Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

mother-1327186_1280No matter how difficult our relationships can be, most adult children want a good relationship with their mothers. Whether your  relationship is great, terrible, or somewhere in between, mother-daughter relationships are powerful and partially define who we are. The more you work through issues with your mom, the better all your other relationships will be. Here are a few simple tips to help you develop a more meaningful relationship with mom.

Learn who you are first: Having a great relationship with mom doesn’t mean you lose who you are in the process. It is just the opposite. The more you define who you are, the better you can be with her without becoming defensive or constantly needing her approval, not because someone else thinks you should or is pressuring you to change. Once you have a better sense of yourself, you are open to being more empathetic, can listen better, and can focus on who she is as a person. The goal is to develop your own self while staying connect to this all important person.

Stay in touch. No matter if she is good or poor at communication, check in regularly and value the relationship. You can’t build a meaningful relationship with anyone unless there is regular and intentional contact. And it needs to be in person when possible. Take the time and be intentional about staying in touch.

Have a child of your own: A big equalizing factor for many adult daughters is when they have a child of their own, particularly if that child is a girl. Having a child or children of your own usually creates more empathy for the job. When an adult daughter begins to grasp what her mother went through and how really tough parenting can be, it usually leads to more grace, forgiveness and acceptance. And often we see another side of our moms once they become a grandparent.

Build biblical foundation: Build your mother-daughter relationship on principles in God’s Word. Although the oneness we had with our moms before birth is the closest to oneness with God, human relationships will always have flaws. A daughter’s yearning for intimacy and closeness is ultimately one that only God can truly satisfy. Look for the expressions of God’s love outlined in 1 Corinthians 13 as we mother and are mothered. Love opens up possibilities. Because of love, we can and should find a way to honor and connect with our moms.

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