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The mother and teenage daughter relationship can be one of the most difficult relationships in existence.  Between alternating moods and the lack of self-esteem and self-respect that a “normal” teenager goes through, the relationship can take many bad turns and one can only hope that these years may get better down the road.  But will they?  Or is the mother and daughter relationship doomed forever? 

When a daughter is born, there is an underlying current behind the scenes.  All of a sudden “Daddy” takes on a new role, even if it is the second child.  When the son is born, this does not happen.  The father looks forward to his role as a guide in life, but when a daughter is born, he becomes the fierce protector.  This is an entirely new role for him and one that he must adapt to.  The daughter understands this, as well, and notices the difference in her relationship with her father and her mother. 

Her relationship with the mother begins with the mother becoming the caretaker, but once she sees what is happening with her father, she wants the role of “Daddy’s Little Girl” to extreme and if she can come between her mother and father, she will be at her happiest.  It isn’t that she comes out and wants to claim her father for just her, she just wants to be number one in his eyes and he allows this, as he is the “protector”.  Anybody that gets in his daughter’s way will be taken care of.  She is his pride and joy and that’s that.

So, what starts out as a seemingly competitive issue later becomes a challenge between mother and daughter.  The daughter is at issues with herself and puts her mother at a challenge.  In the daughter’s eyes, the older mother gets, the less she knows.  How could she, being ancient, understand what it is liked to get dumped?  How could she know what it’s like to look in the mirror and hate what is seen?  To the teenage daughter, their mother is just that.  A mother.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

As the teenage daughter matures, her self-esteem will increase and she will learn through a course of unhappy experiences, self-respect.  It is in the years between that will be the most difficult for any mother to go through.  It is hard to sit back and watch a child make wrong decisions.  But in order for your child to mature, they must make wrong decisions and deal with the repercussions.  It is a fact of life for anyone.  They must realize their mistakes and hopefully, with time and experience, make new ones. 

How does a mother handle all of this?  Mostly, with patience and understanding.  Most of us went through our “terrible teens”, as well and we have to remember them.  The most important thing is making sure your daughter knows you love her and know matter what she does wrong, you always will.  Regardless of whether she wants you there, she needs to know that you are there for her.  Give her time and give her space, but don’t be afraid to jump in when she is doing something that will harm her.  Teenagers are going through a lot more than the teens of even twenty years ago.  Not only do they have more peer pressure about drugs, but the issue of sex, as well.  All you can do is offer your support when it is needed.  If you do suspect she is doing drugs or going through a serious depression, don’t be afraid to force counseling on her.  She may not like it then, but she’ll appreciate it later on.

Once the daughter has reached a maturity level, she may come back to her mother and realize she is an actual person.  This may take years and may not happen until she has her own child and becomes a mother herself.  She may look to you and state, “How did you deal with me when I was a teenager?”  At that point, you can look at her and tell her, “With patience, my child.  With a lot of patience.”