15 Insights on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships
Which is more difficult -- getting along with your mom or taking this quiz? Answer these What is one of the biggest enemies of mother-daughter relationships?. To test whether your mother-daughter relationship is strong, take this quiz. Mothers and daughters share a special relationship that's unlike any other. This Mother's Day, give each other a personal gift that symbolizes.
Whatever your relationship with your mother or daughter, you can always make improvements. Make the first move. Doing so inevitably leaves relationships stuck. Many think that the only way to improve a relationship is for the other person to change their ways. Interestingly, this can still alter your relationship.
Think of it as a dance, she said. When one person changes their steps, the dance inevitably changes. Both moms and daughters often have idealistic expectations about their relationship. For instance, kids commonly think their mom will be nurturing and present — always. This idea can develop from an early age. When her kids were young, Mintle found herself setting up this unrealistic belief during their nightly reading time.
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Lack of communication is a common challenge with moms and daughters. Be an active listener. They realize conflict is inevitable and they deal with it head on. This applies to mother and daughter relationships, too, she said. Not resolving conflict can have surprising consequences.
But pick your battles. Instead of arguing about something so small, Mintle put the hat on and moved on. Put yourself in her shoes. But a panoramic lens provides a much wider view, letting us see the object in a larger context.
Mintle views forgiveness as key for well-being. Balance individuality and closeness. It can be challenging for daughters to build their own identities. Sometimes daughters think that in order to become their own person, they must cut off from their moms, Mintle said.
Both are clearly problematic. But daughters can find their voices and identities within the relationship. We learn how to deal with conflict and negative emotions through our families, Mintle said.
The varying impact of socioeconomic influences also needs to be explored, including, for example, whether advice giving differs in nature and scope when comparing families across different socioeconomic brackets. In addition, the dynamics of solicited versus unsolicited advice also need to be better understood. Economic and cultural factors present in this community may help strengthen this bond, contribute to the sharing of activities, and may make mothers amenable to receiving advice from their adolescent daughters on a range of different topics.
The openness of mothers to advice from their adolescent daughters may also reflect key differences in educational and other opportunities between mothers and daughters—differences that may place daughters in an ideal position to help their mothers understand and act on important health information. The potential of the adolescent girl as health advocate may be especially strong in families where her knowledge is respected.
In families where daughters do not have a strong relationship with their mother or where the conflict in the relationship is greater than the perceived assets, young girls may, instead, be willing to provide health information to some other respected adult female.
Acknowledgments The authors gratefully acknowledge the dedicated commitment of our research team.
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We also sincerely appreciate the willingness of mothers and daughters to participate in this study. Furthermore, we thank the high school principals, school staff, and the Department of Education in South Africa for their support of this research. We gratefully acknowledge the supplementary funding provided by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Female-headed households characterize many low-income families in the United States Burgess, ; Duffy, and South Africa Modo, ; Muthwa, ; Posel, In many cases, these children are cared for by a female family or community member who takes over the functional duties of a mother.
Our use of these racial categories reflects the historical background of participants, their continued attempts at self-identification, and the remaining legacy of apartheid.
The Mother–Daughter Relationship: What Is Its Potential as a Locus for Health Promotion?
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15 Insights on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships
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