Based on our personal and professional experience, research, and the wisdom offered by mothers in our focus groups, we have developed some overarching principles to assist you in finding your own answers. These principles include:

  • Address your adult daughter in a manner that encourages effective communication and respectful interdependence.
  • Becoming an adult is a learning process, and so is developing a positive and nurturing new way of parenting your adult daughter; so give yourself a break.
  • Be flexible in determining what is appropriate to meet your child's needs as well as your own.
  • Make a decision based on the lessons you would like your adult daughter to learn, not on the results you may want.
  • Be open to the choices your adult daughter makes, even when those choices may not be the ones you would make.
  • Believe that your adult daughter is okay and can stand on her own, and let her know that.
To implement these principles, we have created the following strategies for your consideration. We believe these strategies can help guide you to developing and sustaining a positive and rewarding relationship with your adult daughter. As was the case when your daughter was younger, parenting is never linear. Realize that all relationships have downsides. A mother and daughter should focus on the positive aspects of their relationship. The most important advice is to hang in there and invest time and energy into your relationship. Encourage your daughter's sense of well-being, while also taking care of yourself. It is okay to take a breath and enjoy!

Excerpted from Too Close for Comfort? Questioning the Intimacy of Today's New Mother-Daughter Relationship by Linda Perlman Gordon and Susan Morris Shaffer © 2009 by Linda Perlman Gordon and Susan Morris Shaffer. Excerpted by permission of The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Next Story