Half of my clients are mothers with adults and not so daughters. Their relationship is difficult to characterize unambiguously. Quarrels, tears, recriminations, misunderstandings.
Why is there no understanding between two such close people, between two women? Why, despite love, do they keep fighting?
This article is written for both daughters and mothers. Use it as a relationship map: read and note where difficulties arise in the relationship with the mother or daughter.
Awareness of the problem is already part of the solution.
Relationships are the responsibility of two. Therefore, I am sad to read books and articles where only mothers or only children are accused of everything.
If you are experiencing difficulties in a relationship with someone, believe that that someone also has a difficult time with you. It’s good if you let your mom / daughter read this article and discuss where your problems lie.
So what can negatively affect a mother-daughter relationship?
Misconceptions about parenting
We transfer to our children the methods of upbringing that parents used to us. Often such transfers are not even realized.
Mothers realize with horror that they are ridiculing a child in front of strangers, just as their parents ridiculed them in childhood. Or that they do not pay attention to the child, although they themselves also suffered from loneliness in childhood.
Bookstore shelves are full of dubious parenting literature that offers strange advice to young parents.
Misconceptions about the mother’s upbringing – the beginning of resentment in the child, undermining trust in the relationship.
What to do?
In the conversation between the child and the mother, understanding and closeness are born. If you are a mom, try asking your child how he feels when you do this or that.
Do not expect immediately intelligible answers, especially if the child is small. But he will let you know that he is offended or, conversely, calm. Remember your childhood more often and try on the methods of upbringing used to yourself.
If you are a daughter, then learn to tell your mom about your feelings and thoughts. Don’t blame her, but talk about feelings. Say what you want her to talk to you more or that it hurts you when she talks to you like that.
Learn to talk about it, and you will see how the relationship is improving.
We are all faced with life circumstances that leave wounds in the soul. Sometimes these wounds bleed and remind of themselves all my life.
When we are faced with a situation that reminds us of a traumatic experience, all the energy is spent only on staying “sane”, not limping down and maintaining the appearance of well-being.
If the mother-daughter interaction resembles a traumatic situation from the past, it can be difficult to establish close relationships.
For example, a 9-year-old daughter’s behavior resembles her mother’s behavior at the same age when she had a fight with her best friend.
Talking about men reminds her daughter of how her mother laughed at a party with guests, that her “baby” has not met anyone yet.
When we face our own injuries, we use all our energy to stop the bleeding.
Thus, we either do not react to the person who reminded us of this situation, we withdraw into ourselves, or we react inappropriately.
What to do?
Work through traumatic experiences. Individual or group psychotherapy. Analyze that in the mother / daughter’s behavior remind you of a painful situation in the past. Express the pain you are saving yourself.
Let yourself mourn the loss or injury if you’ve held back tears before. Get angry if you suppressed anger.
The main thing is to give an outlet to the accumulated feelings.
Lack of contact with the inner child
The inner child is a huge resource. It is a source of spontaneity, creativity and fun.
Talking about trivia with your mother / daughter, having fun together, laughing until you drop, or doing creative work is a sign that your inner child feels free and calm in this relationship.
But what if it doesn’t exist? If in a relationship you only feel tension and resentment? It is important to understand what is holding the inner child down. Why doesn’t he show himself in full force, is he afraid of condemnation? Or afraid of being punished for being too gay?
Someone is sure that being an adult means erasing everything childish from their thoughts and behavior. It often happens that the inner child of the mother himself has not “played enough” yet. He himself still needs a lot of warmth, care and attention.
Then the mother has to be torn between the inner child and the real child. It turns out that you either cheat yourself or your daughter. The choice is difficult and unfair.
What to do?
If the inner child feels stiff with the mother / daughter, try to talk about it together. Discuss what kind of creativity you could do together, or how to diversify the encounters so that the inner child has a place in them.
If you feel that the inner child himself still needs care and warmth, then give them to him. This does not have to be done to the detriment of the relationship with the daughter or mother. Find out what the inner child needs and meet his needs.
Remember that the relationship of a mother and daughter is a miracle and a sacrament that two women who are dear to each other keep. It is easy to break this sacrament and difficult to restore later.
Be careful and attentive to each other.