“Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”
There are many things a mother can do to build a healthy relationship with her daughter. She can also do many things to spoil it. Not all mother-daughter relationships are loving and warm. An unfriendly and bitter relationship has become very common these days. Psychological research cites eight most visible patterns that can poison a blooming mother-child relationship.
1. Being dismissive – Some mothers do not pay attention to what their daughters achieve in life. The grandeur of their achievement is not as important as a little recognition of it from their mothers is. A constant denial of their daughters’ wishes would leave a bad impact on them. They would gradually start doubting their self-worth. In both the situations a daughter would feel unimportant to her mother. This would only increase the distance in their relationship.
2. Being controlling – Looking out for your child has always been the first priority of a mother. However, a mother should not end up controlling her daughter in the name of protecting her. A daughter grows up under the guidance of a mother. However a mother should know when to let her go. That’s how her daughter will grow. That’s how she’ll learn to take responsibility for herself. If a mother intimidates her daughter to seek her validation for everything she does, it would only make the latter feel claustrophobic under her care.
3. Being unavailable – A child always desires emotional availability from her mother. A mother can become their first friend and confidante. Display of physical affection like hugging and comforting also becomes a part of this emotional relationship. A mother who is unavailable to her daughter when the latter goes through a crisis, can leave a fatal impact on their relationship. A literal abandonment of a daughter can sever all ties with the mother. Similarly, a mother should always take into consideration what her daughter wants before leaving her with the other parent.
4. Being enmeshed – On one hand, when unavailable and dismissive mothers fail to construct a bond with their daughters, enmeshed mothers are so much involved in the lives of their daughters, that the daughters now crave for their own space. For these kind of mothers, their daughters’ world becomes their own. Their achievements, their own achievements. They would also pressurize their daughters in many ways to fulfill their own unaccomplished dreams. Their daughters would end up lacking a sense of self and identity. It would later on impede their growth into an independent human being.
5. Being combative – Some mothers never hesitate to use or misuse their full authority and power. They would openly criticize and humiliate their daughters aiming to teach them a lesson. They do not even hesitate to resort to verbal and physical abuse. However, this would lead to an ever existing mother-daughter conflict.
6. Being unreliable – It is important for a daughter to develop a reliable relationship with their mother. This entirely depends on how the mother behaves with her daughter. If she changes her behavior as quickly as a chameleon, it would be impossible for the daughter to expect something concrete of her. She might be all smiling one moment and screaming at her the other. The daughter would never know whether her mother could be trusted on her word.
If you are already a mother or is about to become, try to avoid these traits in your relationship with your daughter. It would definitely reduce your chances of ruining the relationship.