To trace the sources of mother-daughter conflicts, we usually found out the conflicts revolve around tiny issues, such as mothers’ maundering, daughters’ disobedience, etc. Conflicts between mothers and their teenage daughters are common, and the conflicts last till daughters’ adulthoods. From daughters’ perspective, they view mothers’ words as criticisms, but from mothers’ point of view, those words are kind suggestions.
Gayle Kirschenbaum’s conflict with her mother in LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! was not as simple as daily mundane criticisms such as “Your room is too messy”. Her mother criticized her nose and put endless efforts to make her have a nose job. However, the nature of their conflict is the same: Gayle viewed her mother’s words as criticisms, but her mother believed having a nose job is a kind suggestion. People have different thoughts, opinions, ideologies, etc. so it’s very hard judge who’s right and who’s wrong.
In Elizabeth Bernstein’s article, ‘I’m Not Your Little Baby!’ Calling a Truce in Mother Daughter Conflict, she offers several useful tips to keep the peace between mothers and daughters, which resembles the suggestions that Gayle offers in her documentary. Here are the ideas:
- Explain your intentions
- Examine the past
- Examine what you are really fighting about
- Examine your contribution
- Explain your anger
- Be willing to be vulnerable
- Find something fun and mutually satisfying
- Imagine a satisfying relationship
To sum up these tips, the key to resolve mother-daughter conflict is simple: communication. Mother and daughter should communicate their thoughts and think from each other’s perspective in order to understand each other. However, to really do so is a hard step. Mothers and daughters should put efforts in communication in order to achieve and maintain healthy relationships. Bernstein’s article is worth reading to all parents and children, as well as Look At Us Now, Mother! The personal documentary takes you to a visual journey of how intensive mother-daughter relationship alleviated.
Referrence: Bernstein, E. (April 24, 2012). ‘I’m Not Your Little Baby!’ Calling a Truce in Mother Daughter Conflict. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303592404577361903649660464