It is very common knowledge that the relationship between a mother and her child is extremely important. It is also very well known that the mother as well as the child are vital influential parts of each other’s lives. In this article I am not reinventing the wheel, I am merely pointing out the special nuances and strengths as well as the fragility of the relationship between a mother and her daughter. For as strong and wonderfully powerful this relation can be, it has the potential, if not understood or conducted well, to be just as devastating and destructive. I know from my own experience that I constantly have to work on my relationship with my daughter to make sure I am the best mom I can be. I chose mother and daughter not for any particular reason. Sons are no less important!
The most influential person in a girl’s life is probably her mother. She helps shape her, mold her and the woman the mother is serves as the guiding light and the hero/enemy of that daughter. Keep in mind that both are growing and changing with time, and the ability to adapt to not just the mother’s growth and changing environment, but the daughter’ as well is extremely important. How many times do you hear the following statement, whether you have heard it said to you or you have said it to your daughter: In our days, this never happened…we always listened…we never had the freedom you have…and so on and so forth. This seems like such a trivial thing, but in reality, it is not. Mothers who are able to adapt to the new rules of the age will fare much better and have a much better relationship with their daughters than those who can’t. Some will have resentment to their children! Yes, some may hate the fact that her daughter has more or gets to do things she never did and be angry with her. Here are some problem areas that we as mothers may go through.
- Our girls are growing up: When they are really young children, they are attached to us at the hip and they idolize us. As they grow older, they start to separate themselves from us, especially during adolescence and develop their own understanding and opinion of this world. They start to disagree and argue with their mothers. The more the mother understands that this is normal, the better the relationship.
- We are growing up: Who you are when your daughter is born is much different ten and 15 years later. Whether it is in your career, in your maturity, in your womanhood, in your physical and mental health…we also grow up. As such, we look at things differently, and we are challenged more. Some of us get more of an open mind as we develop, others may become more possessive and fearful. Whoever you become, make sure you understand the effects on yourself and your daughter.
- Times are changing: I alluded to this before. Computers in bedrooms are normal, staying up late is normal, cell phones are normal, talking to many boys are normal, questioning authority is normal…All what you thought you did not do and knew you had no access to is now normal…and mothers who are stuck in the world of their own childhood will have a very hard time communicating and understanding their daughters circa 2015!
- Mistakes will be made: Look, your daughter will make mistakes, plenty of them. Daughters are often criticized by their mothers for their choice in education, boyfriends, careers and lives. The converse is also true. Girls often criticize their mothers and blame them for problems in their relationships or careers. We are to be supportive of them. They will make mistakes. Do not judge them and do not want for them to go through your path because it is familiar to you. Further, do not have them go 180 degrees opposite of who you are because you are so unhappy with who you have become. Let them be themselves and you support and love unconditionally.
- Raising a daughter and forging a wonderful relationship starts with your own self. If you are not happy and aware and mindful of who you are, you will not be able to raise your daughter and be the best mother and friend to her you can be.
- You are not rivals. You will disagree but do not let this break your wonderful relationship with her.
- Do not project your problems on your children and do not put her in the middle of your problems. Some mothers will actually involve their children in blaming the father for example or separating herself from the dad by stating things like education and work and … You do not make an ally of your daughter by “bringing her to your side”. You help destroy who she is and her possible relationship with men and others in her young and later older life.
There is so much to talk about yet it all revolves around a few simple truths:
Motherhood is about your children. Womanhood is about you. Separate the two and be mindful. Your daughter will grow to be the best woman she can possibly be according to herself, not you. We are mothers in training. None of us is perfect, so do not demand it from our daughters. Finally, the magic ingredient that is at the root of all healthy relationships, none more than this, is love. Unconditional pure understanding love: To yourself and to your daughter. In your strength…she will find hers.