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You can't live through her or save her from the pain that comes with growing into womanhood -- but you can delight in her joys.
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When we are overly involved and encourage them to tell us all of their deep, dark secrets, this may make it problematic for them to break away and to establish their autonomy -- a crucial development task of adolescent identity formation.]]
I don't like it when she confides bad things about my dad or stepfather to me because it makes it hard for me to like them.
After extensive examination, she concludes that preadolescent girls develop close supportive relationships with their mothers but that this shifts during adolescence when there is more upheaval in their lives.
In , Hetherington writes "In adolescence, there is a notable increase in conflict in these relationships, particularly between early maturing daughters and their mothers." She concludes, "In addition, divorced mothers and their adult daughters are closer than divorced mothers and sons, and sons feel somewhat closer than daughters to their fathers." It makes sense that the mother-daughter bond would intensify after divorce since girls spend much less time with their fathers.
Linda Nielsen, author of , writes "Sadly, only 10-15 percent of fathers and daughters get to enjoy the benefits of shared parenting." Nielsen recommends that mothers and fathers encourage their daughter to spend close to equal time with both parents and give her messages such as "Both your dad and I made mistakes in our marriage, but we are good parents." Based on more than two decades of research on fathers and daughters, Linda Nielsen notes that many mothers lean too heavily on their daughters for advice and caretaking after divorce and this can turn the daughter against her father. Nielsen that I noted in my own research, is that daughters are more upset about and negatively impacted by parental conflict than sons post-divorce.
Why exactly is the mother-daughter relationship so complicated? Peggy Drexler notes that many mothers like to feel connected to their daughters and, in many cases, their daughters' friends.