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Sil Reynolds & Eliza Reynolds: Mothering and Daughtering
Simply put, conscious mothering is mothering with an increasing awareness of our unconscious beliefs and behaviors, especially those beliefs and behaviors that are not useful or effective as we raise our daughters. We must be careful, however, that we don’t take on this practice of increasing our awareness as a burden, as one more thing we have to add to our to-do list in the already-overwhelming role of mothering our adolescent daughters. Instead, increasing our awareness of how and when to use our intuition will make this task easier, because it will improve communication and strengthen the mother-daughter bond. Please note: Conscious mothering is not perfect mothering. It is a daily practice that does not consider perfection a desirable or obtainable goal. My own consciousness and confidence grew as I mothered my teenage daughter very imperfectly. Through this process, I landed on four cornerstones of the Mothering & Daughtering approach:
- You and your daughter have a bond for life. It is together, as a team, that you can make this bond positive and enduring. If you are both committed to staying connected through your daughter’s teen years, you are more than halfway there. This book aims to give both of you the tools that will help you find that commitment and stay connected.
- You, her father or your partner are the most important people in your daughter’s life. Her relationship with her father is for another book, but here is what is true about her relationship with you: she longs to rely on you, to share her private matters with you, to learn how to love her feminine body and self, and to have her new and emerging identity as a woman lovingly mirrored back to her.
- Your adolescent daughter actually wants and needs you to stay at the center of her life. It is important that you are conscious of this, even if she isn’t. It is by you staying reliably at the center of her life, as a steady and mature presence, that she can find her way to healthy independence as a true adult.
- When the mother-daughter bond is strong, the challenges of raising an adolescent daughter tend to invigorate, rather than exhaust, a mother. A strong mother-daughter bond is the foundation from which good communication happens, trust grows, and limits are honored. Did I mention that it is also much more fun?
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