Mothers versus daughters
It doesn’t have to be war. But sometimes, it is.

As the emotional caretakers of the family, mothers typically steer the family's course through the maelstrom of the adolescent years. As such,they often feel responsible for ensuring that each member survives and even thrives. Consequently, mothers often feel a dramatically increased burden during their daughters' adolescence.

Her development affects you

It is far from easy to live with someone who is undergoing rapid changes in how she looks, thinks and feels. On the most obvious level, girls' maturing bodies,vitality and burgeoning sexuality tend to make their mothers uncomfortable.Just when girls are blossoming into shapely young women, mothers are often in or approaching midlife. It may be difficult to live with adolescent daughters who remind them of their ever-diminishing youth.

It feels personal

Mothers typically describe feeling scrutinized by their teens. As one mother put it: "Living with my daughter is like having my own personal X-ray machine." This is because your daughter's effort to develop her own individuality motivates her to examine your every action. This is a far cry from her early childhood, when you frequently could do no wrong or were the "best mother in the world."

Dealing with conflict can hurt

Some women have a tough time handling conflict and anger, so their teenage daughters 'challenging behavior or outright hostility as particularly unwelcome. Thinking back to when your daughter was a little girl, you probably expected her to get into squabbles with her peers and siblings. Now that your daughter has reached adolescence, you may believe that your daughter should be beyond all that. She should know how to get along with people – especially with you.

Remember that this phase passes, and mothers and daughters often end up close friends. But for now, you are the adult, so bite the bullet.

Megan de Beyer has a Masters degree in Psychology. She practised in both Cape Town and Durban and has run many successful parenting workshops at high schools.

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?



Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.