Irony, annoyance or hostility – sometimes the “harmless” words of a mother can inflict wounds that her daughter will carry for many years. What is the spirit of competition, tactlessness? No, experts explain, the point is in the very nature of maternal love. And the daughter needs to learn to overcome her dual nature.       

“Mom seems to really like to remember how disappointed she was when I was born,” says 34-year-old Marianne. – “Wow, girl – again no luck!” It is a mistake to think that the relationship between the mother and daughter should be cloudless only because both are “molded from the same test.”

Some mother words hurt a lot. And the scars from them remain for a long time. Sometimes these phrases are pronounced casually and even with a smile, but the daughter experiences real pain and confusion: what did mother want to say with that?


When, on the advice of a psychotherapist, Marianne tried to explain to her mother that her “humor” was causing her suffering, she answered with an innocent look: “Poor thing, I would regret you, but I have absolutely no time! Besides, I don’t understand what you’re talking about. ”

Why are mother’s evil jokes so powerful? “The daughter hears them from early childhood, when the child idealizes the mother, considers her omnipotent,” explains Jungian analyst Anna Skavitina. “And she doesn’t protest in the hope of hearing sooner or later the words of love she needs so much.”

“Why is mom so harsh with me?” – This question is asked by many daughters.

“The reason lies in the very nature of maternal love,” says Anna Skavitina. – The daughter in a symbolic sense becomes for the mother a mirror in which she sees her own reflection. Including traits that are not recognized in itself. Hence the duality of her feelings, and a touch of aggressiveness. “


“At age 14, our relationship with my mother became so tense that I started having asthma attacks,” recalls 27-year-old Natalya. – Some doctor advised her to take me to a psychologist. Mom replied that she and her father are already spending a lot of money on me and are not going to go bankrupt for treatment, which will still not be useful, because I have a very stubborn character. ”

Even if the child is not subjected to direct violence, the value of his life is in doubt. “If I weren’t fundamentally opposed to abortion, you would hardly have been born,” this phrase, which my mother uttered in a calm tone, acted on the 15-year-old Eve as a blow to the heart.

And 32-year-old Tatyana still remembers how she ended up in the hospital after a not-so-serious accident: “Mom came to visit me and, apparently, to support, she joked:“ Just a little bit, and all your problems would be solved. ”

In life you need to be able to defend yourself – let him learn, otherwise it will disappear later

“Not too tender, ironic, loving to make fun of children – these mothers are driven by aggressiveness that they are not fully aware of,” emphasizes the French psychotherapist Gerard Duperon. – Often in their relationship with their daughters, the story of a long-standing conflict with their own mothers is played again. And such women are sure that they have every right to behave this way. ”

“Aggression in relation to your own child is a feeling in which it is difficult for a woman to confess even to herself,” adds family psychologist Viktor Kagan. “But it finds hundreds of workarounds to express itself.” Even if the mother realizes that she is harsh with her daughter, she is looking for justification for this. For example, saying: “In life you must be able to defend yourself – let him learn, otherwise it will disappear later.”

In addition, at an unconscious level, the birth of a daughter is perceived by some women as frustration, futile expectation.

“The birth of a male child symbolically endows the mother with the phallus, gives her a sense of strength, while the girl reminds her that she is not omnipotent,” explains Julian analyst Julia Kazakevich.

“Recognizing in her daughter the features that she does not accept in herself, the mother unwittingly wants to distance herself from her,” adds Anna Skavitina. “While looking at her son, she joyfully discovers in him a resemblance to herself.”


“When we were little, my brother’s school successes enthralled her,” recalls 38-year-old Nadezhda. “My good grades were just the norm.” If he brought a deuce, it was an accident, and if I – it means, slipped into a double. Now mother lives alone, so I help her, I buy food, I call every day. The brother lives very close by, but rarely visits her. And still she remains a hero and a favorite for her. ”

The mother of 47-year-old Laura showed remarkable tactlessness when she announced to her daughter with a broken look: “You know, we made inquiries here: unfortunately, there were only two places left on our site in the cemetery – one for me, the other for your brother. We thought it’s not so important for you. ”

“A mother can perceive her daughter both as her narcissistic continuation and as a competitor,” says Yulia Kazakevich. “For some mothers, it seems as though the daughter, by the very fact of her existence, is stealing a particle of their being, their femininity, and thus poses a threat to them.” It’s just right to remember: “My light, mirror, tell me who is sweetest in the world.”


The appearance of the daughter often becomes the first bridgehead of the attack. “Well, nothing suits you,” said the mother of 11-year-old Jeanne when she tried on a new dress. “Just a bag of potatoes!” And then she “consoled” her: “You are my little ugly duckling!”

