Reflecting on last week’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, we want to share with you an article by Holli Rubin on Why Are Mother-Daughter Relationships So Complex?  

This short, helpful article brings into focus typical dimensions of relatedness between mother and daughter that, with some additional awareness, could turn a tumultuous relationship into one of harmony.

What are some of the pitfalls in a mother and teenage daughter bond that can turn the mood sour?

Whereas closeness can be a healthy sign where safety and trust can thrive, being mindful of boundaries is key. Rubin explores how Mum needs to be sensitive to being there for their teen when that is needed, but also to allow their daughter to have privacy and the space to develop their own independence. She shares that for the relationship to be positive and enduring, mum encouraging the daughter’s individuality is crucial, and for both parties to take the other for who they are.

The article explores guilt is an emotion that often exists in close and complicated familial relationships, however it is not a healthy tool. Guilt can be a corrosive element in the relationship, and can sometimes be used to convince people to do, feel or act in ways they themselves do not want to. Bringing up past events to revisit unresolved hurt can  spark feelings of being a disappointment and lead to shame and guilt. This in turn could be the catalyst that creates distance between the parent and teenager. To build a healthy relationship, it is important to talk about issues from both sides, to forgive one another and move on from the past. 

The article concludes with ‘allow each other to make mistakes’. It is through making mistakes that we as humans learn and grow. None of us is perfect, but we can strive to be good enough and work towards creating a balance for happy and healthy relationships. 

We hope you find this article as useful and encouraging as we did.

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