My daughter hates me!
She won’t speak to me – how to mend a troubled relationship with your daughter
When you are a parent, you want nothing more than to have a good relationship with your daughter. You want this good relationship in every stage of their life, from teething rings and my little ponies, to mood swings and loud music. Even if you do not always see eye to eye on everything, you do not want anything to come between the special mother/daughter bond you share. However, what happens when that bond you share becomes fractured?
Mother and daughters often have conflict during teen years. It is at this stage in your daughter’s life that she will be pushing all your boundaries. Trust often gets broken, nasty words are often exchanged and a breakdown in the mother/daughter relationship starts to occur.
Mending a complex relationship with an angry teen daughter who may not even want to communicate with you can be really challenging and will require patience and effort.
As the adult, it is your responsibility to approach your daughter and express your concern about your troubled relationship. Let your daughter know you would like it to improve. Although this won’t fix things overnight, your daughter will appreciate your concerns and will see that you are serious about working on your relationship.
For a daughter that is angry and will not even talk to her mother, I would suggest writing her a letter. Be mindful not to write anything hurtful in this letter but express your feelings and what some possible resolutions to your conflict may be. Then, ask your daughter to write a letter back to you. This at least opens up the lines of communication.
Tips on how to repair a fractured relationship with your daughter
You can love your daughter without loving every aspect of her life.
Talk about the small stuff
If all you ever talk about in a relationship are problems, you have a problem relationship. Start talking about topics that don’t cause conflict so that the two of you can get used to talking on a regular basis without arguing. This way, when you do have something important to talk about, the lines of communication will be open.
There comes a time when you have to leave the past in the past and stop beating yourself up. If you have guilt about your previous actions toward your daughter, choose to forgive yourself. We all make mistakes.
Make a fresh start.
Once you have forgiven yourself and your loved one, you can rebuild your relationship without focusing on past conflicts. Commit to renegotiating the relationship with new boundaries.
Don’t expect your relationship to change overnight. Move forward together at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. If you take three steps forward and run into a problem, allow yourself to take a step back. When you are ready, take a step forward again.
Spend quality time together
Spend more time together. One of the easiest ways to reconnect with your daughter is to devote time to rediscovering things you can bond over, such as shared experiences or similar tastes. Meet for dinner once a week, watch movies, take a trip or go for walks together.
Your daughter, no matter how angry she is, will always want the comfort, love, and support from the people who raised her. She will never get too old for a hug and reassurance that everything will be okay. A fractured mother and daughter relationship is never unfixable.
Marina Passalaris is the founder and director of Beautiful Minds Australia, a school dedicated to educating girls about self-esteem, etiquette and life skills to help them become confident and dynamic individuals. She is also the author of the new book, Beautiful Minds, available from www.beautifulminds.com.au