4 Types of Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships
Whether your relationship is strong-willed or passive-aggressive, you can do a few things to heal the damage. While a mother’s overly-authoritarian or passive-aggressive behavior may not be the main cause of the relationship, it can contribute to a toxic atmosphere.
Having a Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationship
Micromanaging their daughters’ lives is one-way toxic mothers frequently cross the line with them. When your mother continues to influence your decisions long after you have reached adulthood—whether it regards your appearance, profession, or romantic preferences—that is harmful. You’re not alone if you’re struggling with a toxic mother-daughter relationship. The first step in healing this type of relationship is to recognize that you have a problem. Once you do, you can work on unlearning the unhealthy patterns causing your relationship to be toxic.
You need to learn to take responsibility for your relationship with your mother and take charge of your life. Developing healthy boundaries and self-esteem is important if you want to restore your relationship with your mother. Then, you can develop a healthy relationship with yourself and say no to your mother.
Toxic mothers often lack boundaries. For example, they may share private conversations with friends or inappropriate information with their daughters, which is considered abuse. Children dealing with a toxic mother can point out such behaviors and may need to walk away from the relationship. However, they should also be aware that the mother does not always have to understand their feelings.
A toxic mother-daughter relationship may not be the fault of either party. Still, it can be caused by a variety of situations. For example, it may be the result of overbearing mothers or a mother repeating the same unhealthy patterns from her childhood. In any case, identifying and correcting these patterns will allow both parties to grow.
A toxic mother may put unrealistic demands on her children, making them feel insecure and unloved. In addition, a toxic mother may dismiss their feelings and disregard their accomplishments. The negative interactions with a toxic mother can lead to feelings of depression and self-doubt.
Having a Passive-Aggressive Mother
Passive-aggressive parents show hostility indirectly rather than overtly. They hide feelings of fear and vulnerability under covert expressions and gestures of hostility. Resentment. They avoid people they don’t like, procrastinate over tasks they don’t want to, and ignore requests for favors. Passive-aggressive moms are often difficult to get along with. They make you feel bad about things or don’t take advice well. They may also feel ignored and hurt by the fact that you don’t accept their advice. This type of relationship can cause a great deal of friction in a mother-daughter relationship.
Parents should be aware that passive-aggressive mothers are common in mother-daughter relationships. They make underhanded comments about their daughters and are reluctant to confront them about their own problems. This type of behavior is an attempt to avoid conflict and pain.
If you are a parent of a child who is affected by passive aggression, you should seek help from a qualified therapist. You may be able to get the treatment that can help you heal. In addition, a therapist can help you find ways to deal with passive aggression in a mother-daughter relationship.
There is the genetic and environmental variance that contributes to passive-aggressive parents. Passive-aggressive mothers may also have aggressive children, which can lead to a difficult relationship for the child. These factors are reflected in the child’s genes.
A passive-aggressive mother may try to keep her daughter from the world. In addition to isolating her child, this type of mother can affect the daughter’s relationships with other people. It can also make her feel sad, angry, and insecure. It may even make her feel like the worst version of herself.
Having an Ambivalent Mother
Maternal ambivalence can affect mothers of all ages. Still, typically, women are more likely to feel resentful about motherhood the more career-focused they are, says Dr. Brown. “You’re used to having money and freedom; used to having control over your day where you can plan your time in a certain way. In addition, ambivalent children believe that love is sporadic and fleeting, which can be detrimental to their emotional development. This attachment pattern leads to feelings of insecurity and fear of abandonment. They crave attention and affection but feel unsafe in relationships.
Children with this pattern often cry easily and are frustrated easily. They may also have difficulty doing things independently and often latch on to their parents for short periods. In addition, they often have difficulty letting go of their parents, especially at the beginning and end of the day. This can lead to problems, such as your child not getting fed when hungry.
The ambivalent attachment style is characterized by a child’s inability to trust a caregiver and inconsistent response to the child’s pleas for affection and support. This style leads to a working model that is “uncertain maternal availability.” As a result, ambivalent children feel unlovable and are likely to experience feelings of anger, jealousy, and passive acceptance.
This type of relationship is more difficult to maintain. Still, it is one of the most common and troublesome of the four types. While many women experience difficulties in maintaining secure attachments, most women who experience insecure attachments are prone to developing ambivalent ones. This type of relationship makes it difficult to trust anyone or form any emotional bond. As a result, they can become obsessive over the relationship and often sabotage it over time.
Having an Overly Authoritarian Mother
Having an overly authoritarian mother places high expectations on children with little responsiveness. As an authoritarian parent, you focus more on obedience, discipline, and control rather than nurturing your child. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly, and when feedback does occur, it’s often negative. Yelling and corporal punishment are also common. In addition, the authoritarian approach has been linked to academic disadvantages in children. According to experiments by Carol Dweck and Melissa Kamins, authoritarian parenting makes children less likely to learn critical thinking skills. In fact, authoritarian parenting can lead to lower self-esteem in adolescents. It may also cause children to have more behavioral problems.
Authoritarian parenting styles focus on strict rules and little nurturing. They do not use positive reinforcement, praise, or explanations and punish children harshly for making mistakes. Authoritarian parents also do not allow children to make their own decisions and spend little time discussing feelings. As a result, children may be punished for being disobedient and may feel shame if they break the rules.
Authoritarian mothers are responsible for their children’s happiness and may complain about the sacrifices they made for motherhood. These mothers also expect their children to be submissive and may even show violent behavior if they are disobeyed. Children who grow up in this kind of relationship are more likely to rebel against their mothers and rebel against authority figures.
A previous study linked authoritarian parenting styles with negative developmental outcomes in children. Authoritarian children were more likely to develop aggression, delinquent behaviors, and somatic complaints. They also showed significantly more serious conduct problems than children with positive authoritative parents.
Having a Hurtful Daughter
A mother who consistently makes fun of her daughter can lead to a toxic mother-daughter relationship. This type of relationship can cause a daughter to feel inferior and undervalued. It can also hinder her from achieving higher goals. It can also lead to her feeling like she is competing with her mother.
A daughter who has been hurt physically or emotionally may begin to search for her mother and move toward another family member. The mother will often become distant from her daughter, creating a gap in the relationship and leaving emotional scars. This type of relationship is considered dysfunctional and may even lead to a daughter withdrawing from her mother.
A daughter who has been hurt by her mother can be very critical of her mother. This type of relationship can lead to low self-esteem, constant competitiveness, and a lack of boundaries. One of the biggest warning signs that a mother-daughter relationship is toxic is the presence of harsh criticism, off-hand jokes, and constant drama.
A mother-daughter relationship that is healthy requires communication and forgiveness. It must also incorporate open-ended conversations. These conversations help both parents manage emotions and remain open. Open-ended conversations between mother and daughter can help both of them stay honest through the adolescent phase.
A mother who is emotionally abusive to her daughter is a toxic mother. Her daughter feels savaged and rejected, and she may even start to feel afraid of other people. The destructive nature of such a relationship can lead to depression in the daughter.