How to Improve Your Communication Skills with Your Daughter

Keeping a strong and healthy relationship can prove to be difficult especially when your views and personalities are different. No matter the condition of your current relationship, it is highly important to strengthen and or sustain your close ties.

From recent research by Roni Cohen-Sandler, a Ph.D. psychologist, daughters have always complained about their mothers being overly demanding and critical. Mothers also are not left out, they claim that daughters don’t pay attention to them; they always make poor choices and have no time for them.

No matter how the relationship with your daughter or mother is, there is always room for improvements and strengthening. Here is how to improve communication skills and connection with one another and stay away from clashes.

  1. Communication

Lack of communication is the main challenge for daughters and mothers. In some situations, they can be very close or feel so close and assume that each of them should be able to know how the other one feels, and the consequence of this is that they resist talking to one another. Or they end up speaking rudely to one another which brings about hurt feelings that may not go away anytime soon. Since mothers and daughters are not mind readers, they should be calm and clear to speak out their mind and feelings.

  1. Make the First Move

According to Linda Mintle, a marriage, and a family therapist, one should not wait for the other to make a move towards healing, as this would leave the relationship stuck. Therefore, you should think about how you feel and make efforts towards bringing transformation with your daughter. The mother is the adult in the relationship regardless of how old your daughter is so it’s important for the mother to take the lead or at least try.

  1. Have Realistic Anticipations

Both daughters and mothers have idealistic expectations regarding their relationship. For example, children commonly think that their mothers need to be present and nurturing always. And this idea can undergo gradual changes but a mother is also a woman and must satisfy her own needs as well. Therefore, daughters should be taught at an early age about the importance of independence.

  1. Give and Receive Thoughtful Advice

As we are often on the receiving end of one another’s advice, at times, it can be a challenge for daughters and mothers to be fair, and so feelings can get hurt if advice is never followed. At times, whoever is on the receiving end, advice can feel like criticism or interference. Therefore, they should learn to accommodate each other’s discernment without being dismissive; similarly giving one another support and freedom to build confidence by making their own decisions, even if it means taking a different path.

  1. Be an Active Listener

Active listening refers to reflecting back what has been said by the other person instead of the assumption of having knowledge about it. Whenever you take an initiative of reflecting back on what your daughter is saying, you will be sending a message that you heard and understood. It is also important for you to pay attention to the feelings behind the message.

  1. Embrace Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an act of an individual; it is only different from reconciliation which involves both parties. Forgiveness means that you’re OK with what happened and it is not pardoning, condoning or minimizing the effect. According to Mintle the psychologist, forgiveness is the key to well being, and therefore mothers and daughters should forgive in order to live a healthier life.

  1. Put Yourself in her Situation

Psychologists use the analogy of the digital camera to gives us a snapshot. But the paranomic lens offers a wider view hence enabling us to see the object in a wider context. And so if you are a daughter, you need to think of your mother as a woman with her “own hurts and wounds” born and brought up in a different generation with varied values and challenging family ties. Also, your daughter’s feelings should be addressed with a lot of empathy and understanding.

  1. Agree to Disagree

In most cases, daughters and mothers will disagree on several topics, such as parenting, marriage, and career, of which they try hard to convince one another to change their opinion. Some mothers may feel rejected and threatened whenever their daughters make different decisions. Some daughters may become angry at their mother’s disapproval.

Mothers and daughters can be close to one another but they are still not the same individuals. It is OK for them to have varied goals, interest and methods of approaching things. It is plausible that daughters do not necessarily need to change their choices in order to please their mother, and mothers should not change their opinion either.

  1. Balance Closeness and Individuality

At times, it is difficult for daughters to strengthen their own identities. This makes them think that to become independent, they must cut ties with their moms. On the other hand, they also can become confused on whether they are capable of making decisions without her input. And this clearly becomes a problem. Daughters can sometimes find identities and voices inside their relationship but this can be problematic without confidence. Confidence should be developed and nurtured throughout childhood. According to Mintle a Ph.D. psychologist, we are able to deal with conflict and bad emotions through our families. You can never grow, develop and become your own person without relationships.

You may never arise at a balance between remaining connected and true to yourself and your family. You can also take the position on any issue and hold on yourself and not become angry and defensive. This is now the balance of connection and separateness.

  1.   Have a Discussion on how and when to Communicate

Some young women complain that their mothers call at the worst times hence spoiling their moods. So, instead, they would ignore calls to avoid unwanted conflicts or issues. Take the initiative to talk to your daughter if you are experiencing this kind of behavior from her. There is always a reason to allow her to express her feelings by asking her opinion on how and when to communicate with her.

  1. Avoid Third Parties

Mothers and daughters tend to drag someone else into their conflict. A daughter is likely to use her father whenever the mother is stressing up her out. Either way, mother, and daughter should solve their own issues.

  1.   Respect Boundaries

If there are areas of her life that your daughter would rather not discuss with you, respect her wishes.

The above discusses ways on how to improve communication skills, mothers and daughters need to counter and temper their anxieties to avoid transferring them to one another. Daughters need to understand that their mother’s irritating inquiries and excessive worries come naturally and it is out of love. In the new movie LETTERS FOR MY DAUGHTERS, the mother uses letters to communicate with her daughters, the letters primary purpose is to explain and apologize for the past with the hopes of healing her wounded daughters so they can have a better future. This movie is a perfect example of what happens to the daughters when their mother is struggling with her own issues. 

Written by: kikike

Dahmenah

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