Psychology Today Mother Daughter Relationships Book

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

Mother-daughter relationships are complex and diverse. Some mothers and daughters are best friends. Others talk once a week.

Mothers and Daughters

Some see each other weekly; others live in different states or countries. Some spar regularly.

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

Some avoid conflict. Others talk through everything.

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

There also are ups and downs, no matter how positive or prickly the relationship. In her private practice, Roni Cohen-Sandler , Ph. A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict , sees three primary complaints that daughters have about their moms: Moms try to parent them and are overly critical and demanding.

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Whatever your relationship with your mother or daughter, you can always make improvements. Doing so inevitably leaves relationships stuck.

Many think that the only way to improve a relationship is for the other person to change their ways.

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

Interestingly, this can still alter your relationship. Think of it as a dance, she said. When one person changes their steps, the dance inevitably changes. Both moms and daughters often have idealistic expectations about their relationship. For instance, kids commonly think their mom will be nurturing and present — always. This idea can develop from an early age.

When her kids were young, Mintle found herself setting up this unrealistic belief during their nightly reading time. Lack of communication is a common challenge with moms and daughters. They realize conflict is inevitable and they deal with it head on.

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This applies to mother and daughter relationships, too, she said. Not resolving conflict can have surprising consequences.

Unhealthy Mother Daughter Relationships

But pick your battles. Instead of arguing about something so small, Mintle put the hat on and moved on. But a panoramic lens provides a much wider view, letting us see the object in a larger context.


Mintle views forgiveness as key for well-being. It can be challenging for daughters to build their own identities. Sometimes daughters think that in order to become their own person, they must cut off from their moms, Mintle said.

Both are clearly problematic. But daughters can find their voices and identities within the relationship.

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We learn how to deal with conflict and negative emotions through our families, Mintle said. So how can you strike a balance between staying connected and still being true to yourself? Mintle and her mom had a positive relationship but sometimes struggled with this balance.

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

When Mintle was a well-established professional in her 30s, her mom would still tell her what to do. Then, she realized that she had to talk to her mom in a different way. Moms and daughters disagree on many topics, such as marriage, parenting and career, and they usually try to convince the other to change those opinions, Cohen-Sandler said.

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Moms feel threatened and rejected that their daughters are making different decisions. Daughters think their moms disapprove of them and get defensive. It becomes their default disagreement.

The Effects of a Dysfunctional Mother-Daughter Relationship

But if you want to reach me during the day [with something] more urgent, just text me. One way to ease into reconnecting with your mom or daughter is by setting clear-cut boundaries. Boundaries are key for any healthy relationship. For instance, when visiting your mom or daughter for the holidays, stay at a hotel.

Asserting yourself with your mother or daughter can spill over into other relationships. If you can create and maintain boundaries with her, then you can do this with anyone else, such as your boss or partner, Mintle said. A daughter might involve dad because mom is driving her crazy.

15 Insights on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships

Either way, talk directly to the person. Margarita Tartakovsky, M. In addition to writing about mental disorders, she blogs regularly about body and self-image issues on her Psych Central blog, Weightless. Psych Central. All rights reserved. Find help or get online counseling now. By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.

Despite the commonalities, there are differences.

Make the first move. Change yourself. Have realistic expectations. Be an active listener. Repair damage quickly. Put yourself in her shoes. Learn to forgive. Balance individuality and closeness. Agree to disagree. Stick to the present. Talk about how you want to communicate. Set boundaries. Hot Topics Today 1. Traits Narcissists Appreciate in their Targets.

Psychology today mother daughter relationships book

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