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The relationship between a mother and daughter is special. A mother’s love for her daughter cannot be described in words. Some things are hard to say, but it can be felt. The bond between a mother and daughter is strong, and the mother-daughter bonding can start at an early age. However, sometimes, the relation between a mother and her daughter may get a little complicated.
On some days, you might go shopping with your daughter and have fun or just sit with her at home and listen to her when she tells you about her big dreams and future plans, but there will also be days when your daughter would not listen to you or disobey you. At that time, you might feel that your relationship is falling apart, but deep down you’d know that your daughter loves you. Yes, in her teenage years she might behave a little strange, but she will come around. And it is during these years that you will have to work hard on your relationship.
Why is a Mother-Daughter Relationship Important?
The relationship that a girl shares with her mother can affect her sense of self-esteem, self-worth, sense of identity, and her ability to make friends. Children who are encouraged and praised (healthy praise, of course!) by their parents grow up to be confident individuals. If a child is not appreciated by her parents, she may seek validation from others.
When a girl is in her teenage years, she usually looks up to her mother. Her mother is her role model and she wishes to be like her. She gets her perfect image of a woman from her mother. But the relationship between a mother and daughter can go through many ups and downs. Many things can derail the harmonious relationship between a mother and her daughter. Temperaments, personality, experiences, hormones can all affect their relationship. Whatever may be the cause, it can be worked upon.
How to Build and Maintain a Strong Bond with Your Daughter
Here are some ways to help you improve your bond with your daughter:
1. When She is a Little Girl
It is important to forge a strong connection from the very start, i.e., soon after the birth of your daughter. Some things to keep in mind are as follows:
- Breastfeed Your Daughter
By breastfeeding your little angel, you can develop a strong bond with her. The release of oxytocin hormone (the love hormone) during breastfeeding makes the mother fall in love with her baby even more, and this only helps in improving the bond between mother and daughter. Breastfeed your daughter in the first six months of her life. You can also enlist the help of a trained nurse to assist you with the task. Also, hold and cuddle your baby as much as possible to make her feel loved, comfortable, and safe. If you are unable to breastfeed your baby for some reason, try to maintain skin contact with her. Skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her child also strengthens the bond between the two.
- Set a Routine
Spend some time with your daughter daily. Plan special weekend trips or getaways with your daughter. This will strengthen your bond. You can play dress up with your daughter, comb her hair, or brush her tooth while she is young – all these activities will bring you two closer. In case your daughter tries to imitate you, let her. Take it as an opportunity to model good behaviour. Also, encourage her to love her imperfections and try to find good in the negative things.
- Express Your Affection Openly
Express your affection to her openly. If your daughter does something good, let her know that you are proud of her. This shows how much you love her. Nurture your bond with your daughter by sharing hugs, cuddles, and kisses. For example, you can incorporate extensive cuddle time during bedtime. These physical acts of love may teach your daughter to freely demonstrate and accept affection.
- Share Your Experiences
The greatest gift you can give your daughter while she is young is your time. Take out time from your schedule to focus and spend some time with her to let her know that you value her as an individual. Make her feel special by sharing your joys and sorrows with her. Also, involve her in household chores from an early age to develop a sense of responsibility in her.
2. When She is a Teenager/Adult
When a girl is in her teenage years, it can be a difficult time for her. A daughter needs her mother the most in her teenage years and also when she gets married. Here is what you will need to remember when your daughter becomes a teenager:
- Be There for Her
Adolescence can be a difficult phase for your girl because, at that time, she will try to find her identity and will struggle to cope up with the various physical and emotional changes she will go through. Make sure you provide her necessary guidance and support, and hear her out. Do offer her advice, but don’t command her as she might become rebellious. Just listen to her concerns and try to channelise her stress or anger positively.
- Respect Her Feelings
Honour your daughter’s boundaries. As much as you may prefer to be with her, if she desires some ‘alone time’, give that to her. On some days, you might make mistakes too. Be a bigger person and own up to your mistakes. Simply apologise and make amends. Respect her individuality and allow her to explore her inner worth and interests without inhibition.
- Talk to Her Freely
Talk to your daughter about various worldly issues. You can share your pearls of wisdom while going shopping with her or while cooking meals. As a teenager, she may feel insecure about her body. Help her accept and be proud of her body. Talk to her about relationships, character traits like faith, integrity, perseverance, and courage. Let her know that these are the values she will need the most in her life. Empower and equip her with all your wisdom and life experiences.
- Keep Realistic Expectations
As parents, it is normal to have certain expectations from children. But it is important to be reasonable. Remember your daughter is a separate individual who may have her dreams and aspirations. Give her space to grow and blossom by giving ample support and love.
It is a mother who educates her daughters about different things. It is a mother who teaches her daughter how to handle and carry herself in this world and how to deal with different sets of people and sail through various walks of life. A mother is the first friend of her daughter, who guides her throughout lives. If you have a daughter, make sure you be there for her always and support her in all walks of life.