5 Ways to Start Building a Strong Mother-Daughter Bond Now

I love my mom, but I didn’t fully appreciate her until after having my own kids.  One of the things that I wished we had was a stronger line of communication.  I was always afraid of disappointing her or receiving that deathly “mom stare” when I told her something that she didn’t like hearing.  So I just chose not to share a lot with her … and it really affected me growing up.

When my eldest daughter Madison was born, I made sure to tell her that I loved her every day. I reminded her that she was a beautiful person both inside and out, and most importantly how proud of her I was.  

I am no expert, but I am very happy with the relationship that I have with my girl. Sometimes she tells me things that make me cringe — like what kid she knew was smoking in the bathroom at school. Madison feels secure enough to tell me stuff like this, and it gives me a chance to ask her about her thoughts on smoking and drug use without bringing it up awkwardly. Building a strong mother-daughter relationship is so crucial for our girls. The bond that is built will help carry them through their adolescent years.

But HOW do you build that one-of-a-kind bond?  I’m so glad you asked.  Here are 5 things you can start doing now…

  1. Have a Mother/Daughter Pamper Session ::  As early as two years old, I started taking Madison to the nail salon with me.  We would giggle and laugh as our toes were being tickled from our pedicure.  She especially loved the salons with the child-sized spa chairs.  It made her feel like a big girl, and it let her know that I enjoyed spending time with her and that we were a team.
  2. Have a Daughter’s Day Out ::  I pick a random day during the school year that doesn’t coincide with test day or a school event, and I choose it without her knowledge.  Madison goes to school in the morning as usual, and then I show up mid day to pick her up early.  What kid doesn’t love leaving school early as long as it doesn’t involve shots at the doctor’s office? We grab lunch at a restaurant of her choice and do one fun activity afterwards {trip to the zoo, museum, Chuck-E-Cheese, ice cream shop, etc.}.
  3. Share a Common Interest :: Madison loves reading. I make an effort to read some of her book recommendations. Then we go to Starbucks or simply make tea at home and discuss how amazing the book is.  Extra bonus points if the book becomes a major motion picture, because we can then make a mommy / daughter date out of it.
  4. Go on a Mommy / Daughter Date or Trip :: As she’s gotten older, taking her out of school for Madi’s Day Out is harder to do. So we switched to having a Mommy / Daughter Date instead.  We pick a date every month or so and make an effort to do things that we normally wouldn’t do, like try a new restaurant or do something new. This past summer was the first time we took a trip without the rest of the Nguyen gang. We went to Boston and New York and had such a memorable experience together. We both hope to make traveling together a tradition.
  5. Just Listen :: It’s so important to really listen to what your daughter has to say and take advantage of opportunities to discuss things as they come up. I put my phone away when she is talking and jot down important dates that she tells me about in my calendar.  This shows her that it’s important to me as well, and she can depend on me to not drop the ball on stuff. Sometimes she shares her deep feelings or is torn about something.  I let her make her own decisions even though my mom voice is screaming on the inside to tell her what to do. I always make sure to follow up on moments like this at a later time so I can see how she is feeling about them.  

With all that said, building a strong mother-daughter relationship is no easy task, and it takes much more than going out together here and there. I find that the small moments have just as large of an impact on our relationship.  It’s the everyday hugs, talking in the car while I drive her to dance, or coming into her room to say good night when I find us talking about stuff that she wouldn’t tell me in front of her dad or brothers.  I can only hope that our mother-daughter bond will get stronger as she grows up. 

What are some bonding traditions that you share with your daughter?

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