photo by Scott Swigart

“A daughter is an extension of her mother and also a woman unto herself” ~Honey

You love one another…yet one of you is often saying the wrong thing! Does that sound familiar, dear readers? I have toiled over the years to improve my communication skills with my daughters because they are attuned to everything I say! My girls weigh my every sentence! Personally I feel they are, at times, very unskilled Tic Toc detectives, meaning they read into my words incorrectly. So what’s a mother to do?

Tips for surviving mother-daughter arguments

Recently, I had a telephone conversation with one of my daughters.

I said, “I am so happy to hear your voice. I haven’t seen you in a while (I live in the city, she lives in the burbs) and I miss you.”

My daughter’s calm response, “Well, I don’t know why you are complaining, mom. You travel and spend the winter in California.”

Wow! I ask myself, “Where did that come from?”

Though I wanted to immediately retort and defend myself, I paused and bit my tongue because I know the intensity of mother-daughter relationships.

We hung up with a cool good-bye. I wondered to myself… what was the cause of this explosion? Then, I realized, she missed me when I am away and is really giving me a backhanded compliment!

1. Stay calm

So, my first rule of thumb when dealing with negative communication is to bite your tongue! Think twice before you speak once! A negative retort will most probably lead you into a verbal war zone! Why suffer?

The next day, I grabbed a taxi to go to the Arts Club for a lecture and my iPhone rings. I see my daughter’s name. My heart begins to race. I didn’t know what to expect!

“Mom, I am so sorry about yesterday. I had a lot on my mind,” she said.

I sighed with relief, then replied, “Of course, I understand. I am so happy you called. I love you so much.”

“Thank you for understanding, mom. I love you so much too,”she replied.

You see dear readers, I never allowed myself to enter into a verbal war zone with my daughter on either of the phone calls. I didn’t defend myself on the first call and I immediately forgave her on the second call.

2. Good communication

My second rule of thumb: Teach yourself to use good communication skills. I did this by remembering how I felt as a daughter when my mother and I argued.

3. Smooth things over

Smooth the waters at all costs. Please make love not war. Refuse to get into a “you said, I said” situation with your daughters! That is not to say you don’t want to! That is not to say you are a weak mother. You are actually a very strong mother and your actions are teaching your daughters how to communicate properly with their daughters.

4. Don’t shut her out

Lastly, refuse to close the communication door. I start sending loving text messages with my emojis of two hearts intertwined, a red lip meant as a kiss, a rainbow for peace and last but not least a big red XO. They love them! And… they love me! How can they refuse to answer?

Feel good in your role as their mother. You are their role model. Use or learn positive communication skills to smooth over mother-daughter arguments.

And one more tip… don’t forget the power of PRAISE. A mother’s praise will light a daughter’s life.

Have you had challenges in your relationships with daughters? How have you handled them? How do you keep the peace? I would so love to hear from you either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Worth repeating: This post originally ran in June 2015