The angst in the mother-daughter relationship that has been documented in thousands of books and movies is angst that most mothers can relate to. If you want to make your relationship with your preschool-aged or toddler daughter to work out better than the plot of popular movies, you can follow a few rules to establish a good relationship with your daughter from her early childhood to her teen years.
1. Be Honest
Honesty is a key ingredient in a positive mother-daughter relationship. Try not to lie about things, even if they may be painful for your daughter. Instead, explain things in age-appropriate ways and let your daughter know that she can always ask you questions about the things that she is curious about.
2. Keep Communication Open
Good communication is part of every positive relationship. Communicating with another girl can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with a high-strung tween or teen daughter. It's almost as hard when you are dealing with a high-spirited toddler or preschooler. Sometimes you may want to just throw in the towel, but you have to keep trying to communicate even during the worst of times. It's super important to be able to communicate with your child about tough issues, like drugs, sex and alcohol.
3. Establish Boundaries
There's no better way to lose a good relationship with your daughter than to barge in her room or read her diary. Let your daughter know that there are ways that she can have boundaries that you will respect. For example, let her know that you won't snoop when she is on the phone or try to "friend her" on social network sites. Just like you, your daughter values her privacy. It's also important to remember that you are the mom and not your daughter's friend. You may have to be tough sometimes even if your daughter hates you for it at the time.
4. Don't Fix Her Problems
Your daughter needs a chance to screw up on her own. Don't try to rescue her all the time. Your daughter will develop more self-esteem if she fixes her own problems and learns from her own mistakes.
5. Give Her Time
Make the most of your time with your daughter. Interactive play with your infant can help your child build a strong attachment to you. Carve out special mom-daughter time and don't bail out as your child ages. The Ask Dr. Sears website recommends that you spend time with your child by playing or talking, so that your child develops positive self esteem. You may have a standing date on weekend a month or just chit chat after school for a few minutes each day. The goal is to make her feel special and give her your undivided time.
6. Lead By Example
Be the example that you want your daughter to emulate. The old saying "Do as I say, not as I do" never works. Your daughter will likely copy your actions, good or bad. Be the friend that you want your daughter to be. Model a positive healthy relationship with your spouse or partner. Show her the respect that you want in return. Demonstrate spirituality and healthy habits.
7. Love Your Daughter
There will never be enough hugs and kisses that you can give your daughter. Even if she wipes them away or thinks that you are embarrassing her, affection is a strong part of maintaining a bond with your daughter. Show that you care by being involved in your child's life by attending sports events and school events with her.
- Oprah.com: Improve Your Mother-Daughter Relationship
- NBC News: Improving the Mother-Daughter Relationship
- AskDrSears: 12 Ways to Help Your Child Build Self-Confidence
- Health Scope: How to Have a Strong Mother-Daughter Relationship
- Education.com: Enjoying a Good Relationship with Your Son or Daughter
- Ladies Home Journal: Mother-Daughter Relationships
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