Establishing Healthy Mother Daughter Relationships

Every mother yearns for that close connection with her daughter that is incomparable to any other. Forming an undeniably close bond with your daughter is important, but so too is finding that balance between being a parent and being a “best friend”. If a mother views and treats her daughter as a best friend, this could greatly hinder her transition into adulthood and negatively impact future relationships. Because mothers and daughters are never in the same stage of their lives at the same time, they have completely different perceptions and levels of maturity – this allows the mother to provide the appropriate guidance of an adult, while the daughter is a child, and hopefully gaining from it. Mother-daughter dynamics are quite complex, so how do you go about finding that balance between having a close connection, yet being the parent your daughter needs? Set Boundaries: It’s vital to establish boundaries. You cannot smother your daughter, as it could easily push her away. Being overprotective and overbearing inevitably leads to the daughter slowly distancing herself. As a mother, you mustn’t try to fix everything. Rather let your child fail and solve some of their own problems to allow them to develop into a self-sufficient women. Support them in finding their own success. Also, it’s imperative to establish topics that are off-limits for you, the mother to have with your daughter. Venting about marital issues and topics of this nature is toxic and can negatively affect your daughter’s outlook on relationships. Cultivate Your Own Friendships: You simply cannot be over-dependent upon your daughter. Cultivate your own friendships with people you can trust and share your thoughts and feelings with. This will help you avoid venting to your daughter about things you shouldn’t. Finding close friends will strengthen your bond because developing strong relationships with other women you can relate to enhances your well-being and instills the added confidence you need to be a good parent. Your daughter needs your guidance. Accept Differences: It’s extremely important to remember that as our children age and mature, they might form opinions and beliefs that stray slightly from yours. You have to accept these differences and support them. Don’t make comparisons or try to change them because this can foster rebellion or create an unhealthy rift in your relationship. Furthermore, supporting their own views and opinions further enhances their own independence, an important component for growth and development. It’s also important to allow your daughter her own privacy. Let her know you’re there for her when she’s ready to talk. Balance: It all comes down to balance; balance is key. You can’t take it personally when your daughter doesn’t call or confide in you for everything in life. She’s learning and growing on her own terms, so let her know you’re there and listen when she comes to you. Don’t be too intrusive. She will come to you because every daughter needs her mother. Be her biggest cheerleader and encourage her while you do the same for your self. This will be the healthiest path for both of you and as a result create that strong bond. If for some reason you feel your relationship with your daughter getting off track and entering more of a friend zone, don’t panic. The first step is to recognize it – and then as the mother and the adult, it is important to shift your role. Then communicate with each other. Listen to each other and if that means stepping back and giving her room to breathe, then do that. It may also mean needing to set clearer limits, if so, do it. Your behaviors significantly impact your daughter and you don’t want your actions to prevent them from becoming a stable, healthy adult. Always remember that you are your daughter’s role model, so be the woman that you want her to emulate.

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