I think it's important to think about what was lacking or damaged in the treatment that you received growing up. I think that it seems like you want to parent your child with awareness and that says a lot about how great your future relationship will probably be!
I have a daughter, but she's just over 1 so it's pretty easy now! I am very aware of being consistent with my expectations of her behavior. I think it's important not to make the rules change with Mom's mood. I think boundaries and rules are important.
I also think that it's important to talk about people as if they were your daughter...whether people in your life or people on TV...so I try not to judge anyone's clothes, body, sex life, life choices, ect...I try not to criticize or complain about things that don't matter very much. I feel like you can tell your daughter how beautiful she is every day, but if you talk about how ugly so-and-so looked the other day they will feel they live in a world of judgment & cruelty. (replace beauty in this scenario with intelligence or talent or anything) This breeds insecurity.
Don't try to be best friends. The friendship part will happen later.
Don't underestimate her abilities, don't hold on too tightly. Do watch closely. Teenagers say so much without words. Look to how she carries herself, what she is passionate about & interested in, this could speak volumes.
That's how I comforted myself as well, that so long as I didn't become like my mother, then things would be fine. However, then I realised that "fine" wasn't enough for me. I need things to be good, you know?
But at the very least so far I know how not to be.
True, good point on the hating family part. I'm the kind of person where one thing can make completely drop respect for a person with out warning, so I'm a bit paranoid of that happening to me.
You raise a good point, apologies make a world of difference. Sincere ones at that.
Oh, I hear you on that. My mother's relationship with my future children plagued my mind for ages. I even hit a point where I decided that she wouldn't see them beyond pictures on Facebook and in emails, sort of thing.
I think a big step on avoiding that feeling of fear and isolation is to be sure to establish connection and understanding. I've started to do things to establish connections with the children I work with, and it's made a difference in our interactions long term.
Very true, but it can make a significant mark of difference.
Oh yes. I definitely agree with you on the over-protectiveness part. I was considerably sheltered while I lived with my mother. It was completely ridiculous really. It did more negative and positive.
I think the hardest thing for a parent is to let their child make their mistakes and learn from it. But honestly, that's the main part of growing up and development.
My mother has said to me "If you just listened to me you would never make a mistake."...as if it was that practical.
Thank you for that! I'm extremely aware of my interactions with all children, mostly because of my previous experiences. I have very vivid memories from being extremely young, so I know there can be lasting impressions and how long they can be affected by it long term.
That's a good point: Not having rules change with mom's mood, that's one I need to work on now. I'm a bit too understanding, and have been known to be a bit too open-minded/flexible with children.
"Don't underestimate her abilities, don't hold on too tightly. Do watch closely. Teenagers say so much without words. Look to how she carries herself, what she is passionate about & interested in, this could speak volumes."
Such good advice. I think watching closely is important, but don't be too obvious and intrusive. My mother would watch me closely, but it always felt so intrusive and like a violation of my privacy, which would backfire in the end.
Thank you so much to everyone who posted! I'm grateful for all the advice, and experiences.
As the mother of a daughter I loved reading through this!
I can completely identify with you. I'm no where near having children but I use to constantly worry that I'll become the very image I detested as a child/ teenager.
My mother and I had a very poor relationship. Growing up with her I never felt secure enough to trust her with anything. In fact, I went a year and a half without any contact with her at all. No matter how many times she called or wrote, I needed that time to be able to heal and to eventually be able to forgive her (which I have, and now are relationship is as solid as it ever has been). I know my mother meant well. She just had a difficult way of showing it.
I believe that, at the end of the day kids (especially teens), just want to be heard and not brushed off for being "naive". I think having an open mind and letting your child experience their own form of growth is important. Let them make their own mistakes but be there for them when they do.
I think it's important to note that you recognize that there is a pattern of rocky relationships between mothers and daughters within you're family. The first step in preventing a cycle from continuing is acknowledging that it exists (cheesy, I know). The best way that you can grow from your experience is by using it as a tool to guide you with your future child(ren).
Have you talked to your mother about how you feel? I know it's not exactly fun but when I had a heart-to-heart with my mother we both learned a lot about how the other felt at that time. It gave both of us perspective that we desperately needed. While we weren't exactly besties straight after, it did lead to growth in our relationship and eventually we became (dare i say it) friends.
Forgiving her was an extremely long and exhausting process, but when I did it was honestly one of the best gifts I've given to myself. Perhaps the best way to let go of the worry you feel about your future relationship is to attempt to mend the one you have currently with your mother. I realize this isn't feasible for everyone, but you can at least say you tried and have closure to a certain degree.
Another challenge that I am facing is to allow my daughter to form her own opinions of my mother (her grandmother). I also have a damaged relationship with my mother (it's frightening how we ALL seem to!) but it's no where near the point that I don't want her to have a relationship with my daughter. I just need to be very conscious that my venting about her to my husband or my friends isn't something that she hears. I think that letting her form her own opinion about the person my mom is TODAY and TO HER is important...not that I taint grandma's image with stories of the past & who she was to me when I needed her. It's a tough journey to hold back this way!! I think restraint is the most difficult part about mothering...letting her fall when it would be easier to carry her, letting her make a mess when it would be easier to feed her, and one day letting her most likely get let down by my weirdo addict parents...
My mom and I have a positive relationship. I always to this day tell her everything. One thing that makes us so close is that not once did she ever judge me for making bad decisions. She stated her opinion on the situation and backed it up with mistakes she made or witnessed. My mom is honest with me. I also think a lot of our relationship has to due to the fact that I'm an only child. She had plenty of time to be with me growing up and now my mom is one of my best friends. I think as long as you take the time to be there and are non-judgmental you will have a great relationship with your child.
@taz - my mom has always had a habit of talking negatively about others, although it's been mainly my father, stepfather, and people such as her coworkers and employers, etc...she does make comments about the rest of the family, but not nearly as bad. At some point during my growing up (I guess around 17 or 18), it stopped reflecting at all on other people, and started reflecting on HER. We have a good but not great relationship, and I can guaranteed I'd respect her a whole lot more if she didn't talk badly about others the way she did.