Mother-daughter relationships are completely unique to any other relationships we form and develop throughout our lives. Some mothers and daughters are extremely close, while others have a hard time even being in the same room with each other. Even more extreme, many mothers and daughters don’t have actual relationships at all, once the daughter is old enough to start a life of her own.
There are a variety of factors that play into a strained mother-daughter relationship, from poor parenting decisions, to childhood rebellion, or even something as simple as a difference of values or opinion. Because of the close natural bond that is found between a mother and a daughter, it can make a severed or hurt relationship feel so much worse, and crushing to both parties involved. However, a strained relationship doesn’t mean it’s over for good, and there’s no reason to believe that there can’t be healing between the two parties.
There are a few strategies and steps you can use to start the healing process in the relationship that may make it a bit easier. Let’s take a closer look at how to get started.
Make The First Move
No matter your role in the relationship, don’t be afraid to make the first move, and set up a meeting. It doesn’t have to be anything formal, but it should be in a neutral location, with a clear plan in mind when it comes to what you’d like to discuss, and issues you would like to resolve.
Plan out what you’d like to say, and make sure you’re keeping your thoughts on you and the other person involved, not external family members, friends, etc.
When you do begin your conversation, it may be tempting to turn it into a blame game – try to avoid that at all costs as you work through things, and point out positive behaviors instead of negative ones.
Decide how you want to move forward, how quickly you expect to move forward, and make a plan of action to do just that. It might be a bit awkward at first, depending on how strained your relationship might be, but having a clear-cut goal in mind is a great way to make sure you will eventually reach it, and not give up.
Start out with shorter periods of time together, like getting together for coffee, lunch, a movie, etc. Again, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal – just short bursts of time where you can enjoy each other’s company. As you get more comfortable, you can increase the frequency of your time together, or the length of time you spend together on any given occasion.
Perhaps your relationship will never fully be what you’d like it to be, and maybe it will never be 100% healed, but a strained relationship doesn’t have to be the norm between a mother and daughter forever, when there are options you can choose to make it better, and begin the healing process.