How close is too close with your daughter?

Wise words from an English mum whose teenager can’t stand her dancing and singing. What teenager isn’t embarrassed by signs of young-spiritedness in a parent? It just doesn’t fit with the internalized image they’re trying to build of you as “foreign” to everything they want to be. If you break out in song while driving the car, then they’re worried that they can’t do that because then they might be like you. This is one of those things that’s part of the nature of human development.

Can single moms get too close with their daughters? Sure. So can married moms. It’s a disease that many mothers can succumb to. When a woman’s life is unfulfilled for any reason–absence of a love interest, poor marital relationships, lack of interesting work, not enough to do, etc.–it can contribute to a tendency to reach out to the closest female in her life.

This UK writer Rachel Johnson makes some great observations (using abundant references to British royals). She wonders why guys don’t talk about being best friends with their sons–well, I see plenty of that these days, too. I think it’s a tendency of a lot of boomers to want to befriend their kids. And it may have its roots in the fact that so many boomers were raised by Depression-era parents, many or most of whom had little or no emotional connection with their children of any kind. One of those backlash things.

Let’s face it. Humankind is never going to produce an entire generation of perfect parents. We just have to be smart enough to listen to wisdom when we hear it and apply to ourselves as best we can with our resources at the time. I think it was Andre Gide who said, “The appalling thing is, we’re all doing the best we can.”

Amen.


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