Tips on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships
Mother-Daughter relationships can vary greatly from family to family. A mother-daughter relationship will also look very different over time depending on the age of the daughter as she grows. For purpose of this blog, we are going to focus on mother-daughter relationships when both the mother and the daughter are adults. Some mothers and daughters are best friends. Other mothers and daughters live in separate states and talk only on the holidays. Others fall somewhere in between. No matter where you fall in your relationship with your mother or your daughter, there is always room for improvement. Here are some tips on improving the relationship:
Moms- remember that your daughters are now adults. A mother will always look at her child in a motherly way, even when she becomes an adult, but it is important for a daughter as she becomes an adult to become independent and have more of a say over own her life. While it is okay for mothers to continue to give advice, it is not okay for mothers to try to make their daughter’s decisions for them. If your daughter is making a decision that you feel may be unhealthy, let her know in a kind and respectful way, but do not manipulate, guilt, pressure, or force her to do it your way.
Communication, communication, communication- Communication is of the utmost importance for any relationship. It is not only important to communicate, but to communicate in a healthy manner. If your style of communication is yelling to have your point heard, stop doing this immediately. People tend to shut down or yell back when being yelled at and will miss out on what you are saying. Talking respectfully about how you are feeling and clarifying rather than assuming helps to keep an open channel for communication between a mother and a daughter.
Quality bonding time helps to improve fractured relationships. Quality time brings us closest together when it involves communication, laughter, and fun. Sitting side by side in silence while watching television all day every time you see each other is not the best option for quality bonding time. Quality bonding time can include things such as: looking at childhood pictures together, going to the beach together or out on the boat together, shopping for daughter's wedding dress together, and/or eating a meal together while engaging in conversation and staying off of your phones.
Learn her love language. Different people tend to feel loved by different things. Dr. Gary Chapman refers to the 5 love languages as: Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Moms- find out how your daughter most feels loved. Does she feel most loved when she receives gifts, when you praise her with your words, or when you go over and help her paint the walls in her house when she decides on a home make-over? Daughters- do the same. Find out what makes mom feel loved. If you both learn to speak each others love language(s) then it will elevate the relationship to a whole new level.
Agree to disagree. Mothers and their adult daughters will not always see eye to eye and this is okay. Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree over situations that will not cause harm. If you two are dress shopping together and mom likes one dress better and daughter likes the other one better, that is a situation that in the bigger picture is not all that important and it’s okay to agree to disagree.