"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," wrote Tolstoy in Anna Karenina. While family dynamics are often the source of drama and poetry, we have to agree that poor communication is at the root of all unhealthy arguments.
The teen years pose some of the most difficult challenges for parents and children, as adolescents struggle with puberty, social pressure, and low self-esteem. Teen girls, in particular, face numerous physical changes, taboos, and identity issues, which makes them fragile and rebellious all at the same time.
The mother-daughter relationship gets way too complicated. Sometimes moms and daughters act like sisters who exchange clothes and shoes, and other times, they can’t stand living under the same roof with their loved ones. An unstable mother-daughter relationship, though, can lead to numerous emotional problems later in life. In fact, according to Freud, mothers and daughters experience ambivalent feelings which often result in hatred. The reason? Hormones of course! They only add fuel to the fire.
Here are 20 mother-daughter personality combinations that argue a lot. While not everyone can love their offspring, children need love to strive and survive. After all, we can’t choose our parents, nor our children... But we can choose what mothers we want to be.
20 Dismissive Mothers Vs. Loving Daughters: Long-term Effects On The Self
A mother's love is unconditional, people say. However, some women struggle with emotional problems and may become dismissive mothers. If a dismissive mother has a daughter who’s loving and caring, the two of them will need lots of time to accept each other and learn to communicate effectively.
In fact, a lack of support can have a long-term impact on the Self. Gwen told Psychology Today,
"My mother ignored me. If I did something that I thought would make her proud, she would either dismiss it as insignificant or undercut it in some other way. And I believed her for the longest time."
19 Unreliable Vs. Judging: Lack Of Consistency Is Unhealthy
We often think of teens as unreliable and unstable creatures. While hormonal changes and social identities challenge teens, many may be mature enough to judge their mothers for a reason. Sending mixed signals is one of the worst things mothers can do, which can impact attachment and communication.
"I trace my own lack of self-confidence back to my mother. She was emotionally unreliable - horribly critical of me one day, dismissive the next, and then, out of nowhere, smiling and fussing over me."
Arguments might be pointless - simply because daughters can never be sure how their mother will react.
18 Helicopter Parents Vs. Hormonal Rebels: Mothers And Teens Should Just Let Go
Parenting styles differ, and there’s no good or bad parenting. Nevertheless, when moms become overprotective and start projecting their own goals onto their daughters, they can impact their kids’ self-esteem and confidence. Helicopter mothers can raise either a rebel or a shy and compliant girl.
If a teen becomes a rebel, an argument is sure to take place. Hormonal changes can escalate the problem. Instead of arguing about what time to get home, for instance, mothers should have an open conversation about safety and puberty. After all, moms and daughters should accept each other and let go of their frustration.
17 Daddy’s Little Princess Is Already A Young Woman
Being unable to escape from gender stereotypes, many people focus on the importance of father-son communication. Nevertheless, research shows that fathers have a significant effect on their daughters. Fathers can benefit their kids’ academic and career path and boost their self-esteem and self-love.
Therefore, if a mom starts dating another person, teen girls may face numerous emotional and social difficulties. Girls might reject their own parents. To prevent family arguments and distress, mothers and fathers should talk openly about their relationships and reassure that just because they’re not together, they still love their little girl to the moon and back.
16 Extroversion Vs. Introversion: Mothers And Daughters Can Complement Each Other
Conflict is part of family life. Extrovert-introvert interactions, for instance, are an argument waiting to happen. Imagine a talkative extrovert and an introvert who needs some me-time. Here’s one scenario: an extrovert mom full of energy and an introvert teen who just wants to shut off. And another one: an extrovert daughter who wants to organize a crazy party and a mother who craves some space.
In both scenarios, an argument is sure to take place. Therapist Feiles says,
"When an extrovert argues, there may be a more wordy approach to it... The introvert tends to be more rational and reasonable about it."
By making compromises, though, moms and daughter can actually complement each other.
15 The Thinker Vs. The Intuitive One: It's Okay For Mothers And Daughters To Perceive The World Differently
Each one of us has a unique style of communication and reasoning. In fact, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, there are 16 personality types and reasoning styles. Some people are analytic thinkers who base their judgment on facts and logic; others are intuitive creatures who enjoy ideas and gentle poetry.
