Keeping Peace with Dynamite Mothers and Daughters


Young people are not extensions of our egos, they are individuals unto themselves.-Henry Winkler

The relationship between mothers and daughters is dynamic. Learning how to navigate the minefield is not an easy task. Believe me, I know. I am the mother of two dynamite daughters, Jennifer and Lizzie, and one dynamite daughter-in-law, Olivia. I am their dynamite mother and grandmother to their 20 children. We are two generations apart and have different territories in life, but it is our actions as the mother that controls the mother-daughter relationship. I learned how to run a positive ship. It was not easy to take three dynamite girls and one dynamite mother and not have an explosion! I am proud to say I've stayed explosion free. Here is how the women in my family live in peace. It begins with two thoughts: territory and generation!

Our daughters have the right to control their own lives, their territory - without interference from mothers. However, sometimes that is very hard to do! So mothers, our goal is to think twice before suggesting once. It is not easy. I sometimes almost bite my tongue off to keep my silence, but I have learned to do just that.

Generation gap comes into play just because times change. I know a lot of us do not consider that factor. Mothers, we have to remember this. Think of our generation and our mother’s generation. We did things differently than our mothers. Right? Our daughters are going to do things differently than we do.

For all grandmothers who have sons and daughters I am quite certain you would admit it is easier to raise sons than daughters. As a grandmother who has not had that experience, I base my logic on comparing my 10 grandsons to my three daughters. Ten grandsons do not make up the emotional havoc of three daughters and one mother!

It does not matter the situation. Daughters are complicated. You ask your son, “How was your day?” “Fine,” he answers. You ask your daughter? At the very least, one thousand words tells the story of her day and with positive and negative emotions. Right? If your son has a problem he answers in four words or less, “It will be fine.” You ask your daughter. One of three things can happen: tears, a million words or silence. Right? You take a son shopping for clothes at one store for one hour. Done. A daughter will go to 10 stores, try on outfit after outfit and don't forget the stress involved! Get the picture? I know you do because it is a universal truth. We are feminine creatures and, no matter what age, we are complicated! We are a mix of so many emotions that can explode at a moments notice - sometimes happily, sometimes angrily, sometimes sadly - but never without drama! We are drama queens and our daughters are drama queens.

So this is my recipe for success. It is made up of 50% sugar and 50% spice. The sugar is: agree with the little darlings. You raised them with values that they keep in their head. So what if you do not approve of where they are moving or how they spend their money? It is not your concern. Keep quiet. Get that into your head. They have left your territory and established their own. Believe me. If there is a serious problem you will get the first call.

Now for the spice! Keep yourself vital and interesting. Have a purpose. Continue to be their role model. Show them what a wonderful life an older woman can experience by setting an example. You know the word "aging" in America is a bad word. Show them it is not. Aging is what you make it. Aging is growing.