Learn how to develop and maintain a lifelong, happy, giving relationship with your daughter and still be her parent. As with every generation mothers and daughters share a special bond.
But as with most relationships, a mother and daughter relationship doesn’t come without flaws. In many cases, there will be challenges, ups and downs, but with trust, communication and love most obstacles are taken in strides.
Every mother’s dream is to see their little girl mature into that active, independent, self-sufficient caring, and loving woman. A mother wants to enjoy the fruits of her labor (no pun intended) …to know that her daughter is happy, confident, and safe.
There will always be many detours and roadblocks along the way, but you can overcome them using these four building blocks to obtain and maintain a relationship with your daughter that will last a lifetime!
Your efforts in developing this relationship not only will help you to enjoy a close and unique friendship with your daughter, but you will also pass on to her the wonderful gift of a strong relationship with her daughter when she becomes a mother. Really, what can be more gratifying and of higher value than that? Not much, it ranks right up there at the top!
Life is based on building blocks. Relationships, too, are based on the same. Given the tools, you can make your relationship healthy and strong enough to overcome the hick-ups that come with life’s journey.
A strong foundation provides the anchors to weather any storm. It’s never too late to begin. With each new day come renewal, forgiveness, and a positive step moving forward towards building a brighter tomorrow.
TRUST: Building Block#1
Without trust, no relationship doesn’t stand a chance! Trust often is confused as a “given.” A God-given right! As a loving, caring mother your daughter has grown to trust YOU. She knows you will pick her up when you say you will. She knows that she is cared for and provided for by YOU. Your daughter also knows your love is unconditional and that regardless of her doings, you’ll be there.
There are times when she will raise your blood pressure, and you may lose it for a moment and yell at her, but deep down she TRUSTS you above all.
What is her perception of earning trust? Every young lady must comprehend that TRUST is earned; in the same way, YOU earned her trust in YOU! Ask yourself: Why is it that sometimes we feel the need to accredit our children with attributes that should be earned? Our daughters need to overstand that trust is patient.
The small steps/small rewards process is a journey to gaining their independence. They need to take responsibility for earning the trust and protecting it dearly, as one of the most valuable aspects of your shared relationship.
When you, as her mother, convey the significance and importance of this compelling feeling, only then will it be completely understood.
Here are the five steps required to build a strong and lasting trust between a mother and a daughter.
Everyone is just as important as the other; they include HONESTY; AWARENESS; FOLLOW UP; CONSEQUENCE; and finally, PRIVILEGE.
With the understanding and know-how, each of these steps will be key to maintaining a loving and long-lasting relationship.
COMMUNICATION: Building Block #2
Think about this for a second. When our children are born, we are tuned in to their every need. We know the difference between a hungry, wet, uncomfortable and angry cry. We can sense the slight change in their mood and become concerned for hours when we think they might be catching a cold.
As our little girls grow, we teach them to talk. We repeat sounds and clap for joy when they say “mama or dada,” and we become ecstatic when they take their first step.
We are thrilled to know that our little girls are on their way. We pay close attention to all of their needs and kiss them gently and continually show them affectation and love.
Just because we teach language, a collection of “sounds” does not mean we teach communication. Communication, as defined by Webster, is an act of transmitting oral exchange of information or opinions.
Always keep in mind; “an act of transmitting” will fit into the category of giving orders, commands, and/or instructions.
This, of course, is needed at certain times to get a message across. It means we mean what we say – and do it! No questions, no discussion. This form of communication is undoubtedly acceptable and appropriate at times.
Now when referring to the other side of the definition, “an exchange of information,” we understand this to be a form of exploring another’s opinion thoughts and logic.
This, too, is of importance. When you think about it, this is the foundation of effective communication involving two people.
From the age of 2, our girls begin to learn their first set of words, along with communication skills. These skills are usually taught by our physical response and not our verbal abilities.
Physical reactions involve body language, how the message is delivered when conveyed, and the tone of our voices. It’s not about getting through to our daughters – it’s about logical reasoning and openness to understanding the person we are speaking to.
Since your daughter has already established a sense of trust in you, she will embrace your skills of communication if delivered in a way that supports her best interests without compromising her desires. YOU, as the parent, are in control at all times.
YOU need the proper tools to help teach your daughter about the ways of the world. With these tools and exercises, you can begin to lay the firm foundation of fair and free exchange of information without depriving your position of authority.
Remember, communication can be a “two-way street” or a single command. It can be your choice or control.
EFFECTIVE LISTENING: Building Block #3
Now that communication has been defined, my advice would be …not to spend too much time talking. Teach by actions. How may you ask? It’s easy…(Once you understand how).
Take the time to listen. Active listening gives you a road map, whereby allowing you to have an insight into your daughter’s life.
There is so much you can learn by listening and observing. Listening not only involves what your daughter has to say, but it also affects what others will say too.
This will include her friends, teachers, enemies, and anyone she has come into contact with. I’m not suggesting you spy or have “reports back.” Just listen carefully – you’ll be surprised by what you will learn. Listening is an art in itself.
Creating the right environment of opportunity is what you’re aiming for. For example…Carpooling is an ideal setting, painful as it may be, always be sure that when you pick up a bunch of her friends, keep the music at a low playing level – don’t talk – just listen!
The girls will be open with their conversation, and you’ll be able to hear and interpret not only the quality of her friendships but the overall views of the group. This will be extremely valuable in future dialogs you may have with your daughter.
It’s also a great way to get to know her friends! A few suggestions from you timed at the right moment will be more significant if you are more informed…remember what you learned regarding communication.
By now, your daughter has developed a level of trust in you, and she will embrace your acquired skills of communication if delivered in the right way that supports her best interests at heart without threatening her desires. YOU, as the parent, are in control at all times.
LETTING GO: Building Block #4
Letting go is a continuing process we all must deal with. When, how, just enough, not too much. Allowing your daughter to find her way and knowing when to hold her hand and guide her, may sometimes feel like a challenge sometimes.
There will be the moment when your heart will break for her when you want to take her pain, her place, her path – but in this life, the same lessons we’ve learned, so will they. We must realize we can’t (and should not) always shield her from everything.
If you think about it, looking back on our own life – some of the most painful situations taught us were the most powerful lessons in life.
Whether that was to apologize for our actions or words, empathy and compassion for others, or just the ability to forgive and move on, whatever situation we faced, we always have a choice – We can choose to be “bitter or better.”
It’s a choice. In being there for your daughter, while letting go, you provide the strength she’ll need to stand on her own. The pain will teach us growth, and with growth, we become whole. Sometimes there are no words, sometimes silence and solidarity speak louder than any great speech.
If you have built upon the three previous blocks, letting go will be a natural process of love. There is no fear where love dwells. Your goal is accomplished – you have built a strong foundation from where you stand for a lifelong, healthy relationship with your daughter.
Being there is precisely that …. Being there as a mother, a parent, a friend, and a role model. In today’s world, learning how to build and enjoy a lasting mother/daughter relationship is the most precious gift you will ever give to both yourself and your daughter.
This permanent bond can be passed down from generation to generation, building stronger and more profound each time.
Learning about enriching your relationship with your daughter is one of the most valuable lessons you will ever learn. The building blocks can show you the way.
From a beautiful baby girl in your arms, through the turbulent and confusing teen years, the age of independence and self-discovery, of watching her gain complete confident independence.
Your reward will be to know that your job of parenting has now become the fruit of your relationship.