- Give your daughter permission to be herself. She may not tell you this, but she still wants your approval.
- Be tolerant of change.
- Praise her effort, not the results.
- Listen to your daughter and tell her you respect and admire her for how she handles herself and the decisions she makes. Of course, this praise must be genuine.
- Acknowledge your daughter's sense of reality. If she says she doesn't have any friends, don't deny her reality by telling her she is wrong because she was invited to "so and so's" engagement party last year. Instead, strategize with her about how she can find ways to make some friends. If she tells you she's panicked about taking the GMATS, don't tell her not to worry—just mirror or reflect back to her so you don't discount her feelings.
- Create enough separation so you no longer take responsibility for her bad manners. As an adult, her behavior should no longer reflect on you. If she doesn't write thank- you notes, it's about her.
- Accept your daughter's timetable for doing things, even if it kills you. You have to accept that your daughter will do things differently from you. If she was sloppy as a teenager, she may be sloppy as an adult. Unless you want to keep cleaning up after her, you need to "turn the other cheek."
- Remember, you learned from your mistakes, and it's time for her to learn from hers as well.
- Don't take out your anger and disappointment for who she isn't on your daughter.
- Help her to understand that she has the power to make her own life choices and you want to encourage her to exercise that power.
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.