Mother and daughter: correcting mistakes
The mother-daughter relationship is always tricky. Ideally, a mother and daughter should live in harmony; be close and loving friends; a mentor and a disciple (and when the daughter has grown up, she may also be a mentor in some issues); exchanging experiences and female wisdom; supporting each other in everything. I think everyone would like just such a relationship with their mother or daughter.
Unfortunately, in reality, this is not always the case. Even in the most harmonious mother-daughter relationship, there are pitfalls and conflict moments. When a woman talks about her mother, her emotions are always ambiguous.
Mother and daughter
In our society, the image of a mother is adopted as a gentle and loving woman for her child. However, the mother is her own person, with her own emotions, life principles, experience,s and degree of trauma. The same can be said for the daughter. They do not always agree with each other, they do not always approve of each other. This is an eternal confrontation between female wisdom, mentoring with the adventurous and carelessness of youth, everyday experience, and a young, sharp, but not yet fledged mind. In some respects, conflicts arise sporadically, while in others they are complex and even hostile.
One way or another, your relationship with your mom determines your attitude towards yourself. If you don’t accept your mother, criticize her, then you don’t accept yourself. After all, your mother raised you, you have her genes (mind, appearance, way of thinking). Mom is the first person we meet when we are born. Mom teaches us to perceive the world. Therefore, the relationship with her has such a strong impact on the fate and life of a person.
In this article, I would like to talk about the key mistakes in the relationship called “mothers and daughters.” We’ll go over each of them in detail, and then I’ll show you how to work on and fix them.
Mom is like an enemy.
Alas, it often happens in our society that the closest person – the mother becomes an enemy for her daughter. This can only happen sporadically, at the time of a quarrel. But there are also especially difficult cases when perennial grievances and conflicts develop into a strong hostile attitude towards each other. Consider the reasons for the formation of such a relationship.
Psychologists and psychotherapists conditionally divide the relationship between mother and daughter into three stages:
This is the period of childhood when the child is completely dependent on his mother when she is the main person in his life and without her, he feels helpless.
Mom, let go.
This is adolescence. The person begins to realize his independence, is interested in the world around him. Mom’s overprotection and protection are no longer needed. This is a time of rebellion, protest, leaving home. But a fragile personality is not yet completely independent, and still returns to her mother, home.
Mom, leave me alone.
This stage occurs when the personality is fully formed and independent in social and material terms. The child is no longer a child and does not need parental care, advice, and even more so, instructions on how to build his life.
These three stages are the norm in the family. And if both parties (both mother and daughter) perceive them normally, with understanding and loyalty to what is happening, the relationship is maintained. If there is a protest against their natural development, if one of them does not let go, forces the other, dissonance arises. And its result is enmity.
Now let’s look at what mistakes a mother and daughter make in a relationship, and I will try to offer you possible options for correcting them.
For those who have recently become a mother, these tips will be very useful for the correct upbringing of their daughter in the future.
The first mistake: you will become what I could not become.
For every mother, a daughter, to one degree or another, is the embodiment of herself. Every mother wishes for her daughter only the best fate and happy life. But associating herself with her daughter on a subconscious level, she sometimes sees her daughter’s blessing in her realizing her mother’s dreams and programs – something that her mother did not have time to or could not do herself. For example, a girl is given to dances because her mother always wanted to become a ballerina. But life turned out in such a way that this dream had to be abandoned. And she is sincerely convinced that if her daughter is realized in the dance field, she will be happy.
Mom sees it like this: “After all, being a ballerina, dancing on a big stage, being famous – what could be more beautiful, what else is happiness, if not this?” At the same time, she forgets that each person sees happiness in his own way and can be fully realized only in the area that he likes. It often happens that the girl is not really interested in dancing at all. Let’s say she’s much more interested in computers. But my mother considers this desire “stupid, empty”, calls it foolishness. And suppresses it.
How does your daughter react to this? An obedient girl with a gentle character, of course, loves her mother, trusts her, and obeys her in everything. She diligently fulfills her programs, diligently studies ballet. But if she has other interests, then ballet is difficult for her. She feels that she does not live up to the expectations of her mother, as well as of her teachers, and lags behind her classmates in success. Along with this, she subconsciously reaches out, for example, to technology or programming, is passionate about mathematics. But since my mother does not approve of these activities, she also does not allow herself to develop in an interesting field. The girl develops a neurosis.
Its results are illness, prolonged depression. For years, a secret or unconscious resentment towards mom, irritability towards her can mature. The results can be dire. In general, the result is as follows: the daughter will still not be able to fully realize herself in the imposed sphere and will feel unhappy, unsuccessful all her life.
If the daughter is by nature a courageous rebel who is not afraid to contradict her parents, then the mother will already feel depressed and unhappy. My daughter dropped out of music school and became interested in extreme sports – it means that I have a bad daughter, I am a bad mother, I did not instill proper interests – this is how my mother feels in such a situation. Conflicts arise and hatred grows. The daughter does not live up to the expectations of the mother, thereby causing deep disappointment in her. “You didn’t work out for me, you’re not a good one,” Mom often says or thinks about her.