Imagine an artistic mother and a nerdy teen daughter. Or a romantic teen who simply loves daydreaming and a perfectionist mother who is way too strict about her to-do lists and daily routines. In both scenarios, communication may suffer, and the only way to prevent an argument is to accept the unique way each person perceives the world.
14 Enmeshed Situations: Lack Of Boundaries Devours The Self
While some mothers distance themselves, others just do not know any boundaries. According to Psychology Today, untangling enmeshment is the phenomenon of erasing all boundaries. It’s not only about knocking on someone’s door. It’s about a lack of recognition, where kids are not perceived as separate individuals. Such women are known as stage mothers, who live through their kids’ achievements. Girls can be dragged to French lessons, cooking classes, and summer camps.
Although it takes lots of courage to break the cycle of enmeshed parenting, independent teens can guide their mothers through their own interests, goals, and boundaries to prevent arguments and unhealthy communication.
13 Self-involved Vs. Empathetic: Daughters Are Not An Extension Of Their Mothers
Being part of the "Me" generation, we all understand the importance of self-care and me-time. Some people, though, may cross the border between healthy self-love and narcissism. While some self-involved people are narcissistic, empathetic people are open and considerate. Although empathetic mothers try to understand their teen daughters who are preoccupied with fashion and social media, these two personality types are almost incompatible.
Self-involved mothers, on the other hand, are obsessed with appearance and other people’s opinions, which makes the connection with their kids incomplete.
Such mothers have lovely clothes, appealing jobs, and popular friends. They simply look amazing from the outside. Their homes, though, are an arena of arguments.
12 The Giver Vs. The Narcissist: Mothers And Daughters Have To Share Their Love
Just like Narcissus, there are women who would do anything for their own beauty. Narcissistic mothers and daughters may become preoccupied with clothes, make-up, and superficial relationships. Nevertheless, teens can be self-conscious about their appearance due to social pressure and hormones, not narcissism.
On the other side, when a daughter gives and gets nothing in return, the mother-daughter relationship suffers. As Jenna told Psychology Today,
"By the time my Mom was 26, she had four kids, little money, and no support. I was the oldest and by the time I was five, I was her helper… I think she robbed me of my childhood."
11 Age Differences In Mothers And Daughters
The mother-daughter relationship is a complex one. Age differences may affect the way moms and teens perceive the world, which may lead to poor communication. Older mothers tend to forget that teens need freedom and support all at the same time.
Younger mothers, on the other hand, may be in denial about their age and become best friends with their kids. Therapist Wendy Bristow told telegraph.co.uk,
"It’s not particularly healthy to try and be your daughter’s best friend or to treat your mother as your soul mate. It suggests you haven’t accomplished the psychological task of separation, which is a crucial part of growing up."
10 Sadness Vs. Positivism: When Mothers And Daughters Need To Consult A Professional
Depression is a global health concern. Many women suffer from postpartum depression, which affects their parenting. These mothers can still love their children but can’t express their feelings. Often, lively kids do not understand why their mother is so distant, which aggravates the situation. Often older daughters may find themselves in the caretaker role.
At the same time, due to all the physical and social changes, teens can also experience sad moments. Data shows that 20% of teens suffer from depression. Mothers should learn to recognize warning signs and consider family therapy, which can improve their relationship and well-being.
9 Conservative Vs. Liberal Views: Mothers And Daughters Can Save The World Together
Political views can ruin relationships. Mothers and daughters may have different beliefs and understanding of the world. As people say, "A young man who isn't a socialist hasn't got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn't got a head."
Although parents influence their children’s basic beliefs, a liberal mom might be raising a conservative, or a conservative mom can be living with a liberal. Interestingly, a study showed that having a daughter can make people more sympathetic with left-wing parties. Nevertheless, the left-right spectrum has become way too blurred, so it’s only the love between moms and their teens that can save the world.
8 Hysterical Vs. Slow Pace: Mother And Daughters Have To Be Patient
Personality psychology is a wonderful branch of psychology. There are numerous traits and beliefs which help experts understand our unique, human nature. Some people are frenzied and emotional, others are slow and rational.
An emotional mother might find her unhurried teen daughter unusual, while a wild daughter might find her relaxed mother boring. Either way, moms and daughters need to accept each other and be patient.
