Why Mother-Daughter Friendships Might Not Be as Good as It Seems

Some people say that their mother or their daughter is their best friend. And it might seem like a perfect scenario for the already very close bond between a mother and daughter. However, this kind of relationship that looks great at first could actually have negative consequences for both women.

We at Bright Side absolutely love families who love and support each other. But it looks like there should be a line between a healthy relationship and overstepping certain boundaries.

Your daughter shouldn’t be your therapist.

Part of being friends, especially best friends, is sharing secrets with each other, talking about your problems, and providing emotional support. This relationship has to be mutual, but it wouldn’t be healthy for a mother and her daughter. A child shouldn’t be burdened with their parent’s worries, and they shouldn’t feel like the roles are reversed and that they have to act like an adult for their parent.

It’s important to set boundaries.

While friends can also create boundaries, they’re different from the ones that should be created by a parent. If you set a rule, your child needs to understand it has to be followed. In a friendship, you wouldn’t be allowed to enforce such rules and tell another person what to do. You need to be your daughter’s authority figure and show that you’re in charge, otherwise, you’ll become a “permissive” parent, which can cause your child to develop poor self-control.

It may be hard for your daughter to become independent.

As your daughter grows, she should become more and more responsible for her actions and learn to make her own choices. Your role as a mom will also change with time. The role of a friend, on the other hand, is more static. One friend isn’t supposed to become more independent from another with time. So if you act as a friend, it can be hard for your daughter to adjust to adulthood.

Your daughter might not develop her own personality.

Being too close to your daughter might prevent her from developing a personality that is separate from yours. Normally, she would observe both you and her peers, as well as other people she knows, and “collect” different personality traits, thoughts, and opinions from different people. But if you are both her mother and best friend, she might not learn to form her own opinions or develop her own identity.

You might become too dependent on each other.

Being friends might be good for both of you for some time. But you might end up relying on this friendship too much. And if you ever have a big fight that puts a strain on your friendship, it will also transfer to your relationship as a mother and a daughter, and it can be hard for you to do a good job as a parent.

Do you agree or do you think there’s no harm if a mother and daughter are friends? Are you friends with yours? How has it affected you and your relationship with them?

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Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit Pixabay.com


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My daughter and I are very close friends and have a fantastic relationship and I disagree with everything you said because we are the complete opposite

2 years ago
This comment is beautiful but so out of place.

i was best friends with my mom and she was an excellent role model for me and helped me to be independent and successful.. I strongly disagree with that article because it depends how this "best friend" relationship is defined.


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