It’s our mother who is our creator, and we definitely owe our life to her. But, during our growing years, our relationship with our mother goes through its ups and downs. The essence of a strong, loving, and close-knit relationship between a mother and daughter is how they deal with the positives and negatives during the various phases.
You are the reason for my existence,
You taught me the way of life,
You made me a great person,
You taught me how to smile,
You are my queen,
Mama … I Love You.
Daughters are the most precious gifts that mothers can have. They remind them of their childhood days and growing up years. I guess, there is no relationship that is as primal as a mother-daughter relationship. She sees her replica in you, and you want to be like her when you grow up. When the relationship is so divine, how can it become strenuous? The very reasons that strengthen this bond are the reasons for weakening it as well. Daughters feel that their moms parent them at every stage, are critical, and demanding. On the other hand, moms feel that their daughters don’t obey them, make poor picks, or spare no time for them. The constant expectations from both ends sometimes leads to a strain in the relationship. But, why do girls forget that it is our mothers whom we rush to when we have the smallest cut on our hand or when we want an opinion on the latest dress that we bought? Like every other relationship, this one too, needs to be strengthened, and this AptParenting article will help you in constructing a better mother-daughter relationship.
Insights to Build a Healthy Mother-Daughter Relationship
Most of us think that the need to have a healthy relationship with our mothers is when we become grownups. But, the emotional bonding with our mothers begins as soon as we are born. The journey of our mother, from being a lady to a mother is amazing just because of us. Let us embark on this journey of our mother’s motherhood.
When We Are Born
This is the time when she begins her journey as a mother. Few women fear pregnancy but when they have their little angel in their arms, all their fear vanishes.
A research says that when women breastfeed, they release the “oxytocin” chemical that evokes loving emotions. So there it is! The loving emotions begin as soon as we are born. It is medically also advisable to breastfeed for at least 6 months. Imagine the amount of chemical that will be released and the emotional bonding developed between us and our mothers in those 6 months alone!
Taking care of the little girl strengthens the bond further. Being a part of the child’s daily regime will definitely bring the two of you closer. Set a daily routine for yourself, and start following it from the word go. The moment your daughter wakes up, be with her. Infants develop a sense of bonding with the person who sticks around with them the most. Feed her, bathe her, play with her, and help her fall asleep by reciting some bedtime stories. This regime will excite you, and the foundation of your healthy relationship will be laid.
My mother once told me that I was her doll when I was born and that she would take care of me like her favorite doll. I think this is the kind of love that is needed to build a healthy mother-daughter relationship.
When We Are in School
School age is the time when we are suddenly exposed to the outside world. We meet new people at school, make friends, interact with our teachers, and start to think. In school, we learn new things but are also expected to perform. These expectations were unknown to us till that time.
During this period, it is extremely important to let your daughter know that you love her no matter how she performs at school. This is the very point where the strains in the relationship can develop. Don’t overload the child with expectations. Instead guide her through her school years. You have been in the same place and will exactly know how it feels when you cannot perform in your school tests. It is necessary to make your daughter feel loved and understood, and at the same time, motivate her to do her best in her school tests.
Schooling is the time when your daughter is exposed to “dressing up”. Till now, she had always been at home and had never had a place outside home to go every day. She did not even have to compare herself with anyone. Now, she is among a bunch of little girls like her. This is the time when she will start to notice those hair bands, ribbons, and colorful dresses. Set a grooming session with your daughter every weekend. Help her in her daily activities. You can get her a new hairstyle that she can wear for the whole day. Trust me, your daughter will look forward to this day of the week.
Imitating our mother also starts at this age. Your daughter will want to wear all the dresses that you wear, or put on makeup like you do. But, take this imitation in a positive manner. If you are insecure about your figure, your personality, or your looks, try not to show these feelings in front of her. Teach her the importance of a good heart rather than a great body.
You are her only friend until she makes new ones in school. But, it is necessary for you to be her best friend. Make it a habit to ask your little angel about her day at school. You would be surprised to hear the innumerable stories that she has to share. Also, don’t limit the conversation to just listening to her stories; talk about your childhood days as well. Your daughter will love to know how you behaved when you were of her age. When she will find similarities between you and her childhood, she will feel closer to you.
