“My mom works all day. How can I improve our relationship?”


Since you don’t see your mom often, make sure that the time you do have together is used well. You could talk to your mom about how to do this. She wants a good relationship with you too and will help you work on it. Try asking her what she would appreciate: coming home to a clean house? doing an activity together? just talking with you? As you regularly do activities your mom appreciates, your relationship will improve.

Of course, you could plan some fun activities to do together, but any meaningful time together—such as washing the dishes or reading the scriptures—can be a great way to build your relationship.

Also plan time for communication. Understanding one another is a key ingredient in good relationships. One thing to discuss is how your mom’s work schedule will affect your relationship with her. You can avoid misunderstandings if you talk about your expectations as well as your mom’s.

Prayer will help. Families are important to Heavenly Father, so He can inspire you to know how to improve your relationship with your mom. Don’t ignore a prompting to do something that seems small (see Alma 37:6). A hug and a smile, for example, can make a big difference.

Write a Note

Even if you have very little time together, you can still express your love to your mother. Write her thoughtful, secret notes. As she reads them at work, she will think of you. Do as much as you can for her. Think about her more often and pray for her. Ask the Lord to inspire you and prompt you regarding how you can improve your relationship.

Irinka E., 20, Odessa, Ukraine

Seek to Understand Her

Try to understand her situation, because she works for your benefit. You can begin by helping with things at home, like cleaning the house, helping your siblings, and cooking. You also can share scriptures with your mom, pray together, and do activities that you like to do together.

Morony M., 18, Chihuahua, Mexico

Have a Special Sunday

On some Sundays we have a special lunch or dinner with a new dessert, we talk, and at the end we sing hymns. This brings us together and helps us be better friends!

Rebeca N., 12, São Paulo, Brazil

Try an Experiment

We arrange time to be together: having family home evening, playing games, going to the beach, having lunch together. All of this helps to keep the flame of a good relationship alive. When we disagree, we avoid criticizing. I know that sometimes I ask not to do housework, but this contributes to disharmony in the home. Since I began this experiment—complaining less, lowering my voice, helping more with housework, and talking more with my mother—a sweet spirit has developed in our home and we cooperate more.

Glenda C., 18, Bahia, Brazil

Help at Home

Do some extra chores around the house. Your mom has been working all day. If she has less work to do when she gets home, she’ll probably be happier and have more time to talk and do things with you. While you are talking, you can ask about her day at work. It will show her that you care, and it will open doors for other topics of discussion, allowing you to grow closer.

Heather B., 18, Oregon, USA

Find Something You Both Like to Do

My mum’s relationship with me skyrocketed when I said, “I want to spend more time with you, but I don’t know what to do or when to do it.” Playing board games happens to be our favorite pastime. So we set aside a time together to play, laugh, and make memories. When you are open with your parents, eventually they become your best companions. You will be able to talk to them about anything, and you will be sure of an honest answer. That is the sign of a mature relationship.

Ephraim S., 15, New South Wales, Australia

Read Scriptures Together

Both of you could set a goal to read together every day, even just five minutes, from the Book of Mormon or any other Church book. It will strengthen your relationship and nourish you with the word of God so you can be ready to face each day. Remember also to pray to God and ask for His help. I know He hears you and loves you.

Laura M., 19, Córdoba, Argentina 

Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as official pronouncements of Church doctrine.

Learn from Your Mother

Elder M. Russell Ballard

“Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow. Model yourselves after them, not after celebrities whose standards are not the Lord’s standards and whose values may not reflect an eternal perspective. Look to your mother. Learn from her strengths, her courage, and her faithfulness. Listen to her. She may not be a whiz at texting; she may not even have a Facebook page. But when it comes to matters of the heart and the things of the Lord, she has a wealth of knowledge.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Mothers and Daughters,” Ensign, May 2010, 19.

Upcoming Question

“My parents just got divorced. I’m angry that they have broken up our family. How do I forgive them?”

Send your answer and photo by September 15, 2014.

Go to newera.lds.org, click “Submit Your Work,” enter your LDS Account, and then select “New Era.”

Responses may be edited for length or clarity.