Many mothers and daughters clash. Moms often start private coaching with me specifically because they see old patterns interfering with their relationships with their daughters, and they want to stop the cycle of mother-daughter battles.
These battles usually have something to do with control. For example, a mom might be holding tight to control while her daughter wants a better balance; or a mom might feel she's not in enough control while her daughter senses that and lacks confidence in following mom’s lead. Whatever the reason, mom and daughter get locked in a pattern of mutual disappointment and unmet expectations.
Mother-daughter-battles do not have to be something that you pass on to the next generation. While stopping them starts rather simply, it's not always easy. Because it all starts with acceptance and forgiveness. Accept and forgive your mother, your daughter, and yourself.
I know – easier said than done.
Try thinking about it this way: whether your mom’s approach to parenting, or your own rebellion, or something else entirely was at the core of your troubles with your mom, you cannot change what happened in the past. Perhaps there were undiagnosed "complex" issues – or maybe not. No matter, really. They are in the past.
But your mindset lives in the present – and it can be changed. In most circumstances**, you can accept that your mom was doing the best she could, or that her intentions were honorable. You can forgive her for not doing a better job, or forgive yourself for not being a more cooperative child.
Because acceptance and forgiveness are key to establishing an adult relationship with your mother. And they are also key to re-establishing a new kind of relationship with your daughter – and with yourself.
These are not easy shifts to make on your own, so I do strongly encourage you to seek support from a coach, a therapist, or both – someone who can help you look objectively at the role you are playing in your current mother-daughter battle dynamic. Because the behavior changes will start when you learn new patterns of communication, and new ways to approach this old problem.
You may not be responsible for the pattern of mother-daughter battles your mom (or her mother before her) created, but you’re part of the cycle. And you can do something to change it.
My experiences with moms in our community have proven to me that moms of daughters can step out of this vicious cycle.
You can create a new kind of relationship with your daughter. You'll likely need help to establish healthier patterns of communication. And with assistance, and intention, and a lot of self-enlightenment, you can stop the pattern from repeating itself.
** NB: If there was abuse involved in your relationship with your mother, I encourage you to seek out licensed, therapeutic support to close the festering wounds that are standing between you and your daughter.
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