Mother-Daughter Relationships | Real Simple
In theory, mother-daughter relationships should be the closest of human relationships. In fact, they are often marked by strife over boundaries. There are more unhealthy mother-daughter relationships than you might think. It's possible that the connection with your own daughter is. A strong mother daughter relationship is not a given. If you are looking to strengthen your mother daughter bond then follow these 5 ways.
Expand A mother-daughter relationship can be the first relationship a human develops and, very often, is the most complicated one. Creating and maintaining a healthy mother-daughter relationship, as one moves through the different phases of life, takes effort. Let these steps from Meg Deak, a licensed professional counselor of Life Rhythms who works primarily with teens and parents in the Lehigh Valley, serve as a reminder.
Fostering a Healthy Mother-Daughter Relationship - Lehigh Valley Style
They may not always be easy, but they are important for a lasting, loving relationship to blossom. Deak says that, at any age, communication really is the key to a healthy relationship.6 Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships
It includes tone, body language and eye contact. These are vital in being able to observe whether or not someone is engaged in the conversation. Healthy communication is also about listening.
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Good listening skills require not just hearing the words, but also paying attention to what and how something is being said. It starts with maintaining eye contact, being attentive, withholding judgment and emotion and not jumping to conclusions.
Mother-daughter relationships: which category do you fit into?
For instance, kids commonly think their mom will be nurturing and present — always. This idea can develop from an early age. When her kids were young, Mintle found herself setting up this unrealistic belief during their nightly reading time. Lack of communication is a common challenge with moms and daughters. Be an active listener. They realize conflict is inevitable and they deal with it head on. This applies to mother and daughter relationships, too, she said.
Not resolving conflict can have surprising consequences. But pick your battles. Instead of arguing about something so small, Mintle put the hat on and moved on. Put yourself in her shoes. But a panoramic lens provides a much wider view, letting us see the object in a larger context. Mintle views forgiveness as key for well-being. Balance individuality and closeness. It can be challenging for daughters to build their own identities.
Sometimes daughters think that in order to become their own person, they must cut off from their moms, Mintle said.
Both are clearly problematic. But daughters can find their voices and identities within the relationship. Lots of information would tumble out. Ask some open-ended questions, and then listen. Resist the urge to rush in to give advice.
Just enjoy hearing her heart about whatever is bubbling to the top. Learn what she loves and learn to love it too… What makes your daughter tick?
Whatever her passion is, invest in it with her. My girls love the theater. Over the years it has become our thing to do together. And much to the first point, as you are listening to her spill her heart out to you, control your reactions to whatever she says.
The Mother-Daughter Relationship Is Deeply Complex (Even Science Agrees)
She is bound to say something that is dramatic or inflated, and your motherly instincts will kick in to correct or protect her.
But that response has the potential of shutting her down from opening up again—she might be scared to say something wrong or offensive.
Teach her what you know… Your life might look exactly like what your daughter wants to grow up to be, or perhaps it is far from it.