MOTHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIPS

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January 19, 2013 by kamify

Mother-daughter relationships are complex and diverse.Some mothers and daughters are best friends. Others talk once a week. Some see each other weekly; others live in different states or countries. Some spar regularly. Some avoid conflict. Others talk through everything. And undoubtedly, there’s a hint of all these things in most relationships.Growing up as an only girl in my family,the relationship with my mother wasn’t that effective until I was 25 years,having my mother always screaming at me every time she feels I go wrong made the bond a little loose.Realizing the mistakes my mother made to scare me away from having a strong relationship gives me a better insight on how to improve my relationship with my daughter. In African most mother-daughter relationships are always from a distance unlike in the western world where mothers and daughters most times are seen as friends.I came about reading an article from Roni Cohen Sandler and this is what she wrote on how to improve a mother-daughter relationship

Whatever your relationship with your mother or daughter, you can always make improvements. Here’s how to enhance your  connection and cut down on clashes.

STEP 1

Communication

Lack of communication is a common challenge with moms and daughters. “In some ways they can be so close or feel so close that they believe that each of them should know how the other one feels,” Cohen-Sandler said. “What happens as a result is they don’t communicate.” Or they communicate harshly, in ways they’d never “dare speak to everyone else,” which causes hurt feelings that “don’t go away so easily,” she said.

Because moms and daughters aren’t mind readers, be clear and calmly state how you’re feeling. Also, speak your “mind in a very heartfelt but gentle way.” Is your mom treating you like a child? Simply say, “Mom, you’re not treating me like an adult.”

STEP 2

Be a good listener

Active listening is “reflecting back what the other person is saying,” instead of assuming you already know, Cohen-Sandler said. When you reflect back what your mom or daughter is saying, you’re telling her that she’s being heard and that you understand.

Also, listen to the feelings underlying the message,which is often the real message, she said. If  mom says, ‘you’re acting like a doormat,’ the daughter hears that as being horribly critical (and that she’s not good enough), but what the mom is really saying is, “I feel so protective of you because you’re not protecting yourself.”

STEP 3

Put yourself in her shoes.

If you’re a daughter, think of your mom as a woman with her own wounds and hurts, who was born and raised in a different generation with different values and difficult family relationships and issues.

As such, address your mom or daughter’s feelings with empathy and offer a compromise, Cohen-Sandler suggested. If your mom really wants to hang out, instead of saying “Stop asking me, you know I’m busy,” say, “I know how much you want to meet with me, and I wish I could but I can’t do it this week; can we do it next week?”

STEP 4

Learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is “an individual act,” It differs from reconciliation, which takes both people and isn’t always possible. Forgiving someone isn’t saying that what happened is OK. It’s not condoning, pardoning or minimizing the impact, she said.

Linda Mintle views forgiveness as key for well-being. “I’m constantly telling daughters you have to forgive your mom in order to be healthy.” “The power of forgiveness is really for the person who forgives.”

(On a related note, “the better you can forgive, the better you can repair damage quickly,” Linda Mintle said.)

STEP 5

Stick to the present.

Moms and daughters tend to have “an old argument that runs like a broken record in the background,” Cohen-Sandler said. It becomes their default disagreement. Instead, avoid “bring[ing] up old gripes from the past,” and try to focus on the present.

STEP 6

 Don’t bring in third parties.

It’s common for mothers and daughters to bring someone else into their conflict. A daughter might involve dad because mom is driving her crazy. Mom might involve another child because she feels like she can’t talk to her daughter. Either way, talk directly to the person.

Following these steps by Cohen-Sandler and Linda Mintle can give you a better insight of how to make a mother-daughter relationship stronger than ever,so try practicing if your relationship is falling  apart.

 

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