Each person works at a certain pace and has something valuable to share with the rest of the world.
7 Control Freak Vs. Free Spirit: Moms and Daughters Should Challenge Their Own Nature
From keeping a human alive to organizing birthday parties, mothers have a million things to do. Sadly, some women take motherhood a bit further and become way too controlling. Psychologists claim that controlling mothers are also dismissive – they micromanage their daughters and don’t acknowledge their dreams. When teens are not given enough freedom, they can become rebellious and negative. If a teen girl, on the other hand, wants to emotionally control a free-spirited mom, she may plant a sense of helplessness in her parents. In both scenarios, arguments are not rare.
So, mothers and daughters should challenge their own Selves, accept each other, and simply let go.
6 Unavailable Mothers Vs. Needy Teens: Mothers And Daughters Should Learn To Listen
Unavailable mothers cannot give their children the love they need to flourish. They may even reject their daughters. As a result, girls often start fighting for attention, which leads to further withdrawal.
A woman shared, "My mother literally didn’t listen to me or hear me. She’d ask if I were hungry and if I said I wasn’t, she’d put food in front of me as if I’d said nothing. She would ask what I wanted to do over the weekend or summer, ignore my answer, and then make plans for me. What clothes did I want? The same thing. But that wasn’t the central part: she never asked me how I was feeling or what I was thinking. She made it clear that I was largely irrelevant to her."
5 Combative Personality vs. Quiet Nature: Mothers And Daughters Should Not Be Enemies
Mothers and daughters can fight like cats and dogs. When a mother is combative, for example, this battle can cost family relationships. According to Psychology Today, combative mothers criticize their daughters and may even become jealous of them. Such mothers argue and abuse their power to make their daughters feel guilty. As Deborah Tannen says,
"This, in the end, maybe the crux of a parent’s power over a child: not only to create the world the child lives in but also to dictate how that world is to be interpreted."
Teens who struggle with self-acceptance may start blaming themselves for their broken family dynamics.
4 The Role-Reserved Mom: Girls Need Love
A mother's love is miraculous. At the same time, some women cannot bond with their little one due to emotional scars and fears. Not everyone is hardwired to love their children. Some women cannot meet their baby’s needs and may even abandon them. Emotionally reserved mothers who stay with their families are unavailable, which leads not only to arguments but emotional pain. As one daughter shared online, "My mother wasn’t mean. But she was emotionally disconnected from me and still is."
Note that such family dynamics are complicated and may lead to insecure attachment. Daughters who don’t develop a secure attachment may become afraid and even clingy later in life.
3 Unhealthy Vs. "Organic": Mothers And Daughters Should Embrace All Those Small Things
Millennial moms are reshaping the concept of motherhood. Data shows that in the next 10 years, 80% of Millennials will be parents. Since Millennials are the largest buyer of organic products, Millennial parents will go against fast food and sweets. Laura Batcha told the OTA, "Millennials are the largest consumer group in the United States, and they’re choosing organic. As more members of this generation become parents, their presence in the organic market will just get stronger. This year’s survey findings clearly show the positive relationship between organic and parenting."
Though organic lovers may find it difficult to live with a teen who loves fast food, the answer is a balance between healthy food and sweet treats.
2 Multiracial Families And Negative Stereotyping
Although all people are equal, race is still hard to talk about. In a world where people travel, learn about rituals, and explore new cultures, stereotypes still float over societies. Interracial families, for instance, may face numerous challenges, such as negative comments on social media, insults, stereotypes, and rejection.
Mothers and their daughters may find it difficult to relate to all the cultural differences and family stories. As a result of their mixed identity, daughters may start fighting with their parents. Couples need to initiate a healthy discussion about race and the way to handle prejudices.
1 Mothers And Daughter Can Be A Powerful Duo
The mother-daughter relationship is complicated. Mothers and teens fight, cry, laugh, and love all at the same time. Interestingly, Freud emphasized on the ambivalent feelings mothers and daughters experienced. Note that some psychoanalysts believed that girls were jealous of the man in the house - and his instrument of love - and blamed their mothers for bringing them into the world with something "missing."
Yet, a mother and her daughter can be a powerful duo. They can learn from each other, exchange values, and conquer the social media space. Most of all, they can share love!