Mother-daughter Relationships: Why they’re so special and how to nurture yours

May 9, 2012, 2:15 am

The mother-daughter bond is unlike any other in one’s life—for some
it’s a strong bond, for others it’s a little wobbly, either way there are steps you can take to nurture the connection....

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The mother-daughter bond is unlike any other in one’s life—for some
it’s a strong bond, for others it’s a little wobbly, either way there are steps

you can take to nurture the connection.

Despite conflicts and some tensions in the relationship that
inevitably rise, a woman still has an instinctive need for approval from their
mother, even later in life. It is a complex relationship, where for some time
the daughter is an extension of the mother until she becomes her own separate

person.

Often it is not until adulthood that a daughter realises her
mother is a woman too, not just a mother. When these realisations come into
play, the mother-daughter bond can strengthen naturally. Nonetheless, most mothers and daughters will
experience times of closeness and times of tension. It’s a relationship that

requires special nurturing for its longevity.

So this Mother’s Day why not explore ways to improve your

mother-daughter bond? Below are a handful of ideas.

How

to Nurture Your Mother-Daughter Bond

1. Have clear boundaries

Mothers may instinctively want to solve their daughter’s problems
as they arise, but it’s important that they let them make their own mistakes
and learn to fix their own problems. It is not your job to take over and what
is most needed by your daughter is to just be there for her. Listening and
supporting her through a difficult time is far more beneficial for her and your
relationship than trying to fix it yourself. Giving your daughter the
opportunity to make mistakes and overcome her own difficulties allows her to build
a sense of self and increase her self-esteem. This provides a model for your
daughter to use in other relationships in her life, perhaps when she becomes a

mother someday herself.

2. Establish realistic expectations

Be authentic about what you expect from your mother-daughter
relationship—you are both human beings with unique needs. What unspoken
expectations do you have for each other? If as the daughter, you expect your
mother to be available to you 24/7 then this is unrealistic and unfair. On the
other hand, if a mother believes her daughter should always be available to
her, then she is also being unrealistic. You are two separate people and you
need to be reasonable about what your relationship can offer. Find a middle
ground where you both feel supported and present in each other’s lives in a way

that each appreciates.

3. Keep the communication channels

open

Assumptions block the free flow of communication! Try not to assume
you know how the other is feeling, even if you are certain you know them well
enough to guess. Neither of you are mind readers and you can’t be certain about
how the other feels unless you ask them. There is nothing more valued in a
relationship than being heard—this means focusing on asking questions and
listening rather than making assumptions about what is going on for your mum or
daughter. Also, seek to listen without judgement. You come from different
generations, environments and upbringings, respect those differences rather

than impose your world view on your loved one.

4. Repair conflict immediately

Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, especially
mother-daughter relationships. It’s healthy to disagree, voice your opinion and
be clear about how you feel. But this can of course upset the other person; so
choose with sensitivity how and when to speak up. If you are unable to discuss
it straight away then it’s important that the problem is addressed as soon as
you both feel calm enough to do so. It’s not the fighting that will rupture a
mother-daughter relationship, rather it’s whether the ruptures are repaired or
left to fester. Coming back together after a disagreement and working it out,
is an important skill for both women to develop. Sometimes you may have to
agree to disagree. Most importantly, learn to pick your battles—not everything

is worth fighting for!

5. Have fun together

Spend time together doing things you both enjoy such as cooking,
watching a movie or reading a good book that you both enjoy. Quality
mother-daughter time helps the relationship deepen and you can take comfort in
having shared pleasurable experiences together. Encourage your daughter to do
things she enjoys and does well. Be involved in these activities if possible,

but for the most part let her take the lead and just be there by her side.

Author of De-stress Your Success: Get More of What You
Want with Less Time, Stress and Effort,
Sacha Crouch is a business, executive and life coach who helps
people create the work and lives they love. For other free lifestyle resources

visit www.activ8change.com.au

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