The daughter also suffers from the confrontation that she herself presents to the mother. Her soul reaches out to her mother and expects love from her. But he feels her disappointment in her, coldness and misunderstanding. They often have conflicts and enmity is formed, open or hidden, which can last for many and many years, or even a lifetime.
How do I fix the error?
A mother needs to accept her child not as her improved copy, but as a separate person, with her own desires, interests, and plans for life. Even if a daughter is only 6 years old, the importance of her decisions about herself cannot be underestimated. Let her choose her own path and accept it.
If the situation described above has become a stumbling block in your relationship “mother-daughter”, you can do the following: the mother must accept the activities of her daughter, stop projecting her vision of an ideal life onto her. The daughter should get rid of her guilt and do what she really always wanted.
The second mistake: I gave birth to you – now you will always owe me.
This problem arises when the daughter becomes an adult. Mothers who have devoted their entire lives to children experience this moment very painfully. Her little friend, her beloved daughter, who was always there, suddenly leaves her parental home, she begins a new interesting life: young people are courting, she leaves to study or work in another city, gets married, and develops comprehensively. Mom feels devastated.
Reproaches begin from her side: you don’t call me anymore, you don’t write, you completely forgot about your mother. Sometimes mothers try with all their might to continue to participate in their daughter’s life, want to know about all her affairs, criticize and give advice, interfere in her relationships with friends and in her personal life.
The forgotten mother
They cannot let go of their daughter and come to terms with the fact that she has become independent. Here, again, two outcomes are possible: a submissive daughter, accustomed to obeying her mother in everything, under the influence of a deep sense of guilt, abandons all her affairs, to disagree with an unwanted boyfriend, does not go to another city for a promising job – she does everything just so as not to upset her beloved mother, do not leave her alone. At the same time, she is deeply unhappy and lonely: attachment to her parents does not allow her to build a full-fledged life of her own.
In the case of the brave protesting daughter, the mother suffers deeply, feeling lonely and forgotten. The daughter is irritated and forced to defend her integrity and personal territory in front of her mother forever. But this is a person close to her.
In both cases, the result will be a latent or direct confrontation, scandals, quarrels.
How to solve the problem: Mom needs to switch to her personal life, find new hobbies and aspirations – that is, move to a new stage of life, recognizing that the mission of raising her daughter has been completed. Daughters, on the other hand, should not forget about their mother, they should pay more attention to her and show their love for her.
The third mistake: the father is the third extra.
In a pair of “mom and daughter – two girlfriends” sometimes there is no place for a father. The mother is completely busy with her daughter, and the dad does not know how to approach them and remains on the sidelines. But it is very important for a girl to get her father’s education. From her father, she learns to communicate with men and perceive them correctly. It is a mom who can help establish contact between dad and daughter, a lot depends on her in this regard.
Mistake four: you must live next to me.
This error is partly due to error number three. Mom cannot let her daughter go into adulthood, come to terms with the fact that her child does not need her so much now. When a man appears in her daughter’s life, and especially when she gets married and begins to live with her family concerns, the mother feels jealous.
She, without realizing it, manipulates her daughter, complaining that she forgets her, that she misses her. Often such jealous mothers try in every way to ensure that their daughter moves to live with her chosen one to her mother. Of course, if you managed to achieve the move, the next stage will be a criticism of the new family member – the son-in-law, and his subsequent survival. So she wins back her beloved child. It sounds crazy, but many women do not even realize that this is exactly what they are doing.
Mistake five: you always choose the wrong men.
Each mother has her own ideal of a man. We wish our daughters a happy marriage, and, of course, we are sincerely unhappy if she chose the wrong person from our point of view. Since the tastes of the mother and daughter do not very often coincide, the chosen ones of the daughter will almost always be “different” for the mother. And the point is not that this man is really bad, but that he does not correspond to the maternal ideal.
When a daughter chooses “the wrong one,” a caring mother, truly motivated only by the concern and good intentions, seeks to destroy her relationship with this person. Do you know how mothers criticize their daughter’s favorites? But mom is an authority, a wise and loving person, and in many her opinion is very important. Over and over again, her criticism undermines her daughter’s confidence in the correctness of the choice, even if she seeks to reason soberly and objectively. Mom’s opinion seems to “drip on her brains.” In a couple, quarrels begin, the result is parting.
If the daughter still stubbornly resists her mother’s criticism and marries an “unworthy”, they can become enemies for a long time.
If the daughter obeys the mother in everything and rejects all those whom the mother did not like, over time another problem arises. By the age of 25-27, the mother still understands that it’s time for her daughter to get married. She begins to nag her for the fact that she still has not chosen a worthy man for her family. At the same time, she does not even realize that she herself was the reason for this all this time. Some mothers start looking for suitors for their late daughter.
Of course, unsuccessfully, because the daughter still has her own taste, and she does not work out with any of the proposed candidates.
What can be done in this situation?
