How to build a healthier Mother-Daughter Relationship
Listen without giving advice.
When your mother or daughter comes to talk to you about something going on in their life, it can be hard to stop yourself from telling them what to do. As someone who loves them, you want their life to be smooth and happy, and it can be hard when you see them acting in a way that you wouldn’t choose to act. When they’re telling you their problem, do the best you can to listen, observe, and reflect back what they’re saying to you. Stay away from beginning statements with words like, “you need to,” or “why don’t you,” as these tend to assign blame and put your loved one on the defensive.
Engage in a fun activity – just for the fun of it.
If you have a tough relationship with your mother or your daughter, it can be easy to make every time you see each other into an opportunity to hash out conflict. It’s important to spend time just doing something fun together. Taking a painting class, going for a walk, or going out to dinner to talk about what’s going on in your lives without getting into the nitty-gritty of your relationship can be a lovely way to strengthen your bond.
Chat it up in the car
If your daughter is young enough that she still lives in your house, spending time together in the car can be a great way to have conversations. The lack of eye contact can make it easier to bring up tough topics, and awkward silences don’t feel awkward when you’re enjoying the scenery. Don’t force your daughter to chat, but feel free to ask her questions about what’s going on in her life. Remember, give her time to think and process – it’s ok if she seems hesitant at first. She may just need some time to open up.
Learn something new together
Sign up for a cooking class, try out a Groupon for a workout class that neither of you have done before, or volunteer together at a new charity. When you see your mom learning something, you’ll begin to wrap your head around the idea that she’s a regular woman, just like you – she struggles and overcomes when trying something new. You’ll bond together over a new experience, and you’ll have a few laughs along the way.
Above all, remember that at the root of most mother-daughter conflict is love
Mothers want the best for their daughters, and it can be hard to sit back and watch them make what the mother believes to be a mistake. Daughters want the best for their mothers, and they can feel frustrated when their mother gets stuck in her ways. When you communicate with your mother or daughter, always remember to speak from a place of love, and your message is more likely to be hear.