If you were to set a status for your Mother/Daughter connection, would it be ‘in a relationship’ or ‘it’s complicated?” Moms and daughters can answer this question—there’s no wrong answer. There are some of us who interact more like best friends and sisters, while others spend more time arguing or avoiding an argument with distance. Regardless of your status, if you are both open to improving your relationship, these steps can take you in the right direction.
Try to Understand One Another
I can’t tell you how many mothers and daughter both think, “I just don’t understand you.” There is nothing wrong with this. We all have different experiences in life, even when you’re living in the same household. Remember, there’s also a generational gap between the both of you so what your mom was used to growing up, most likely isn’t the same as what you’ve witnessed and the environment you’re in.
Both moms and daughters should take this into account and start the dialogue. Ask specific questions about why one another says and does certain things you don’t agree with. You can even address tone and body language. Sometime’s it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
Make Time For One Another
This is important for every relationship. Find your common interests and a time that you can both enjoy them together. Have fun with one another—it can help you both get to know each other. Moms, don’t shy away from opening up about past experiences from your childhood—good and bad. Being more transparent with your daughter can build trust in your relationship and help her open up to you as well.
Think Before You Talk
Every mom and daughter has had at least one major blow out, right. Most of them happen right at the height of being a teenager when hormones and raging and everything mom is saying warrants an instant eye roll. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a temporary phase, and these arguments can persist through adulthood.
In the heat of any argument, try to control your emotions enough to think before you say anything you’ll regret. Two or three words said within seconds can have a lasting impact on both of you. Discussions that turn into a screaming match normally happen when one or both of you have been holding emotions in for a while. To avoid this, try to be more open about your feelings. Tell her everything that makes you tick, from what she says to how she says it. Remember, to express yourself in a calm manner so your voice is heard and taken seriously, rather than mid-argument.
You both need to forgive for your relationship to flourish. Otherwise, there will always be a blockade stopping you both from enjoying the best sides of one another. Forgiveness starts with communicating the hurt that your mom or daughter has caused, whether you have a one-on-one with her, or need the help of a therapist. Make a commitment to yourself to free yourself from that pain so you both can move on to a healthier relationship.
Asking your mom, or your daughter to answer the relationship status question is a good way to break the ice and start the dialogue. Ask one another, are you ‘in a relationship,’ or is ‘it complicated.” Then talk about why you gave your responses and take the conversation from there.
We can be our worst critics without even realizing that we’re tearing ourselves down. Learn the importance of forgiving yourself and how to do it.
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