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Though popular media may try to convince us otherwise, lots of mothers and daughters don’t get along, disagreeing on a variety of topics. They may criticise each other, experience resentment and even jealousy over the course of their relationship, although the intensity of those feelings and the way they treat each other varies, becoming problematic in the extreme.
It is common for mothers and daughters not to get along at times. Hormones, differing personalities, changing circumstances, generational differences and societal expectations can influence this. These factors cause mother-daughter conflicts and, in some cases, manifest in cruel and toxic behaviour.
Let’s further explore what affects the relationships of mothers and daughters.
Why do mothers and daughters not get along?
Hormones – those during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause – are often blamed for causing mothers and daughters not to get along. The irritability and emotional states of teenagers are often blamed on changing hormones. It’s believed that mothers going through menopause can experience insecurity and become jealous of their daughter’s youth, vigour, and beauty.
Another cited reason for mothers and daughters not getting along is having different personalities. Communication is a key connecting act that brings people together. But having different interests and beliefs can make it difficult for mothers and daughters to converse and relate. Often this can result in feelings of frustration and a potential argument.
There is more to this than some hormone influences though. Some believe that society has set mothers and daughters up for conflict. Historically, women in patriarchal societies have been subject to restrictive gender roles that limited the choices available to them. Past social, and even cultural, pressures have led to women abandoning careers, changing lifestyles and sacrificing their desires for others. Consequently, they may expect their daughters to do the same.
Why are mother-daughter relationships so difficult?
Generational differences brought about by shifting social expectations and differing perspectives can make mother-daughter relationships difficult. Newer generations of youth have developed very open-minded and accepting mindsets that older generations weren’t taught to have. This includes the ease of understanding parts of life such as LGBTGIA+ communities becoming commonplace. Today’s youth are also very independent and unafraid to stand up for what they believe in.
All of these aspects can be hard to discuss with mothers which can foster miscommunication between them and their daughters. This builds up feelings of resentment and frustration on both ends. This can impact the relationship as a source of happiness for both parties.
There are more factors that can cause a difficult mother-daughter relationship. Mothers who have unfulfilled career goals may experience jealousy when their daughters succeed at work, while daughters may become frustrated at their mothers’ restrictions. As daughters seek independence, mums can feel abandoned and believe that their daughter is rejecting them and their values. Sometimes daughters can feel criticised when their mothers give advice, viewing it as their mother judging them or lacking trust in them. It’s a big whirlpool of actions and beliefs that can be hard to navigate. Strong communication and open-mindedness are key to helping maintain a good relationship between mums and daughters. Good communication creates great health and lifestyle states.
Why do some mothers hate their daughters?
Some mothers believe they hate their daughters because they see them as a barrier to achieving their own personal goals. They blame their child for their own needs going unfulfilled and become resentful and jealous of the choices available to the younger woman.
Some mothers hate their daughters because they see a reflection of themselves in the younger girl and dislike the similar traits they see in her. This can cause them to punish the child for their own perceived lack. The reverse of this could also happen. A mother who sees herself in her daughter and instead want to have their dreams fulfilled through their daughters. This can cause them to act mean. This can cause them to put pressure on their daughters to do things like overexercising or ‘look healthy by becoming skinny.’ Both of which are very toxic mindsets to be forced into.
Why are some mothers cruel to their daughters?
Mental health issues can also contribute to the way women treat their daughters, with narcissistic tendencies and control issues sometimes playing a role in a mother’s cruelty. A mother who views her daughter as a competitor may hate her for being ‘better’ in some way. This can cause them to be overly critical of the daughter. They might belittle and lash out at her to punish and gain dominance. To control their daughters, some mothers try to guilt the child and place responsibility for their own bad behaviour or angry outburst on the daughter.
Is it common for mothers to be jealous of their daughters?
It is common for mothers to be jealous of their daughters causing them to feel bad about themselves when their daughters achieve more than they did. Insecurity, female rivalry, narcissism, and a mother’s dissatisfaction with her own life can contribute to her experiencing jealousy towards her daughter.
Why some daughters reject their mothers
If a daughter has experienced consistent mistreatment by her mother, she can reject her mother to protect herself emotionally. Often this toxic relationship will lead daughters to seek help from a therapist where they will unpack the impact of their mother-daughter relationship.
Some daughters may also reject their mothers because while they’re seeking independence, they feel their mothers are being overprotective. Sometimes this is just a mum trying to increase a child’s common sense. There are times where daughters can find their mums ask questions that seem intrusive or that their advice is just interference. This might not be the intention of the mum, but it can be taken the wrong way at times. Too much questioning will cause a daughter to pull away from their mother.
Why do daughters criticise their mothers?
Children respond to their surrounding influences which is what can cause daughters to criticise their mothers. If a mum constantly criticises her daughter, this is thought to be an acceptable way to communicate. The daughter will follow suit and criticise their mum in return. Even helpful, but unsolicited advice can be taken as criticism.
She may respond meanly because she feels her independence is being interfered with and her judgement is being questioned by her mother.
Sometimes though a daughter criticises her mother out of an emotional outburst. This isn’t necessarily a completely bad thing because it means she views her mum as someone safe to be angry with. It could be a sign that good communication can occur, and things can be worked out.
What is it called when a daughter hates her mother?
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is the term for a child rejecting and withdrawing from a parent which is what can make you feel as though your daughter hates you. This can often occur after parents separate and the child is struggling to cope with the new living situations. The daughter will often criticise the alienated mother and hold mostly negative feelings towards her.
This can be developed because of the behaviour of one parent towards the daughter’s relationship with the other. Actions that can influence it include stopping the daughter from seeing her mother and saying only negative things about the mother. This affects the daughter’s perception of her mother and causes her to start alienating her mum.
Your daughter might experience increased anger and develop an ‘us vs them’ mentality where she feels it is her against her mother constantly. She can also begin to lack empathy which will increase cruel behaviour towards her mother. Family counselling can be a good option to try and resolve these feelings and mindsets.
What do I do when my daughter hates me?
If you think your daughter hates you, you shouldn’t shut them out. You should always remain open with your child because there could be any number of other factors that are influencing their treatment of you. Try modelling the behaviour that you want from your daughter. When she does speak to you, really listen. That way your daughter feels supported and you could discover the true reason for her anger. Make sure you set clear boundaries and consistent consequences for disrespectful behaviour.
Therapy could also be beneficial to healing emotional wounds and bettering your relationship with your daughter. Be empathetic and encourage your daughter to be open and honest.
For more parenting help and advice, check out our Vidar Australia blog. We cover topics like how to work from home with a toddler and finding time to exercise as a parent. We also have plenty of other exercise, wellness and lifestyle advice, including health benefits of decluttering!