One of the closest bonds created within the family unit is the unparalleled relationship between mothers and daughters. Whether the mother is young, old, biological or otherwise, there is something special – even sacred – bestowed upon this feminine duo. There is some truth to that famous line from the 1995 film French Kiss, when Meg Ryan’s character, Kate, says to the Italian plane-mate and jewelry thief Luc, “Even those who hate their mothers love their mothers…” Often within the family unit, even if there were tumultuous years of bad blood between a mother and her daughter, when sickness and health are threatened, they will rush to one another’s side.
For those fortunate enough to have enjoyed unconditional love with Mother, the experience can bring sheer joy that will show on a daughter’s face at the mere mention of her mother’s name. If you are a mother or mother figure in your daughter’s life, know that your behavior reflects profoundly on her, not just in her childhood but for her entire adult life, according to parenting experts. You are her very first female relationship, which sets the foundation for many decisions she will make over the years to come.
The most confident, well-adjusted daughters had mothers who allowed them to fail and find their own solutions, and were then there to build their confidence afterward, not telling them, “I told you so.” They avoided over-criticizing their daughters about weight, choice of love interest, studies, career, or displacing their unfulfilled dreams onto their daughters.
Over the years, there will no doubt be ups and downs, and perhaps times of silence and retrospection. In the end, if you raise your daughter with unconditional love and genuine respect, and trust her values, she will always find her way back to your arms and your heart, no matter how far afield she seems to wander.
Abella Carroll is a freelance writer
From The Prophet: On Children
By Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you
but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday…