Dear B. Scott,
I’m a 31-year-old woman and I have a 10 year old daughter, who I gave birth to when I was still in college, much to my parents’ dismay — especially my mother’s.
I’m doing a great job raising my daughter…or so I think I am. She’s properly taken care of, she’s making straight As and Bs, and she’s a really happy little girl.
The problem is that my mother and I have very different views on how I should be raising my daughter.
I don’t believe in hitting kids, even though I got one or two ‘whoopings’ when I was younger. My daughter talks back sometimes, but nothing outside of what most little girls do. It infuriates her grandmother to the point where she’s put her hands on my daughter without my consent and it’s becoming an issue.
There are a few other things that bother me, like when my mother doesn’t like my baby’s clothes, or her hair, or says she has too much freedom. I let my daughter make her own decisions when it comes to clothes & style as I believe that children should be encouraged to express themselves.
These differences are really starting to put a strain on my relationship with my mother and I don’t know what I should do.
Dear love muffin,
Mother-daughter issues never seem to go away and are perfectly normal.
Parenting is ultimately up to the parents of the child. After allowing your mother to express herself, you then should respectfully ask her to stay out of your parental decisions.
You know what type of relationship you’d like to have with your daughter and if the environment you’ve created works best for your household then your mother should honor that.
As you may know, children need consistency. Your mother must follow suit with how you parent your child. It isn’t up for discussion.
When it comes to disciplining your child, different people have different views and I’m not even going to get into which is right and which is wrong — like I said, it’s all about what works. If your mother can’t defer to your authority as a parent and keep her hands off of your child, then you should suspend her unsupervised visitation.
Parents often times feel like they know what’s best because they’ve already done it, but that’s not necessarily the case. Every parent-child relationship is unique and must be custom designed to fit their needs.
As I’ve said many times before, make sure you should approach people you love with love. I’m sure your mother loves your child just as much as you do and hopefully you can work together to make sure your daughter truly feels that.
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