Translated and adapted by Taylor Richardson from the original article, “Ciclo da vida: Fortalecendo laços com as filhas que se tornam mães” by Suely Buriasco
The relationship between a mother and her adult daughter can often be lined with intense conflict. It is a coexistence of extremes: Harmony and conflict, distancing oneself and staying close, differences and similarities and even disagreements that develop from the beginning of a relationship and continue on into adulthood when the daughter also becomes a mother.
It is necessary to take care when trying to harmonize the differences mothers and daughters have in their individual lives. You need to better your understanding of each other while keeping a good, strong loving relationship. You need to make sure there is always a growing affection for the generations to come. Here are some tips that you can use to better your relationship between you and your daughter and your grandchildren.
Understand once and for all that your daughter is grown up
No matter how much it hurts, she doesn’t need you all the time anymore. Let her do things in her way and on her time — especially when it comes to her kids. You can always give her your opinion, but wait until she asks for it. In spite of having a good, close relationship, you need to remember that your daughter is her own person and needs to make her own decisions and overcome her problems on her own.
Never, ever interfere in your daughter’s family
Do not judge them or impose on them your way of thinking. Bothering, questioning, pressuring, demanding and guilt tripping are powerful poisons. Your daughter may not match your expectations, and she is in no way obliged to do so. She is her own person with her own goals. She is the best she can be and she needs to be seen that way, not how you think she should be. Your daughter may be inspired to give the same freedom to you. This will lead to a good, happy and healthy relationship.
Never forget that your daughter’s house is not your house
Yes, you are family, but nevertheless, you are a guest. When visiting, do not try to change routines and or take charge over something like the house, cooking or the children. Always try to be helpful in the things you were asked to do, and never criticize what is happening. If you find it necessary to guide your daughter — not correct, but guide her — do it in a subtle and private way.
If there is a dispute between your daughter and her husband, never take sides. Be the unbiased voice. If you want to live in harmony with the family of your daughter, you may have to learn to live with some frustrations. In the end, it is worth it as you have learned more tolerance and patience.
A good relationship between you, your daughter, her husband and your grandchildren will ensure your acceptance into their family. Those who inspire love and harmony find happiness with those that they love. Even though your daughter may act differently, your friendship will be felt and seen with her children and it will be relayed to them.
This is how the love that you have planted today will continue to grow with the coming generations.
Suely is a conflict counselor, an educator and has a MBA in Strategic People Management. She's the host of the program "Deixa Disso," which offers relationships advice. She has also published two books, “Uma fênix em Praga” and, “Mediando Conflitos no Relacionamento a Dois”.