When We Are in Our Teens
Parents fear teenage more than any other stage of their child’s growing years. Also, it is during this age that daughters start understanding their mothers better. But, this is also the stage when daughters are in their “our own world”.
The physical and emotional changes that your daughter undergoes during her teens is not unknown to you. But for her, it is the first time that she experiences peer pressure, exposure to the world of drugs and alcohol, may get trapped in the company of influential friends, and undergo changes in puberty. At this stage, just support her, be patient with her, and try not to lose your temper. Be with her in times of despair. Tell her that she can cry on your shoulder whenever she wants to, and she can always depend on you whenever she has a problem. Assure her that come what may you will always be with her. This sort of reassurance can prevent her from wrongdoings.
At this stage, most mothers want to be friends with their daughters. But, as I said earlier, cultivate this friendship when they are toddlers. You cannot expect your daughter to start speaking her mind all of a sudden. Moreover, at this stage, she needs a parent more than a friend. Don’t stop yourself from showing her the right path. Your young rebel will object to this, but don’t succumb to it. Teach her to respect your teachings.
As for daughters, this is the time when we feel our mothers are not on our side. Her constant suggestions may annoy us, and we may choose to turn a deaf ear to her advice. But what we forget is that she is the same woman whom we approached for every silly thing when we were young. Due to her vast experience, we can ask her advice before we take any important decisions. She has been there and seen it, so she will be the best judge of the situation. Having a discussion with her on the topics that trouble us can be a great way to connect. Also, if you have said things to her in a fit of anger when she was confronting or talking to you, remember to apologize to your mom. By saying sorry, you are not losing anything, instead only strengthening your relationship with your mother, your friend. I’m sure she will be proud that her little daughter has grown up now!
She was the one who taught us to do almost everything in our life. Then, why is it that we laugh when she cannot use the latest gadget? If you bought the latest phone, teach her how to operate it. Mothers will be more than obliged to learn new things from us. In this way, she will be in line with the latest developments.
We spend almost the entire day with our friends, and we want to spend even the weekends in the company of friends. There’s no harm in enjoying with friends, but due to this, we forget our original friend – our mom. Take your mom out to the cinema theater or to the newly opened mall. Spend some quality time with her, and watch the teen in her unfold.
When We Are Adults
By this stage, the relationship has already developed, and it may be difficult to change the perceptive about one another now. However, as one always says, it is better late than never. If we did undergo a rough relationship with our mothers, then as adults, we are now mature enough to let go of some things. It is necessary to understand that our mother is also an adult who has her own set of beliefs and thoughts. Over the years, some of her beliefs may have become a part of her lifestyle, which we can’t change. So, it is better to ignore stuff that don’t appeal to us. This way, we are keeping ourselves at a distance from potential arguments. This is the stage when she is no longer a mother, but a friend with whom you can share all those “emotional stuff” that men would rather not be interested in.
As for mothers, they need to realize now that their little angel has grown up to be a young woman. This young woman will have her own way of doing things which may be different from your style. If you think you have an easier way of dealing with stuff that is bothering your daughter, talk it out with her. Remember, gone are the days when you could simply command your daughter to do certain things. Today, you can explain things to her in a friendly manner, and she will understand.
Daughters are now grownups and can relate to a mother’s emotions better. You will find a great friend in your daughter who has now matured and can understand many problems that you may be facing. It is best to talk to your daughter and do things that friends do together. Plan a weekend trip sans your husband (and her family if she is married); let it be limited to just the two of you. Go over to her place and cook some delicious food together. If you stay together, allow her to cook new dishes for you. Go out, shop together, and watch movies.
Healthy mother-daughter relationships are built over the years. It is the efforts from both sides that make this beautiful relationship more lively and fulfilling. In every stage of the daughter’s growing years, the mother also grows in her motherhood. They may fight, have numerous arguments, not agree with each other on many topics, but they simply cannot live without each other. For every daughter, her mother is her first and most cherished friend, while for every mother, her daughter is the most precious gift she could ever ask for!