What is the impact of overbearing moms on daughters?

By: Dr. Jennifer B. Lagrotte, DMFT

There are many things that need to be taken into account when raising a child. There is certainly more to think about than simply teaching values and morals. How a mother interacts with her daughter, or behaves toward her daughter can either help to build up her daughter's character or break it down. Most parents want their children to grow up to be the best individuals they can be, regardless of whether they choose to be a geneticist or a manger of the pub downtown. However, many will neglect to realize how easy it is to damage their daughter's confidence in herself and her abilities.

A daughter with a mother, who is more critical than supportive of most of her efforts in school, or in a hobby, is less likely to feel she can achieve anything. In fact, she may lower her standards in many areas of her life so that she does not feel like she is bringing as much disappointment to her mother. At first, when the daughter is young, and still feels that she may still be able to obtain some approval from her mother, she may work really hard in school to get the high grades she thinks she needs. She may also try to be the best at any hobby she gets into, feeling that no matter how hard she tries she has far more work to do before she can improve to the level she needs to be at. The daughter's attitude toward work can eventually lead to almost an unhealthy obsession where she has to have everything done perfectly. This however, will not go on forever. In fact, as more time passes and as the mother remains critical of most of her daughter's efforts, the daughter may reach a breaking point where she gives up altogether. The marks at school do not matter anymore and she may start to believe that putting effort into her post-secondary studies is pointless because she will never be good enough.

There is little more damaging to a person's confidence, self-esteem and self-worth than if they are more focused on trying to impress and meet the standards of their parent instead of their self. A person should be working to improve themselves because they want to, not because they think it will make their mother happy. As time goes on, the rift in the relationship between mother and daughter can continue to widen until there is no relationship left. The daughter moves farther away and works to live her own life and try to find some happiness in something else instead.

This does not have to be the relationship between mother and daughter. In fact, if help is found sooner than later, the future relationship can be a healthier and happier one. Seeking help from an online therapist or online counselor can help improve the relationship. Online counseling or online therapy can go a long way to helping the mother and daughter understand each other better, and find ways they can change things so they do not grow further apart.

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Dr. Jennifer Lagrotte, DMFT is the owner of CompleteCounselingSolutions.com which offers a variety of online counseling services. If you would like to know more about Jennifer or any of our online therapists, visit our website.

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