You Don't Really Know Me: Why Mothers and Daughters Fight and How Both Can Win

Overview

Understand what your teenage daughter really means—and learn to use your arguments to strengthen your bond with her.
Mothers and teenage daughters argue more than any other child-parent pair—on average every two-and-a-half days. These quarrels, Terri Apter shows, are attempts to negotiate changes in a relationship that is valued by both mothers and daughters. A daughter often feels her mother doesn't know or understand her, and by fighting hopes to force her mother into a new ...

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Overview

Understand what your teenage daughter really means—and learn to use your arguments to strengthen your bond with her.
Mothers and teenage daughters argue more than any other child-parent pair—on average every two-and-a-half days. These quarrels, Terri Apter shows, are attempts to negotiate changes in a relationship that is valued by both mothers and daughters. A daughter often feels her mother doesn't know or understand her, and by fighting hopes to force her mother into a new awareness of who she really is, how she has changed, and what she is now capable of doing and understanding. But mothers often misinterpret their daughter's outbursts as signs of rejection, and they may pull back feeling hurt and confused. Through case studies and conversations between mothers and daughters, Apter shows mothers how to interpret the meanings behind a daughter's angry words and how to emerge from arguments with a new closeness.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Ask any mother of daughters: the only thing tougher than being an adolescent girl is being her mother. Terri Apter, a professor of family dynamics and author of Altered Loves: Mothers and Daughters During Adolescence, once again explores the rough terrain of mother-daughter relationships. She does this by including actual mother-daughter conversations along with her theories. She finds patterns in teenage behavior and strategies to deal with them, although she warns against too much theory and asks mothers to remember their own adolescence and relationship with their mothers. Rather than viewing teenage rebellion as an attempt to leave one's mother, Apter sees it as an attempt by daughters to relate to their mothers in a new way by making their mothers see them as the young adults they want to be. Though some of the advice mothers know intuitively (for example, wait until you are both calm before trying to finalize a solution), it is sound. Perhaps the most important observation Apter makes is that daughters are not trying to make their mothers crazy or to reject them, but instead are trying hard to define themselves. Understanding that daughters' harsh judgment of their mothers ("I hate the way she breathes") is based on the closeness that makes them aware of every aspect of their mothers' being doesn't make it any easier to accept, but it may make it easier to understand. Apter also looks at the relationship of middle-aged mothers with their own mothers, which usually becomes one of appreciation--a note of hope for any mother of a 15-year-old. Although the book is written more as a narrative than a self-help tome, the author's credentials and experience lend credibility to herwork. KLIATT Codes: SA--Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Norton, 280p. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 15 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393327106
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/17/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,433,491
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Terri Apter is a writer, psychologist, and Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge University. Her books include The Sister Knot and What Do You Want from Me? She lives in Cambridge, England.

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