For a baby, a mother is her whole world! Mom feels her daughter in her belly. She teaches her the first words, gives her movement, helps to control her own body. In other words, she lives in close connection with her daughter. In turn, the child is slowly growing, mastering the skills of self-service, begins to study and understand her body, to become aware of herself.
And at some point, the girl distances herself from her mother and reveals that she herself is not just a person, but a small woman. And that means: she needs a man – that is, a dad.
The first stage of the competition
This period usually occurs between the ages of three and six. Freud called it “gender-role identification.”
The main psychological task of this stage is the girl’s awareness of herself as a future adult woman. On a subconscious level, she wants to be like a mother and, perhaps, even replace her. She begins to fight for her father’s attention. A mother must show mature behavior in order to avoid destructive competition:
- Mom has nothing to fear. She should remember that her daughter is a little girl and not a real competitor.
- The mother needs to help her daughter to separate two concepts, which are merged into one in the child’s ideas: the love of the husband and the love of the father. This can be done as follows: “Daddy loves me as his wife, and daddy loves you as his daughter. And these are two different things.” Such a message is really important. You need to help the girl understand that her dad loves her like a father. This is what gives the daughter a sense of security, safety, and admiration. Through his love, the little girl realizes herself as valuable and worthy.
- Allow your daughter to have her own opinion and to think for herself.
The girl continues to idealize her mother, but at the same time, she will make attempts to overthrow her from the pedestal. And mothers with low self-esteem of the daughter’s “attacks” (and such mothers usually position their child’s behavior in this vein) will not be easy to withstand. Most likely, phrases like these will sound: “You do not smell as tasty as my friend’s mom”, “You do not cook as tasty as the cooks in kindergarten”, “You do not have such a beautiful dress as the woman in the advertisement” … Thus, the girl makes it clear that she has her own views and tastes, that is, she is doing a very important thing – BUILDING OWN BORDERS.
Mom should gain wisdom and withstand this separation process with dignity. In the opposite case, that is, if the mother joins the competition and tries to drown out the child’s opinion with her authority, the girl will be suppressed, and a split into good and bad, into comfortable and naughty can occur. In this situation, the girl will begin to fight for her mother’s love, so as not to feel rejected. She will try to please her mother, please her, pushing her own needs into the background.
Mom can show her power and strength, as well as show and show stability. However, this should be done carefully and gently, through understanding, support, and care. A statement such as “you can separate from me, but I will continue to love you anyway.”
The second stage of the competition
This stage takes place from 12 to 18 years old, when the daughter becomes a girl: she has her own successes, she attracts the attention of the opposite sex, spends a lot of time with friends and girlfriends, and acquires idols. And, of course, during this time period, she listens less and less to her mother. This stage of separation is a time of harshness, objections, disputes. But on a subconscious level, the daughter wants her mother to support her protest so that the interaction will continue. In other words, it is really important for the girl that she is accepted with her rebellion, that her mother shares her experience and say something like: “You are my daughter, I love you and I am proud of you. You are preparing to become a woman, and I am ready to help at any time, as soon as you need it. “
Support the young girl’s desire for independence, and you will see that your relationship will become even more trusting and intimate. Allow her to make her own mistakes (and thus gain the necessary experience), as well as celebrate her victories and successes after making a perfect personal choice. Let the little girl go to be able to see in her a grown woman who will know for sure that your love is always with her!