12 ways to fix a broken relationship with your daughter

A mother and daughter's relationship can change over the years. We tell you helpful ways to fix a broken relationship with your daughter.
Mother and daughter reading a book
Mend broken relationship with your daughter. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 12 Mar 2024, 15:45 pm IST
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As daughters grow up, their relationship with their parents tends to change. You may become your daughter’s friend or you two may rarely talk to each other. If at all you do, it may often be about arguments and heated conversations. A strained mother-daughter relationship may be due to lack of communication or boundaries. Having different personalities may also lead to a damaged relationship. The good news is that you can still repair your relationship with your daughter. Let us tell you ways to fix a broken relationship with your daughter.

What are the causes of a bad mother and daughter relationship?

A bad mother-daughter relationship can stem from various factors:

  • Lack of communication
  • Not being able to meet expectations Lack of boundaries
  • Unresolved issues
  • Frequent conflicts
  • Difference of opinion
  • Different personalities or values

Other factors that can contribute to a strained relationship between mother and daughter are parenting styles and cultural influences, says mental health and behavioural science expert Dr Rahul Chandhok. Inadequate emotional support, constant criticism, or not giving space can also strain the relationship.

Mother and daughter hugging
Frequent conflicts is a sign of a strained relationship with your daughter. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the signs of a broken mother-daughter relationship?

Here are some signs of a strained mother-daughter relationship:

  • Frequent conflicts, arguments or tension
  • Difficulty in expressing emotions openly
  • Feeling unheard or misunderstood
  • A lack of trust or respect
  • Avoiding spending time together Feelings of resentment or anger Criticism or judgment from either party
  • Lack of healthy communication
  • An inability to resolve differences
  • Emotional distance
  • Passive-aggressive behaviour

What are the ways a mother can fix a broken relationship with her daughter?

You may think it is not possible to save your relationship with your daughter, but there are ways to mend it.

1. Encourage open and clear communication

Encourage open and honest communication where you and your daughter feel heard and respected. A safe space needs to be created for expressing feelings and concerns without fear of judgment, says the expert.

2. Listen actively

Just speaking and expressing views is not enough. Your daughter must feel heard. Practice active listening by giving full attention to your daughter’s thoughts and emotions without interrupting or dismissing her perspective.

3. Empathise

Put yourself in your daughter’s shoes to understand her point of view, feelings, and emotions. Show empathy and validate her emotions, even if you don’t agree with her.

4. Apologise

Acknowledge past mistakes or hurtful actions and sincerely apologise, even if you are way older than her. This can help in rebuilding trust and demonstrate your commitment to change.

5. Set boundaries

Make sure that you establish clear boundaries with your daughter, and respect them. This will help to foster respect and understanding, says Dr Chandhok.

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6. Spend quality time

Prioritise spending quality time with your daughter by engaging in activities you both enjoy. Building some happy memories together can strengthen the bond between you and your daughter.

7. Seek therapy

Consider taking professional help from a therapist or counsellor who specialises in family dynamics. Therapy can provide a neutral space to find out the issues and learn effective communication skills.

8. Practice forgiveness

It is important to let go of grudges and resentment, and practice forgiveness. It is crucial to forget about the past and move forward without holding onto negativity.

9. Respect differences

Accept and respect the differences. Your daughter may have different opinions about certain things, interests, or personalities. You must accept that the two of you don’t always think in the same way.

10. Lead by example

Be a role model for your daughter to foster healthy communication, conflict resolution, and emotional regulation, suggests the expert. Demonstrate positive behaviours that you want to see reflected in your relationship with your daughter.

11. Show appreciation

Express gratitude and appreciation for your daughter’s strengths, efforts, and contributions to the relationship. This helps in strengthening the relationship and foster mutual respect.

12. Stay committed

Rebuilding a relationship is all about time, patience, and ongoing effort from both the parties involved. Stay committed to the process of healing and improving the relationship, even during challenging times. Stay consistent in working towards mutual understanding and growth.

What are the bonding activities a mother and daughter can do?

There are several mother-daughter bonding activities that can be done to improve the relationship:

1. Cook or bake together

Spend time in the kitchen cooking or baking together. It is a great way to bond while also teaching cooking skills and sharing family recipes.

Daughter hugging her mother
Cook or bake with your daughter. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Engage in outdoor activities

Step outside for a walk, bike ride, or picnic in nature. Stepping outside and indulging in adventurous activities gives time for meaningful conversations.

3. Indulge in art and craft

Art and craft are not just for professionals or school kids. Mothers and daughters can also indulge in doing creative activities like painting, pottery, or crafting.

4. Step out for a movie or game night

Watch your or her favourite movie together or play games that you both love playing. This helps in strengthening the bond and fosters a healthy relationship, says the expert.

5. Pamper yourself with a spa day at home

Indulge in a spa day with DIY facials, manicures, and relaxation techniques with your daughter. It is a great way to pamper yourselves together and spend some quality time.

6. Travel

Plan a weekend getaway or explore nearby attractions with your daughter. Travelling together gives an opportunity to have experiences and create lasting memories.

7. Volunteer together

Volunteer at a local charity or participate in a service project together. This can be a good activity and also help to create a positive impact in the community.

8. Exercise together

Take a fitness class, go for a jog, or try yoga together. Exercising together promotes physical health while also strengthening the mother-daughter bond.

9. Read

Start reading and discussing books with your daughter. Doing this will encourage intellectual engagement and provide opportunities for meaningful conversations.

10. Gardening

Spend time tending to a garden or planting flowers together. Gardening fosters teamwork and lets you relax in a natural setting.

But if you or your daughter experience persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, or hopelessness related to the relationship, take professional help to heal and improve the relationship.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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