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More than just Mother's Day - mending fences and fixing the relationship with your mom

Mending fences with mom - is Mother's Day the time to do it?
Mending fences with mom - is Mother's Day the time to do it? 02:59

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - As joyful as Mother's Day may be in one home, it might be just plain stressful in another - especially if you and your mom don't exactly see eye-to-eye. 

So, what to do? 

The first thing is to read the room, or in this case, the relationship, and determine if there is hope for common ground or better. 

In every form of media, we are hit with the images of the ideal relationship scenario but that is not always the case. 

"There are a lot of people who come in and say, 'I love my mother but I don't like my mother,'" said licensed professional counselor and partner at Cranberry Psychological Associates, Sara Banks. 

Banks said that mending that fence is far from easy and just know that you're not going to fix mom. 

"There are a lot of things we can change in a relationship but we can only change ourselves," she said. 

That said, if you desire to find common ground, Mother's Day is not the day to do it. 

"Absolutely not," Banks said emphatically. 

Banks said if you're going to be together, avoid the hot buttons and use distractions. 

"Prior to the conversation, you might want to write down your bullet points so you don't forget them and know what outcome you want the conversation to be," she said. 

She also said that you should choose your words carefully because you don't want to say the words that will cause the person to automatically put the walls up. 

"You are never going to [want to] say the word 'you,'" she explained. "The person is automatically going to feel the walls go up, they're going to feel attacked and you always want to say the word 'I.'" 

It might work and you might be able to crumble the walls, or you might have to radically change your expectations. 

"Also radically accepting the relationship for what it is and what it looks like," Banks added. 

Again, Banks said you can't force change, you can only change you. It will not be easy but if a closer relationship is what you want, you have to find a way to start the conversation. 

Remember - this is a two-way street. All the same guidelines and principles apply if it's mom trying to reach out to an adult child to try and end the strife, just don't try to solve it on Mother's Day. Go about it one-on-one in private, don't air it out in private, because that will absolutely make it worse. 

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