“Mother endlessly claimed that I was clumsy,” recalls 26-year-old Ksenia. – In the second grade, she led me to choreography. And the whole lesson threatened from behind the door with his fist: “Do not go in haste! Do not stand like a teapot! What are you stomping like a hippo in a skirt! ” After some time, she added: “It is a pity that you look so much like your dad and so little like me.”

Puberty – the age when a girl begins to assert her femininity – is a stressful time in the relationship between mother and daughter. “When I first had my period, she told me at ease:“ Don’t worry, this is just bad blood. It flows every month, ”recalls 20-year-old Erica.

When I was 15, mom found my diary and read some passages aloud to the whole family

“Mother’s statements about her daughter’s changing body largely affect her future female destiny,” explains psychotherapist Yuri Frolov. “It is important that in this regard, the mother communicate with her on an equal footing and help her daughter realize that she is entering an important stage in life – this will help the girl accept herself in her new form.”

However, what a mother tells her daughter in a similar situation depends on her personal attitude to sexuality. And often the mother tries to consolidate the status of a little girl for her daughter, far from the concept of “sexual object”.

Some mothers take pleasure in invading the lives of their daughters.

“Once, when I was 15, my mother found my diary and read some passages aloud to the whole family,” recalls 36-year-old Yana. “Ah, my girl fell in love!” – touching, she said. Everyone was having a lot of fun. I could hardly restrain my tears, I was angry, shame choked me.

Three years later, she called my friend to tell him that I was in love with him and that he should pay attention to me because I was a fragile and naive girl. She now justifies the interference in my personal life with the fact that “acts exclusively in my interests.”

FIRST – MEANS immature?

Most aggressive mothers who love to make fun of their own children have so many features inherent in the so-called immature parent. The psychological portrait of such a person – an immature parent – was perfectly described by the French psychoanalyst Gisele Arrus-Revidi.

Immature parents, as a rule, feel neither guilt nor responsibility, remaining eternal egocentric children. Mental maturity involves the ability to control one’s own impulses. But such mothers are not capable of it. Envy and jealousy often overwhelm them. All the people around them owe them something, and everything that others have, especially their daughters, infringes them.

It seems that they are perfectly adapted to social requirements, and sometimes even devoted to their children: they feed them well, take care of them, take them to school, etc. But really only their own person cares. The thought of old age is unbearable for them, and, curiously, they often look younger than their age!


Relations can be improved when the daughter herself becomes the mother, but this does not always happen. It is very important for some women to remain the only “real” mother forever. This also gives rise to dubious jokes.

“When I informed my mother that I was waiting for a girl,” says 27-year-old Elena, “she answered with a wide smile:“ I already feel sorry for her. Nothing, when I sit with her, I’ll tell you everything about what you really are. ”

“Daughter, you are a bad mother,” this thought ranks first among the criticisms of newly minted grandmothers. “To consider a daughter as a bad mother is a way to take the blame off yourself by blaming the other,” says Julia Kazakevich. “Such a woman justifies herself:“ It wasn’t me who was a bad mother, a bad mother is you. ”

“It seems to her that the grown daughter is encroaching on the holy of holies,” adds Anna Skavitina. “She seems to be saying: you cannot take away from me the main thing – my maternal power, I will not allow you.”

“Once I shared my anxiety with her: are I not taking care of my teenage son too much,” recalls 48-year-old Natalya. “Really? – Mom answered with genuine surprise. “But it seemed to me that you didn’t do it at all!”

Mom convinced me that I would not achieve anything in my life. I proved that she was wrong

So who should appear before the daughter of her own mother? Saint? Wicked Witch? No, just a woman! To become an adult, to free herself from her influence, the daughter must learn to maintain a distance and cease to perceive her judgments as a law. This is the price of independence. But this inner work is slow and difficult.

“Mom convinced me that I would not achieve anything in my life,” recalls the 29-year-old Larisa. “I proved that she was wrong: I got married, I have a favorite job.” But now to have a baby … I have never seen affection from her and now I am afraid that I can’t be a good mother – tender, sensitive, just the kind I dream of becoming. ”

This fear is true: if a woman had an unkind mother, in turn, she, in addition to her will, can reproduce a model of behavior from which she herself suffered. But, having realized the problem, the scenario can be changed. A person can give others something that he has not received or has not experienced himself.

Even if we were not loved too much in childhood, we are able to both love and succeed in life. This confirms the experience of many people, and science knows. To give, to give pleasure to others, to love – every person knows how, this is our nature.

“Separating from the mother internally, becoming her equal and adult, the woman gets the opportunity for a completely new – no longer based on unfulfilled children’s needs – emotional closeness with her mother,” said psychotherapist Ekaterina Mikhailova. “And that could be a wonderful gift for both.”