8 Things That Might Be Destroying Your Relationship With Your Mom



Don’t let these common problems ruin your relationship.

To put it bluntly, mother-daughter relationships can be challenging. While there’s no such thing as a “perfect” relationship, there are definitely a few things you can do to improve yours—and make your mom feel more loved and appreciated while you’re at it.

To learn more about what every grown child can do to improve her relationship with mom, we tapped Dr. Diane Sanford, a psychologist that specializes in relationships and women’s health, and author of Life Will Never Be the Same: The Real Mom’s Postpartum Survival Guide, as well as the upcoming book, Stress Less. Live More: Mindfulness in 5 Simple Steps. Here are seven of the most common ways daughters tend hurt their mothers, and what you can do to try to mend any wounds.

From: Country Living

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 You’re perhaps never going to be able to avoid offending your mom all together, but you can aim to communicate in a “positive-enough” way, Dr. Sanford told CountryLiving.com, which means being courteous, polite, and respectful.

2 You don’t appreciate her enough.

 Gratitude can go a long way with mom. “Being appreciate is very important,” Dr. Sanford says. “Moms feel very taken for granted and undervalued, and kids need to understand that many moms have put their blood, sweat, and tears into helping their children have the best life possible.” A simple thank you can go a long way. “I’m counseling a family right now where the mom and son aren’t close, but he always sends her a Mother’s Day card and birthday card—some sort of acknowledgement that he appreciates her—that’s key.” Even the smallest gestures will make an impact. 

3 You’re not having fun together.

 Infusing your relationship with joy, laughter, and happy memories can be a game-changer. “Having fun with your parents, peer-to-peer, rather than parent-to-child, that’s really important,” Dr. Sanford says. “Your mom is a human being too, and she likes to have fun—create opportunities for that to happen.” One of the best ways to do this is by taking a once-in-a-lifetime trip together. You’ll get to explore new places and share meaningful conversations along the way.
4 You’re too defensive.
 There will definitely be moments when your mom might act overbearing, too critical, or insensitive, in which case you should express your frustration, but aim to do it in a way that lets her know you’re not writing her off. “You want her to understand that she’s still important to you, but that she’s not the boss of you now,” Dr. Sanford says. “It can be done in a caring, loving way, but it requires a degree of self-control and not getting too defensive.” It’s important to try to find the balance between being independent and not making her feel rejected.

5 You create too much distance.

 It’s important to make sure mom knows you’re not abandoning her. “Keep in touch, be attentive, let her know that you love her,”  Dr. Sanford says.

What’s more, mom is the best built-in guidebook for life—and you can easily make her feel appreciated by turning to her when you need advice, assistance, or help raising your own kids. “Keep the lines of communication open because you never know when a parent might have something worthwhile to contribute to something you’re experiencing,” Dr. Sanford says.

6 You depend on her too much.

 You don’t need to share everything with your mom—in fact, you shouldn’t. “Learn to be selective about what you share,” Dr. Sanford says. “If something’s going on that’s problematic, or likely to cause your mom to become upset, you don’t have to go into all the details.” It will save both you and her from unnecessary headaches and arguments. 

8 You’re not confident enough in your parenting skills.

 There will likely be times that your mom is too critical of your parenting methods, but it’s important that you do your best to have faith in your abilities, and don’t allow it to become an ongoing source of tension that damages your relationship. “Be confident enough in yourself as a parent that you are going to make the right choices (not always we all make mistakes, but overall you’re going to do a good enough job),” Dr. Sanford says, “and if your folks say something, know that it comes from good intentions most of the time because they love your children and want the best for them just like they want the best for you.”

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