Why Are Mother-Daughter Relationships So Fraught with Conflict?

From the Show: HER
Summary: Is the mother-daughter constant dynamic of conflict just a phase?
Air Date: 7/9/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Roni Cohen-Sandler, PhD
Roni Cohen-SandlerRoni Cohen-Sandler, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, nationally recognized author, and educator whose various professional roles enhance her ability to help teens, adults, and families.

She has written three parenting books, gives lectures, workshops, and keynote addresses throughout the U.S. and abroad and frequently appears as an expert on parenting, raising teenagers, and family relationships for national television, radio, magazines, and newspapers.

Through her travels, Roni Cohen-Sandler stays current with cultural trends, the most prevalent challenges teens face today, and their parents' greatest worries and questions. What she learns about the latest technology, online practices, and teenage behavior further enriches her clinical work.

In her practice, Dr. Cohen-Sandler specializes in psychological testing, individual psychotherapy, and parent guidance. She conducts thorough psychoeducational and neuropsychological evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults struggling with developmental, learning, social-emotional, psychiatric, and behavioral issues.

During feedback sessions, Dr. Cohen-Sandler identifies strengths as well as weaknesses along with patterns and key issues, giving parents an in-depth understanding of their children and what is causing their difficulties. She is particularly known for communicating this information in understandable language and providing detailed, applicable recommendations. Dr. Cohen-Sandler often observes students at school, participates in PPT meetings, and guides parents in advocating successfully for their children.

These abilities to zero in on presenting problems and develop corrective strategies facilitate Dr. Cohen-Sandler's effectiveness in treating the adolescents and adults she sees in psychotherapy. She helps patients to pinpoint unhealthy patterns in relationships and decision-making, better recognize impediments to their goals, and develop viable approaches to overcome them.

Dr. Cohen-Sandler's knowledge of adolescent development, contemporary teen issues, and achievement challenges enables her not only to address core issues with teens, but also to guide their parents. In this work, she encourages mothers and fathers to examine their own histories, beliefs, and parenting approaches to determine what best serves them and their children and to create the strong, trusting relationships.
  • Book Title: Trust Me, Mom: A Less Stressful Approach to Mothering Teenage Daughters
Why Are Mother-Daughter Relationships So Fraught with Conflict?
When you were a young girl and puberty hit, you may have experienced a dramatic shift in the relationship between you and your mom.

If you're now in the mom role, especially to a pre-teen or teen, there might be times you can't get through a conversation without it turning into a screaming match. More frequent fights, slamming doors, and the silent treatment can all be a part of this new dynamic.

Why does this happen?

Experts say that the most consistently fraught relationships are among a mother and her daughter. The mother might see her daughter as a reflection of herself and feels closer with a daughter (emotionally and physically) than a son.

A mother might want to protect her daughter from making the same mistakes that she once did or opportunities that she never had before. However, at the same time, the daughter is likely trying to find her own individuality.

Roni Cohen-Sandler, PhD, shares why mothers and daughters fight and how you can repair a conflicted relationship.