While you and your daughter may love each other deeply, building a bond built on a foundation of trust is key to maintaining a strong relationship throughout your lifetimes. We may assume that love is enough, and as love is an integral part of the mother and daughter relationship, it is important to establish trust. Trust for a baby is innate, but as our children grow and develop, it is our responsibility as mothers to look for opportunities in which we can earn the trust of our daughters throughout the stages of their lives.
Point Out Strengths, Diminish Weaknesses
Regardless of how much we want to believe that our daughters will want to follow directly in our footsteps, at an early age, they will prefer to do everything their own way. It can be easy for us to become critical, and even overly critical, of our daughters during their growth and development as we oftentimes have unrealistic expectations or a skewed sense of our role as their “guide”.
Daughters look more to their mothers for acceptance than they let on, and how we act and react can not only have life long effects on them personally but also how they approach other relationships. Rather than focusing on what your daughter may be doing incorrectly, highlight what she is doing that is right. Find the strength before you point out a correction, and in doing so give your suggestions in a loving manner.
Criticizing and accusing words and gestures will only cause your daughter to reflect negativity inward on herself. Your daughter should feel you are her safety net that she can rely on in all situations that she may face.
Allow Safe Space To Grow
As your daughter grows, you can become less confident in your approaches to motherhood. Adolescence is a time of self-discovery that can leave mothers feeling left behind. Allow your daughter the room she needs to grow and to change. Remember that your guidance is still very much needed, but that your delivery methods may need to rise to meet the occasion.
Practice listening to your daughter, hearing all of what she has to say before you offer your opinions or advice. In fact, taking some time to give thought to your reactions rather than hastily offering your opinions, this will keep emotions in balance and discourage negative interactions. However, if you find that you have made a mistake, or that you reacted in a way that you regret, own your mistake. Remember, respect is a two-way street, and your daughter will respect you for being honest and real with her.
Building trust in the relationship with your daughter is important to help you navigate your lives together. Remember to trust yourself, your instincts, and to embrace perceived failure as merely stepping stones to guide you along your journey. Strong bonds between mothers and daughters are forged through trials as well as tribulations, and they are worth every bit of.