How to Manage Your Mother: Skills and Strategies to Improve Mother-Daughter Relationships

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Do you and your mother remain caught in the same behavioral patterns, having the same exasperating conflicts over and over again--even though you know there is a point at which your mother stops and you start as an autonomous, independent woman who always feels compelled to answer to Her? What most grown daughters don't realize is that they are partially responsible for perpetuating these painful and unproductive mother-daughter encounters. A step-by-step guide, How to Manage Your Mother helps women pinpoint the ...
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Overview

Do you and your mother remain caught in the same behavioral patterns, having the same exasperating conflicts over and over again--even though you know there is a point at which your mother stops and you start as an autonomous, independent woman who always feels compelled to answer to Her? What most grown daughters don't realize is that they are partially responsible for perpetuating these painful and unproductive mother-daughter encounters. A step-by-step guide, How to Manage Your Mother helps women pinpoint the trouble spots in their mother-daughter relationships, first by outlining six of the most common maternal styles for daughters to identify with. Then, simple fast-acting strategies--such as learning to set limits, deflect criticism, and use humor--are discussed. Practicing these skills leads to immediate results in equalizing the mother-daughter balance of power. The roles of other family relationships (such as father-daughter) and their significance are also illuminated and put to use to help mothers and daughters communicate better. As a daughter you will learn to contend with your "Internal Mother"--that maternal voice every daughter carries around inside her head, regardless of where Mom is. You will also learn how to manage watershed events in the mother-daughter life cycle; how to get the most from and give the most to your mother; and how to come to terms with becoming a mother yourself without repeating the negative aspects of what has gone on before. How to Manage Your Mother illustrates that, by learning to alter their behavior, daughters can elicit those longed-for nurturing responses from Mom. Most important, this practical, authoritative--and funny-- book enables mothers and daughters of all ages to break down the barriers that prevent them from truly understanding and appreciating each other. No daughter--or mother--should be without this book.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this provocatively titled self-help book, psychotherapists Cocola and Matthews ( Why Did I Marry You, Anyway? ) contend that even professionally successful women, among those of all ages and backgrounds they interviewed, fail to relate positively to their mothers. After offering up a horrendous gallery of maternal styles--chronically anxious, hypercritical, competitive, etc.--the authors advocate methods for dealing with all, starting with the gradual creation of a flexible ``optimum distance'' between mother and daughter and evolving a relationship to accommodate other family members and events in their respective lives. While these strategies--some are pat--may or may not succeed in ``managing'' a mother, the authors' theory of an ``internalized maternal'' voice dooms the poor daughters to be ``wired'' forever to a ``Mother Within'' whom they must also learn to manage, lest she dominate them even after the actual mother's passing. First serial to McCall's; Literary Guild and Psychotherapy Book Club alternates; author tour. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671866785
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 5/4/1993
  • Pages: 288

Table of Contents

Pt. I The Mother Maze 13
Introduction: Can I Possibly Manage My Mother? 15
Ch. 1 Trailblazing: New Solutions to Old Problems 20
Ch. 2 Maternal Styles 34
Pt. II Basic Skills and Srategies 69
Ch. 3 Setting Limits 71
Ch. 4 Listening, Joining, and Jesting 102
Ch. 5 The Family Filigree 125
Pt. III Advanced Skills and Strategies 161
Ch. 6 Managing the Mother Within 163
Ch. 7 A Daughter's Rites of Passage 190
Ch. 8 Becoming a Mother 219
Ch. 9 A Mother's Rites of Passage 248
Source Notes 273
Index 275
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