Mom is a dear person who wants happiness for us. In addition, she has life experience behind her, she is wise and sees a lot in advance. Her advice about her love life is also not based entirely on empty jealousy. There are times when it is really worth listening to her, taking a closer look at the chosen ones whom she proposes to her daughter, and marrying one of them. And while it’s risky, sometimes parents really see what’s best for us.
Ideally, in matters of personal life, the mother should only gently guide her daughter, without criticism or censure explaining why, for example, her boyfriend is not suitable for her. If the mother sees that her daughter has chosen a bad, unreliable, irresponsible person, it is worth telling her about the possible consequences of her choice (lack of money, betrayal, lack of help with children). This will have a much greater effect than aggressive criticism. Daughters should also listen to the mother’s opinion in matters of personal life.
The sixth mistake. This is not how you raise your child.
When a daughter has children of her own, mothers look at it from the perspective of their life experience. They, having gone from beginning to end the path of raising their child, immediately see that young parents are doing wrong, on which they should work. Becoming grandmothers, mothers often cannot but interfere in the process of raising and caring for a child, thereby causing aggression and misunderstanding.
Way out: learn to give advice to your daughter unobtrusively and delicately, let her cope with new tasks herself, entrust her with raising the baby, and gently guide her in this. The daughter, in turn, should listen to her mother and learn from her experience.
For a child, harmony in the relationship between mother and grandmother is also very important, since he, like a sponge, absorbs information, adopts the behavior patterns of others. And the daughter in the future will treat you the same way you treated her grandmother, simply copying you.
“Don’t teach me how to live, better help me financially!”
A young and sharp mind encourages experiments, makes you try new things. Sometimes we do not listen to our mother, considering her opinion outdated, inapplicable to modern life. In some situations, it is really worth putting aside the concerns of your elders and deciding on something. However, you need to respect the mother’s opinion, her experience, and wisdom and listen to what she says. Respect, gentle treatment of mom is the key to a successful and harmonious relationship with her.
Mom was no longer needed.
When a daughter leaves the family, a new life drags on her. We are so busy with problems that we forget to call our mothers. But this offends them so deeply: they begin to feel lonely and unnecessary. No matter how busy you are, take time to call her, come over, help with the housework, go shopping or go to the movies together. Maintain a relationship with your mom, let her feel your care – and she will answer you with love and gratitude.
Criticism of my mother’s life.
In response to a mother’s advice, it is so easy to hurt her by criticizing her life. “You yourself have not achieved anything – so don’t teach me.” Not only mothers criticize us, but the grown-up daughter also has her own opinion about what is happening. This is a fundamentally wrong position. If the mother does something wrong, the daughter must either accept it or report it very delicately, without offending her.
Mom should always help me.
Some daughters believe that a mother if she is already aged and retired, cannot have a personal life, and her only purpose now is to help her with the housework, sit with her grandchildren and help her daughter in everything. Of course, mom does this – how can you not help your beloved child. This situation is typical for families with hyper-caring mothers who are fully dedicated to the family. Spoiled children habitually exploit their mothers unceremoniously.
However, the daughter should respect the mother’s personal space and stop using it, finally give her freedom.
How to improve your relationship with your mom?
If the relationship with the mother is hostile, at an impasse, then work with a psychologist is very effective. First, the specialist works with each of you separately, then general therapy is carried out. However, if your mom does not share the desire to go to a psychologist with you or does not want to listen to you at all, even your work on yourself alone will help greatly improve your relationship.
How is therapy carried out:
Stage One – Adopt Mom
Look at the mother, not as a parent, but as a person in general. Try to determine the reasons why she behaves with you in one way or another and in what situations, why she has such life principles. Acceptance of a mother is very important for a person because until you accept her, as long as there is resentment in your soul against her, you will not be able to accept yourself. The attitude towards mom leaves a deep imprint on a woman’s life.
Stage two – reconciliation
It’s very important to make peace with your mom, even if you haven’t spoken for many years, and the resentment is firmly rooted in your hearts. How best to do this depends specifically on your situation, and a psychotherapist will help you with this. If, unfortunately, for some reason reconciliation is impossible, write a letter to your mother. Such a letter really helps to cope with such a deep mental trauma as the breakup with the mother, it will help to forgive everything and let go of the situation.
It is important to understand that over the years, mom and daughter move away from each other. The daughter has her own family and concerns. This is not a break in relations, but their transition to a new quality level. Both mother and daughter must become independent, learn to live independently, without each other. This transition period is very difficult for mom. It is more difficult for her to rebuild, switch to a new goal because she devoted the last 20-25 years of her life to children. And age no longer contributes to psychological flexibility. The daughter’s task is to support her mother during this period, delicately help to find new interests and occupations, to captivate with something. In order to keep in touch with your mom, you can even find some common hobbies. Then neither you nor your mother will feel deprived of each other’s attention.
A harmonious relationship with mom is very important for any woman since attitude to mom is an indicator of her attitude to the world and to herself, her perception of herself as a woman. And this, in turn, greatly affects relationships with other people, with a spouse, and on fate in general.
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