Mother-Daughter Relationships: What a Strained Relationship Looks Like and How You Can Improve It

It can seem ironic that the mothers and daughters who are incredibly close often struggle with communication the most. Typically, this stems from one or both persons thinking the other should know what's on their mind, but neither of you is a mind reader. Despite the level of closeness you have with your mother or daughter, the delicate nature of a mother-daughter relationship can lead to disputes that ultimately put a strain on your relationship. 

Much of the time, having unrealistic expectations is what hurts a mother-daughter relationship. Some daughters will struggle because they expect their mother to be more loving, caring, or supportive, instead of viewing them more objectively - as someone who is merely a human being with her own set of challenges and emotions. Sometimes a mother's care or interest comes across as demanding or critical to her daughter, whereas a mother can feel like their daughter doesn't care to listen or heed her advice. 

Whether it's personalities, values, or methods of communication, mothers and daughters can minimize these clashes and improve their relationship through some of the following ways:

Focus on the present - You and your mother or daughter may have an argument or disagreement that you almost always end up circling back to. Try to focus on the issue at hand without digging up the past.

Be empathetic - Put yourself in their shoes and embrace forgiveness. It's important to remember that you both come from different generations and have your own set of values and issues. 

Talk to a therapist - Sometimes, it's hard to have the soundest relationship when you cannot find a balance between your closeness and individuality or independence. Therapy can help you both learn more about your emotional reactions to one another and develop healthier boundaries and techniques for communication.


Diane K. Schmidt Counseling Services | 8575 W. 110th Street, Suite 304 Overland Park, KS 66210 | Phone: 913.730.6778 | Email: diane@dkschmidtcounseling.com