How do you keep a healthy mother-daughter relationship without crossing the line of being ‘friends’?
Claire: It’s true that I call my mom my best friend. I know that I can tell her anything and confide in her when I need advice or guidance. As her daughter I understand the importance of staying respectful towards her even though I do talk to her as I would a friend. My mom has provided everything I need..and then some. So respecting her and trying to make her proud are priorities.
Karla: Building a trustworthy relationship is key. It’s important to make her feel comfortable talking with you about everything while being honest with her that you will share your thoughts and opinions on the topic and it’s ok for yours to differ. Instilling self confidence and allowing her to grow and be herself is the greatest gift you can give a daughter.
What is your most fond mother-daughter memory?
Karla: My fondest memory is a trip to London that Claire and I took together during her 8th grade school year. We had the pleasure of staying with our friends, the Salsbury family. Everything we learned and saw was amazing but the most memorable part of the trip was attending Easter Sunday service at church with our friends. We enjoyed a sunrise breakfast on the beach and then walked through the village to their magnificent church for the service.
Claire: Well great minds think alike, because I was going to say the same. The trip to England together was awesome in many ways. 1) Because neither of us had been overseas before, so it was an adventure. 2) The Salsbury’s are wonderful and being able to visit their home was so fun. 3) My mom is so fun and hilarious and I can distinctly remember all of us rolling with laughter during several points of the trip.
What advice would you give to mothers and daughters who are struggling to connect?
Claire: To mothers, I would say to let your daughter be herself and never make her feel ashamed if she’s in a certain phase or interested in hobbies you’ve never liked and never will. Try to remember that your daughter is an entirely different person than you, so expecting her to be like you might be an unrealistic expectation and you’ll both end up disappointed.
To daughters, I would say that you should try to understand that all your mom’s efforts to connect and converse with you are always well-intentioned. When I was in middle school, I was so easily annoyed at my mom when she would ask me simple questions about my day or life in general. It doesn’t matter how down or tired you feel, don’t take it out on your mom.
Karla: As a mother it’s important to remember that you have already lived your youth! And your youth was at a very different time in culture and history because we all know times are always changing. Do not impose your lost dreams and ideals onto your daughter. Let her develop into the woman she wants to be. It’s your values, unconditional love, work ethic and passion for giving to others that will influence your daughter in positive ways to mold her into the person she will become as she matures. Teaching her self confidence, self respect, to have a giving heart, to always give 100% and that her actions have consequences is your job. It’s not your job to push your unfulfilled desires onto her to somehow make you feel accomplished. Let her know you love her for who she is…….not who you dreamed the day she was born that she would be.