Saturday, March 30, 2013

Four Ways to Reconnect With Your Daughter -- Guest Post

The mother-daughter relationship is one of the most complex paths you’ll navigate. It’s easy for the two of you to drift apart, to bump heads, to make each other mad. Discover 4 ways to reconnect with your daughter, and use them regularly to keep your relationship healthy and close.

The Mother-Daughter Disconnect

All mother-daughter relationships have ups and downs, says Dr. Roni Cohen-Sandler, author of I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You! A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict. She identifies three primary complaints that mothers have, and three that daughters have. Daughters find their moms too critical, too demanding, and think they do too much parenting. Moms find that their daughters don’t listen to them, don’t make time for them, and make poor life choices.
You can see how it might become a cycle. Mom thinks Daughter makes poor choices; Daughter thinks that Mom is critical. Find ways to reconnect with your daughter to keep your relationship stronger.

Go to a Concert Together

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Image via Flickr by styeb

Look for female performers coming near you in the future, and take your daughter to a concert. A concert is a fun activity that will create lifelong memories, and the two of you may share a love of the music together. Some female performers appeal to a wide base of listeners. Carrie Underwood tickets, for example, are the perfect gift to bring the two of you together.

Show Interest in Her Interests

Try to learn a little more about the things that your daughter likes. What books does she read? What are her favorite television shows? If you don’t know, try looking on her social media profiles. People commonly share the things they like on these sites. Read the same books, watch the same shows, and you’ll have something to talk to your daughter about.

Go Grocery Shopping Together

Mothers and daughters commonly go clothes shopping together as a bonding exercise, and this commonly goes poorly. Mothers and daughters don’t often see eye-to-eye about what the younger party should wear. Grocery shopping, however, is different. Everyone has to eat food, so it’s an easy common ground. While you’re shopping for foods you’ll learn a lot about your daughter’s eating habits and taste preferences. This is also an activity that can extend. After shopping together, cook or bake something together.

Ask Her about Specific Friends and Boyfriends

Don’t ask “how was your day” or “how is school/work going?” when talking to your daughter. When you ask her about her life, try using names you’ve heard her mention or people you know she’s close with. For example, ask “How is your friend Angela doing?” instead. And ask, don’t pry. Remember these questions should be used as ice breakers or conversation starters – you’re not giving her the third degree.

Finding ways to spend time with your daughter isn’t enough. You also have to learn how to talk to her. Reconnect with your daughter often, and take an active part in your relationship, to keep it healthy.

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