The bond between a mother and daughter is so special and unique. You understand each other like no one else can. You clash on bad days and laugh together on the good days. It's never an easy journey raising daughters or children in general, and sometimes mothers can struggle to connect with their daughters.
Want to raise a powerful daughter who feels secure and leads a full and happy life? The secret is making sure you have a tight-knit connection with her from day one.
Nurture her before she is born.
How you treat your partner and communicate about the baby will set the tone for your relationship with your daughter forever.
Having a connection with your daughter is vital to her life in so many different ways. It gives her a sense of security, makes her feel important and is essential for building her self-esteem.
And when she is secure and self-assured, girls are more likely to develop into courageous, resilient women who can weather whatever life throws at them.
When you invest in your bond with her, you set her up to have many successes in life. She needs to know she is loved and supported.
Here are five different ways to build unbreakable bonds in various stages of her life.
1. Listen to her.
Good communication will help you get through your daughter's teen years. Teens tend to go the silent route unless life blessed you with a chatty Kathy. Be vulnerable with them just as they are with you. She is more likely to share her problems or the latest gossip if she is not afraid of you.
Put yourself in her shoes. Did you enjoy listening to a 30-minute lecture from your parents, or did you prefer they listen to your issues with empathy and without judgment?
Parents have been there done that. Kids haven't. They need to try and solve problems on their own, and they will come to you if they feel they can trust you.
2. Spend time with her.
Spending quality one-on-one time together is a great opportunity to bond and get your daughter to open up. Take her shopping for a new dress, or take her to lunch at her favorite restaurant. You can connect even more when you know your daughter better by sharing a common interest in something like the same TV show, sport, or singer.
Encourage her to talk about what she likes and dislikes and focus on connecting with what interests her.
Need any ideas for spending time together?
- Go for donuts before school
- Take your daughter to her favorite restaurant
- Buy tickets to a movie she's been wanting to see
- Offer to paint her nails or do her hair
Time spent together doesn't always have to be a big gesture. Besides, it's the little moments she will remember for the rest of her life.
3. Show up when she needs you.
You may reach a point when it feels like your daughter no longer needs you, but that's never really the case. They will continue to need your love and support throughout their life. They may never say it but want to feel your presence.
It's essential to them that you show up to their recitals, games, concerts, or whatever they have going on.
There is nothing more disappointing to a child than when they are on stage or in the field and look to the stands expecting to see you, and you're not there.
Your daughter needs to know that she is a priority in your life.
Of course, there will be times when you can't attend an event.
Mothers tend to feel more pressure to be involved in their family's lives, but it's important to remember your children suffer when this happens.
However, as much as possible, do all you can to be in the audience cheering for her.
In her mind, this love and support she receives on stage are just as important as if you were speaking the words to them directly.
4. Acknowledge the little things.
Whether it's as simple as complimenting your daughter on her new haircut or telling her how proud you are of her for winning an award, she needs to know how much she means to you. You will be amazed at how this simple gesture can help strengthen your bonds.
Don't be afraid to ask your daughter how she is feeling. No matter the circumstance, being a supportive parent means letting her know that you are there and willing to listen.
When she has a bad day, offer a hug or shoulder to cry on because that's what she needs. When she makes mistakes, don't belittle her or make her feel bad for something that she is likely already beating herself up over. Remind her that she is human and we all make mistakes.
5. Be her parent first, not her friend.
Your role as a parent includes laying down boundaries and enforcing them. Your daughter will feel more secure knowing that you care than just being distant and letting her go and do whatever she wants.
Parents who over-identify at a younger age are more harmful to their children than they realize. The inappropriate behaviors of trying to be her friend and hanging out with her at parties will destroy any chance of a healthy relationship you hope to have with her in the future.
We're not saying you can't be her friend because having a healthy balance of the two is possible, but you also need to be a parent first.
Your daughter needs you to give her advice, guide her down the right paths and support her emotionally.
The most critical relationship in your daughters' life will be the one she has with you, so cherish every opportunity and moment you can. In the blink of an eye, she will go from learning how to walk to moving in a dorm for college.
Set the tone for the foundation on which she will build her entire life.
You either help her now or live forever, regretting that you didn't.