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Thread: Parent-Teen Relationships | MOTHERS and Daugthers

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    mumbai
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    Parent-Teen Relationships | Mothers and daughters

    Mothers and Daughters: Fire Meets Fire

    Without a doubt this is the most intense of all relationships, sparks alternately flying around and threatening to blaze the surroundings and then coming to rest in the intimate warmth of a glowing campfire. Until adolescence, the mother-daughter relationship is one of general warmth and closeness. Sure, there are the occasional blow-ups, but most resolve themselves with heartfelt apologies from both sides, and lots of hugs. In the younger years, daughters freely profess their love and admiration of their mothers. When I grow up I want to be like you, Mommy. We can always work things out because we listen to each other, right?

    But during adolescence, when the teenage daughter is faced with the task of differentiating herself, the mother-daughter relationship becomes one of alternating intimacy and hate, both marked with an intensity that only teenagers can bring to a relationship and bring out of their parents.

    My daughter and I are either best friends or worst enemies. There is no in-between. Sometimes she confides in me as an ally. Sometimes she wants to hang out with me—well, mostly when I offer to take her shopping. Sometimes we even discuss her future in civilized and intimate ways. But at other times, we can't even be in the same room without insulting each other—yes, I admit it, sometimes I'm just as bad as she is, maybe even worse. The worst part is that everything can be fine between us when I make some tiny suggestion to her—Why don't you do your homework now? Your other shoes would look better with those pants—that sets her off. She accuses me of trying to control her when I make these innocuous suggestions. But at other times she seeks me out for a wardrobe consultation and hangs on my every word. It's nutty.

    Teenage girls want both their freedom from and their connection to their moms, but they are just not sure how to navigate the terrain and as a result give lots of mixed messages. When teenage daughters are exercising their autonomy in their attempts to construct a differentiated self, they push their moms away. Author John Gray believes that because girls overcomplied with their mothers during childhood, there is a certain rebound effect away from their mothers in adolescence: "To develop a sense of self, adolescent girls feel a greater need to fight, defy, or rebel against their mother's control." But given the female inclination towards relationships and connection, moms are not going to take these pushes passively. Just when their daughters need independence, their moms need connection. This is the old Mars-Venus dynamic at play, but instead of the males needing space and the females pursuing, the daughters are pushing away and the moms are pursuing.

    On the other hand, when daughters are looking for connection, they typically turn to their mothers. When the mom is available, these are some of the most treasured and intimate moments between mothers and daughters; they just don't last all that long.


    ...Cont.



  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    mumbai
    Posts
    40
    Parent-Teen Relationships | Mothers and daughters

    Mothers and Daughters: Fire Meets Fire

    ....cont.


    There is one additional variable that is too huge to overlook here which, when in place, plays havoc with the mother-daughter relationship during adolescence: The Two M's, Menstruation and Menopause. During a teenage girl's adolescence, marked by her beginning to menstruate, many moms are going through their own set of physical and hormonal changes in the form of menopause. At the very least, these two sets of hormones and physical changes happening in the same relative time frame in the same home is a recipe for interpersonal inconsistency and strife, to put it mildly.

    It seemed that there was only a week or two between when I experienced my first hot flashes and my daughter had her first period. And for me, menopause was the whole deal: hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, even the ringing in the ears (tinnitus). With my daughter going through all her mood swings and physical changes from menstruation, we were like two alley cats trapped in a tight space. Talk about a cruel joke by Mother Nature! It wasn't until later in her adolescence that we connected in any consistent way—it was that big of a deal for us.

    The dangerous dynamic here is that mothers, in their attempts to keep the relationship alive and healthy, might smother their daughters. Mothers have to learn to stay close while also giving their daughters the space in which to claim their independence. If your parents bought into the prevailing gender stereotypes of their day, the danger is that as a teenage daughter you were never able to declare your autonomy while staying connected to your mom. That is, you either had to stage an outright revolt, possibly even running away from home, or you had to sacrifice yourself for your mother's lack of ability to differentiate herself from you. If either of these dynamics applies to you, you need to appreciate the power of your past to make sure you don't do the same with your daughter, or, in an attempt to correct the misdeeds of your mother, the opposite.


    happy parenting :)

  3. #3
    Cool...... nice one.... :-)



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