Mom Shouldn’t Relive Childhood/Teen Years Through Daughter

Many times in the residential program I observed moms who didn’t set up boundaries between themselves and their children, their daughters in particular.  In other words there was no adult/child line.  You couldn’t tell by behavior and dress who was the adult and who was the child.  This obviously created major problems.

There may be many motivations behind this kind of relationship.  The first is that mom maybe trying to relive her youth through her daughter, by the way she dresses and acts.  The second reason may be that mom wants her daughter to be her friend so she hasn’t set up boundaries.  It is hard to treat a daughter as a friend and then all of a sudden turn the tables on her and try to be her authority figure when she has disobeyed.  This is very confusing for a child/teen and can cause rebellion.  The other thing that can happen with this friend type relationship is the mom can treat her child as a confidant.  This again is not a healthy relationship because a child should not have to carry their parent’s secrets or burdens.  A mother needs to work hard to set up the parent/child boundaries so that later she can enjoy her adult daughter’s friendship.

For more on this topic listen to today’s podcast.