Four Key Ingredients

There are four key ingredients to a good Mother-Daughter recipe at any age, so let’s begin:

1.  Always appreciate and respect your daughter’s disposition and personality. Many Mother-Daughter issues emerge as differences between the two of you-ending up as conflicts. If you’re a confident, high-energy, assertive extrovert, and your daughter’s a reserved, creative introvert, you’re headed for heartache if you cannot accept that you and your daughter have contrasting ways of being in this world. Keep in mind; you and your daughter were placed in this challenge together, so acknowledge, understand, and cherish your differences.

2. It’s important that you communicate with your daughter every day. In today’s society, mothers are both rushed and stressed. However, no matter how insanely busy you are, be sure to take moments each and every day to listen to your daughter’s thoughts and feelings. Continuous dialogue is one of the best ways to develop and maintain your mother-daughter relationship.

3. Never over-adorn or over-criticize your daughter. A lot of mothers believe that self-esteem is built through perpetual praise, but too much adoration can focus on the product instead of the process–“That’s the most beautiful painting I’ve ever seen; I’m so proud of you!”  Instead, verbiage such as, “I can see how hard you worked on the colors in that sky; you must feel great about yourself,” will give your daughter a realistic impression of her skills, and make her less anxious in the future. On the flip-side, overly harsh criticism will undermine your daughter’s confidence in her own abilities, and spawn animosity and bitterness towards you. To evoke a confident and well-adapted daughter, who’s at ease with herself and her environment, a mother must develop a realistic balance.

4. Constantly express your love for your daughter. A daughter who is embraced, hugged, cuddled and kissed develops wonderful feelings about herself and her mother. Real self-esteem is developed through a mother’s admiration and support.  Never take for granted that your daughter knows you love her — show it!