Parenting

Mother-Daughter Relationship: Insights Into This Beautiful Bond

Out of all the relationships that one might form in their life, a mother-daughter relationship is the first and most important one. Right from conceiving to giving birth, a daughter’s first relationship is with her mother. A mother’s role in her daughter’s life will evolve throughout their relationship – she’s a protector in the childhood years, a mentor in the young adult years and a confidant during adulthood.

Why is a mother-daughter relationship so important?

According to the Journal of Neuroscience, the corticolimbic circuitry is responsible for regulating emotions in our brain. This part is more biologically similar between a mother and a daughter; than in a mother-son or father-son/daughter relationship.

It is a known scientific fact that parents have genetic and environmental influences on the children, and their cognitive growth, behaviour, and brain. This difference only makes the mother-daughter relationship even more important.

A healthy relationship between the two can be advantageous to the daughter’s growth while an unhealthy one can give rise to self-esteem, identity, anxious relationship issues, and unhealthy behaviours that may also affect other relationships.

What are some unhealthy/toxic behaviours that damage this relationship?

1. Guilt-tripping

This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, may it be a mother-daughter one or any other. Guilt should not be used to manipulate the other into feeling or acting in a certain way because it creates negative feelings of resentment and distance in the relationship.

During any conflict, don’t use past experiences or problems as a means to guilt the other or to “win” the argument. Any healthy relationship should have a better means of resolving conflict than guilt-tripping.

2. No Conflict resolution

All relationships experience conflict at some point in time so it is important to come up with ways to address any problems that may arise. Make sure both the people get to talk about their point of view, don’t bring up past conflicts, do not sweep this issue under the rug, talk and decide on how to resolve the issue. Sometimes some conflicts arise because of differences in thinking, if they can’t be resolved then it should be made sure that both the mother and the daughter agree to disagree on it, and then let it go.

3. No boundaries

Lack of healthy boundaries can create a strain on the relationship, things like spending time together, sharing about themselves and discussing personal feelings shouldn’t be forced. Instead, have an open dialogue about how much time you want to spend with each other and how much or what are you willing to talk about with each other. Establishing boundaries does not limit your relationship but helps you make it healthy and navigate it to avoid conflict.

What are some tips to improve mother-daughter relationships?

1. Do an activity together

It is important to spend time together to help nurture any relationship. Try to make time for each other may it be once a week/month and do something together.

Some of the activities you can do together are going on walks, spending time cooking, watching movies, taking an art class, wearing same dresses and click pictures. When you spend time doing something that you like that helps you feel good in your relationship.

2. Be open to learning

Growing up it’s the mother that teaches her daughter about values, actions and other things in life, but when the daughter grows into an adult it is just as important for the mother to learn from her daughter and the things that she’s experienced or believes in. They should both learn from each other and try to understand the other’s opinions.

3. Allow room for mistakes

As a mother you have to let your daughter have experienced, may it be good or bad, sometimes growing also means making mistakes and failing at times. As a daughter, it is important to remember that your mother like any other human being can make a mistake and you don’t put her on a pedestal. This understanding will only help the mother-daughter relationship to grow and mature healthily.

4. Let them be who they are

In any healthy relationship, both of you should be your true self. In a mother-daughter relationship, it is crucial to remember that you should accept the other the way they are; and not who you think they should be. Trying to change each other will lead to conflict and resentment.

Like any human relationship, a mother-daughter relationship is complex and requires attention. There are times when differences will arise but they can always be resolved if handled patiently. All relationships evolve, and that’s why we need to have healthy practices that keep the bond strong and healthy. Remember that any healthy relationship requires an effort from both people and that relationships are an ongoing process so, you need to keep working on it.

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