Feb 22, 2019

The relationship between a mother and her daughter is one of the most special bonds in the world. You have likely dreamed about having a great relationship with your daughter that will continue on long after she has left for college. While this expectation might not always be possible, there are several steps that you can take to strengthen your mother-daughter relationship.

1. Communicate

Many mothers and daughters struggle with a lack of communication. They may communicate harshly in a way that they would never speak to anyone else, or they may fail to communicate altogether. When working to improve the relationship with your daughter, make sure that you clearly and calmly state how you are feeling, and be willing to listen to your daughter’s feelings, as well.

2. Learn to forgive

None of us are perfect, so it is important to realize that your daughter will make mistakes throughout her life. Forgiveness is not minimizing an incident or condoning a behavior, but it gives you the chance to move on in your relationship. Forgiveness is essential for a healthy relationship and will help you to repair damage quickly.

3. Have fun together

Whether your daughter is still a little girl or a grown adult, having fun with her is a great way to strengthen your bond. Find an activity that you will both enjoy to do together and make a day out of it, like going to the movies, taking an art class, or working in the garden.

4. Stay in the present

When you are having an argument with your daughter, it is easy to bring up and throw in old disagreements. Instead, avoid bringing up old grievances from the past and try to focus on your relationship in the present.

5. Use technology to stay in touch

As your daughter grows up and moves on with her own life, staying in touch can be difficult. However, it is important that you do not let the miles between you damage your relationship, so stay in touch with technology. Use texting, social media, and email to stay in contact and keep the lines of communication open.

6. Set boundaries

As your daughter gets older, there are going to be certain areas of her life that are off limits or sensitive. Likewise, there are probably areas of your life that you would prefer not to discuss with her. Establish healthy boundaries, and respect those that your daughter implements.

7. Minimize criticism

As a parent, you may think that you know what is best for your daughter, and in some cases, you might. You have a lot of life experience and may have an idea about what she should be doing to overcome obstacles. However, a good mother-daughter relationship will avoid criticism. Make sure you are the one that is building your daughter up rather than tearing her down.

8. Do not let damage linger

If you and your daughter have a fight, make sure that you work to repair damage quickly and deal with it head on. If you fail to resolve conflict, you will carry those patterns along with you into future relationships. A small problem can fester into a major ordeal, and by then, the damage can be difficult to repair.

9. Show respect

While you may have taught your daughter that she should honor and respect adults, it is important that you show her that same level of respect. This means not cursing, yelling, or talking to your daughter in a way that will hurt her self-esteem. As a parent, you were your daughter’s first positive role model, so it is important that you continue to model respectful behaviors even as your child gets older.

10. Be a good listener

When your daughter has a problem, be there to listen to her, no matter how petty you think that the issue might be. Even if your response isn’t the one that she is looking for, she will still know that you were truly hearing her and were giving her your full attention.

In any mother-daughter relationship, there is always room for improvement. Whether your daughter is 3 or 30, take the steps you need to strengthen your loving bond and relationship.  

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