the hat/purse/jewelry/oven mitts/gardening tools/knitting accessories she’s been talking about for months.
Read on for our list of six things you can do for your mother this year that will really matter. And best of all, they don’t cost a dime.
(Moms – you’re welcome.)
What Your Mom Really Wants For Mother’s Day
1. Do your chores.
Yes, we know that buying your mom a bouquet is easier than cleaning your room. But the latter is what she’d really get excited about. Same goes for washing the dishes when she asks you to, sweeping the floor, putting your shoes/coat/purse where they belong, or any other household tasks she has to remind you over and over to do. Of course, it would be amazing to do your chores every day. But even if you do them just on Mother’s Day, we promise it’ll be more appreciated than any box from Amazon that comes through the door.
2. Follow her rules.
You know – the ones you don’t always follow. Does she nag you to go to sleep at a reasonable hour? To look up from your phone and interact more with the world? To delete an app that’s a waste of time? While we know it’s difficult to do what she wants, Mother’s Day is your chance to give her the best gift ever: listening to her. And we’ll let you in on a little secret: Mom really does know best when it comes to setting limits. She does it to help you – and you should listen to her.
3. Talk to her.
When she wants to talk to you, do you let her? Or do you mumble a half-response, escape to your room, or disappear into your phone? Teens distance themselves from their parents by keeping secrets, shutting out meaningful conversations, and generally not confiding in them about how they really feel. Do you do that? Is it because you’re nervous about how she’ll react to honesty? Listen: your mom wants you to be honest. She wants you to confide in her the way you confide in your BFF. Give it a shot. You don’t have to do it every day – just try it once. Mother’s Day is a good time!
4. Be nicer to your siblings.
A mother’s greatest wish is for her kids to get along with her and with the rest of the family. If you usually fight with your siblings, try – for one day – just being 100% cordial. If you’re currently giving your brother the silent treatment, stop. If you and your siblings basically just ignore each other as you each go about your life, realize that your mom would love it if you would all communicate a more. If you don’t have any siblings, then be nicer to your dad, grandma, or whoever else your mom wishes you had a closer relationship with.
5. Ask her for advice.
This is related to following her rules but takes a bit of a different angle. If you’re struggling with something, you should know your mom genuinely wants to help. Even if she doesn’t end up solving the problem for you, she’ll be flattered you asked for her guidance. Ask her for relationship advice. Ask her for help with your homework: she’d be honored, even if she knows nothing about the subject you need help with. And most of all, if you’re anxious, depressed, and feeling bad about anything at all, reach out to mom. She genuinely wants to help. Most mothers crave a genuine, positive relationship with their teenagers. If you don’t think she’ll understand your situation, you should think again: she probably will.
6. Go to therapy if she wants you to.
This won’t apply to all of you, but it will apply to some. If your mother has been begging you to seek mental health treatment, and you’ve been resisting, now’s the time you can give her the best Mother’s Day gift ever by saying “yes.” Whether she wants you to try individual therapy, an intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization program, family therapy, or a residential treatment center, realize that getting yourself help, and starting the path to recovery, is the number one thing your mom wants most for you – and her.
And if you can’t bring yourself to do anything for your mom this Mother’s Day?
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