Mending a broken relationship with a daughter isn't easy. It requires hard work, reliving painful memories and letting go of the past, and there is still no guarantee that the relationship will be fixed. The most important part of repairing a broken relationship is simply making the effort. Even if things are not perfect afterward, your daughter will be grateful that you cared enough to try. Finding ways to acknowledge the problem and work past it will help the process along.
Let go of grudges. Although you don't have to accept responsibility for every problem in your relationship, putting aside small grievances will help the relationship heal more quickly. Lingering resentment will just make communication awkward and difficult and will interfere with the bonding process necessary to reconnect.
Express your concern about your troubled relationship and tell your daughter you would like it to improve. Although this won't fix things overnight, your daughter will appreciate your concerns and will see that you are serious about working on your relationship.
Be clear and specific about what you want. Don't tell her you just aren't happy and you don't know what to do about it: that is vague and confusing. Tell her what you think is contributing to the problems in your relationship and try to find ways to work together to solve it.
Spend more time together. One of the easiest ways to reconnect with your daughter is to devote time to rediscovering things you can bond over, such as shared experiences or similar tastes. Meet for dinner once a week, watch movies, take a trip or go for walks together.
Have a frank discussion about each of your perceptions of the weaknesses, and also the strengths, of your relationship. Talking about the high points of your relationship will help you to stop focusing on the negative things and to start seeing each other in a different light.
Apologize for your mistakes but don't expect her to automatically to do the same. Acknowledging mistakes you may have made in the past and apologizing for them will help your daughter see that you care about making things right again. She will appreciate your honesty and will hopefully apologize for any mistakes she has made so you can move past them.
- "Mending the Broken Bond"; Frank Lawlis; 2008
- "Mother-Daughter Duet"; Cheri Fuller; Ali Plum; 2010
- Oprah: How to Repair a Mother/Daughter Relationship
- family with heart image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com