Cultivating a strong mother-daughter relationship.
With the end of the pandemic in sight, the cool spring breeze in the air, and flowers and trees blooming, there is hope for a new beginning. A representation of a new life and maybe even the sense of wonder and awe as mother nature begins a new season. Like mother nature, Mothers – in all senses of the word- have continued on and provided love, safety, and comfort in the face of adversity and uncertainty that this year has brought us. Continuing with the mother nature metaphor, in nature, there is turbulence as well as in life. Mothers do not always get it right, but from each mistake, there is an opportunity for growth, and like nature, Mothers continue on.
At Austin Therapy for Girls, we specialize in mother-daughter relationships. Some relationships need help mending wounds from the past, others need encouragement to grow together while going forward, and some are learning where to begin. Regardless of where you are in your mother-daughter journey, here are a few nuggets of wisdom to help strengthen the bond you already have or repair a bond that was fragmented some time ago.
- Be available
- Don’t assume
- Say “I Love You”
- Own your mistakes
- Don’t pass judgment on yourself or your daughter.
These tips are most certainly easier said than done and require lots of practice and patience – something that may be in short supply given the year we’ve had. Grant yourself the grace to know you are not perfect and remind yourself that every opportunity to practice is an opportunity to grow as an individual and to grow in your relationship with your daughter. As a mother, you are your daughter’s first teacher. Although it may not seem like they are listening to you (cue the pile of laundry that has been there for a week or the plastic water bottles scattered in her room), they are watching and listening to everything you say and do, verbally and non-verbally.
Daughters look to their mothers for guidance, validation, love, and support. For mothers to provide emotional stability and validation to their daughter, mothers must learn to offer that same compassion, love, and respect to themselves. Again, easier said than done. However, as we become more respectful and caring towards ourselves, it will be easier to teach our daughters to do the same.
As you are nearing the end of this blog post, repeat to yourself… “I am my daughter’s mother, I am not perfect, I am learning to love myself, and I am going to teach my daughter to do the same.”
To all the mamas out there, we see you. Thank you for all that you do and for the work you are doing to improve yourself, they may not say it now, but your daughters recognize and appreciate it.
Written By: Sarah Joyner, LMSW