• Communicate directly and in a straightforward manner.
  • Keep your remarks to the present; try not to rehash things from when your daughter was a young girl.
  • Refrain from hovering; such behavior is no longer appropriate for an adult daughter.
  • Avoid giving unsolicited advice that may risk your daughter's pulling away from you.
  • Be intentional about the way you offer advice; be careful to give advice without judgment. Begin with statements such as, "Have you ever considered?" Being less judgmental will mean your daughter will be more likely to listen to what you are saying.
  • Be clear in your intentions. Saying "Don't call me" and then being upset because she doesn't call sends a mixed message.
  • Provide real support when your daughter asks for advice by telling her the truth as you see it. She has to trust that you will give her an authentic reality check.
  • Avoid discussing weight, clothing, and hairstyles unless she asks for your opinion.
  • Avoid words like "should,""must," and "ought."
  • Be positive and respectful of her feelings and accept that, although she may seek your advice, she may come to a different conclusion.

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.


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