All of a sudden, your daughter just moved out of the house without dropping an address or a phone number. Or maybe she still lives with you, but it’s obvious she doesn’t treat you as someone who is a part of her life.
Losing your relationship with your daughter as a mother is an overwhelming feeling. And you probably would never understand it because as far as you know, you two always seemed okay. The last great mother-daughter trip you two had was some months ago but it was perfect. So, what changed? Dealing with an estranged child could be delicate because anything you do could aggravate her.
These seven tips would help you reconnect with your daughter
- Just give it time:
One important thing to note when reconciling with your estranged daughter is that it could take time, probably longer than you expected. Even though you are eager to become part of your daughter’s life again, patience is a virtue you should hold on to.
- Avoid pressuring her:
This will only push you further away from her life. Trying to force her to talk to you through any means would end up creating a bigger rift between you two. So, try to move at her own pace.
- Don’t guilt-trip:
At some point, you might think that if you could make her feel guilty about the situation, she would end up trying to reconcile. Guilt-tripping is a shot that is most likely to backfire. Your daughter might end up thinking that all you want to do is manipulate her emotions and make her take all the blame. Trust me. You won’t want her to feel like this.
- Apologize when you are wrong:
Try to know why the estrangement occurred and how you are involved in it. They are ways you could be the cause of the situation, whether intentionally or not. You would have to own up to your faults and apologize for them. She should feel that the reason for your apology isn’t just because you want to get back into her life, but because you feel bad for what you had done. It would help if you let her know you would do your best to avoid like situations from reoccurring.
- Listen: Most times, listening is exactly what your child wants from you, and it could be all your situation needs to get better. Her words might be full of criticism, and hearing her out would be hard. Why? Let’s face the truth:
No one likes hearing bad things about themselves, let alone when it comes from your child, but at this point, all you have to do is to pick out whatever truth is in those hurtful words and work on it. Don’t be in a hurry to defend yourself. Allow her to pour out her heart.
- Don’t relent in loving: Even though you may have been the reason for the friction between you and your daughter, the truth is, you did not cut her off your life. She did. So no matter how much resentment she shows towards you, you shouldn’t back down on your response.
Continue to show her love as you used to. She should know that you haven’t stopped loving her because of the situation, and you don’t plan to stop. If she moved out of the house and you can get her address or contact, continue reaching out to her, send birthday and holiday messages and gifts. You could occasionally send messages telling her that you do wish to become part of her life again.
But try not to overwhelm her with your messages and gifts.
- Don’t involve outsiders:
In situations like this, you could feel lost and helpless; these feelings can make you want to find help from a third party. You might feel like contacting her friends, schoolmates or colleagues, or children, asking them to speak on your behalf. That’s not a great idea. Involving an outside party will feel like a boundary violation to your daughter. You should respect her boundaries and try as much as possible to keep it between the both of you. If you want to seek help, you could go for counseling. You could also seek advice but make sure you filter what you take in.
If these tips work, seize the opportunity and double your effort to maintain your relationship with your daughter. You could suggest excellent mother-daughter weekend retreats. This will help the both of you spend time together and reconnect. During the time together, get to know her better, let her express herself, and listen without judging. Your daughter should feel that being part of life means a lot to you, and you are willing to compromise sometimes.