How to Be Best Friends With Your Adult Daughter

Moms and daughters can enjoy not only a positive familial relationship, but also a true friendship by developing mutual understanding, good communication, and seeking out fun activities to do together. The mother-daughter relationship is notorious for being complicated, and new tensions frequently emerge when daughters reach adulthood. Conflicts between adult mothers and daughters over work, marriage, family, and life events can stymie the development of a peer-to-peer relationship. There are, however, certain approaches that mothers can take in order to establish healthy and long-lasting relationships with their adult daughters.

Part 1 Building On the Past

1. Learn about your ancestors. Seeking out information about your family’s history can help mothers and daughters find common ground and understand their family’s legacy.

Make a family scrapbook, a photo album, or work together to build an extended family tree.

Share your findings and stories with other family members. These conversations will aid in the development of a sense of closeness and shared experience.

2. Create a new adult-to-adult relationship. Create an adult peer relationship instead of a parent-child relationship. Even though parenting is a lifelong commitment, the nature of the parent-child relationship must evolve as children gain psychological, social, and economic independence.

Communicate as mutual friends who share common interests and activities, rather than as mother and daughter. Problems, issues, and questions should be discussed thoughtfully and calmly, as two friends would.

Keep a sense of humour and affection. Rely on your decades-long relationship to reminisce and joke about funny memories or situations with each other.

3. Maintain a healthy balance of friendship and fun with emotionally supportive parenting. Consistent parental interest, attention, and approval are essential in any parent-child relationship, regardless of the children’s age or stage.

Encourage and reassure your daughter’s development even as she grows older. According to research, a mother’s ongoing support can foster important psychological development for an adult daughter as she develops an independent sense of self and identity.

4. Examine the state of your relationship to identify its flaws. Mothers frequently report more conflict in their relationships with their daughters than with their sons. This tension is frequently caused by intergenerational differences as well as disagreements over habits, traits, and general behaviour. Recognizing these barriers can be the first step toward developing a healthy relationship with your daughter.

5. Work to bridge generational gaps between mother and daughter by understanding and recognising social change. Accepting that her daughter, who works full-time, will have less time to devote to household tasks or childcare can be difficult for a mother who did not work.

Women made up 47 percent of the total labour force in 2010, according to the US Department of Labor. However, in previous generations, women were more likely to stay at home after marriage to raise children. Only 19% of married women with preschool-age children worked outside the home in 1960.

Many older mothers are concerned that their working-and-having-a-family-at-the-same-time daughters are overburdened and stressed. These differences in work and lifestyle can strain the bond between parent and child.

6. Seek family counselling if needed to resolve interpersonal conflicts. Disagreements can arise from interpersonal conflict between mother and daughter, in addition to generational differences.

For example, mothers may still perceive their adult daughters as lazy, disrespectful, or irresponsible, despite the fact that these characteristics are more associated with adolescence.

Part 2 Spending Time Together

1. Look for common interests. Look for hobbies and activities that will strengthen the mother-daughter bond while also providing relaxation and fun for both parties.

Take part in enjoyable activities together. Exercising, shopping, trying new restaurants, going to the movies, making crafts, getting spa treatments, or even something as simple as getting coffee together can help mothers and daughters connect in a fun way.

2. Take advantage of modern technology. If you and your daughter don’t live close enough to interact in person on a regular basis, try connecting through other means.

Phone and video calls, as well as texting and using social media apps to connect on a daily or weekly basis, can help to alleviate the strain of distance.

Set up a weekly or even daily chat date at a mutually convenient time.

3. Spend time with other family members and friends in groups. Attending family reunions, family outings, or doing activities with other family friends can be relaxing and enjoyable, relieving the pressure of spending too much one-on-one time.

4. Take a vacation together. Getting away from the daily grind can help both mothers and daughters relax, recharge, and communicate more effectively.

Family vacations have been shown to have mental and physical health benefits, such as decreased depression and improved heart health.

Vacations with family members, including mother-daughter trips, help to create fun memories, improve resilience to changing circumstances, and allow families to be together away from the stresses of home.

5. Find small and large ways to express your love and appreciation for one another. Writing notes, giving small gifts, or simply saying “Thank you” or “I love you” can help improve the relationship between mother and daughter.

Part 3 Cultivating a Healthy Relationship

1. Set up healthy boundaries. Respect for the privacy of the adult daughter’s choices is an essential component of a functional mother-daughter relationship.

Allow natural relationship change to occur. Recognize that transitions in the mother-daughter relationship are normal. Changes such as marriage, relocation, and the arrival of grandchildren can cause both mothers and daughters to reconsider how they interact with one another.

Avoid giving unsolicited advice. While well-intended, a mother’s advice can come across as negative judgement.

2. Ascertain that the level and frequency of contact and communication are appropriate on both sides of the relationship. Even when mother and daughter disagree, strive for respectful communication on all issues. This fosters a sense of mutual consideration between mother and daughter, rather than leaving the daughter with the impression that her mother wishes to dictate her daughter’s choices.

Recognize your daughter’s desire for independence. Mothers who constantly call, text, or show up uninvited, for example, can make adult daughters feel suffocated and resentful.

3. Allow space for your daughter’s partner/spouse. Unless there is reason to suspect that a daughter is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship with her significant other, it is critical for mothers to nurture and support their daughters’ close relationships with others.

Avoid interfering or taking sides in disagreements between your daughter and her significant other.

Avoid criticising your daughter’s partner, as this can cause unhappiness and trouble in their own relationship.

Respect the privacy of the couple. Recognize that your daughter’s relationship with her partner is distinct from your relationship with her.

4. Maintain confidentiality while paying close attention. Daughters want to know that they can confide in their mothers with sensitive information.

Avoid disclosing a daughter’s life problems or issues to other family members or strangers.

5. When possible, physically and emotionally assist your daughter. Whether it’s babysitting grandchildren, assisting a daughter with a move, or caring for her when she’s sick, a mother’s assistance is always appreciated, regardless of the daughter’s age.

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