Building a Strong Mother Daughter Relationship

mother and daughter authors sil reynolds and eliza reynolds 

Lately I've been thinking of ways I can connect with my daughter Ella. Simple stuff like be on my phone less, ask her more questions, and read her favorite books with her. Yesterday I promised I wouldn't go on my iPhone or computer after she came home from school. This made Ella beyond ecstatic. It wasn't too hard for me. Truth is, I really like her. Mothering her is pretty easy right now. And while I don't think her teen years will come without conflict, I hope we continue to develop a strong relationship regardless.

I wouldn't mind a few pointers to keep us on track though. I got some help last Thursday as ABC Home hosted the authors of the book, Mothering and Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years. As mother and teenage daughter duo Sil Reynolds and Eliza Reynolds read portions from their book, I was so happy for them. I loved that they worked together on a major project during what I suspect is the hardest period of mothering and "daughtering". It was so inspiring see the way they looked at each other as they read. Such pride and admiration.

I totally want to copy them when Ella's a teenager. Even if it's not working on a book, committing to doing something together would build such a strong relationship. I don't care what it could be--eat at every restaurant in the city, visit all the art galleries, or perhaps review every luxury hotel in the city ;) We could think of something. The authors stressed that the moms and daughters should be determined to connect--even for only a quality 15 minutes. They encouraged us to do things out of the ordinary and fight for that time. The book goes into more details, but hearing them talk was enough to get me thinking about my budding relationship with Ella. It's is one of my highest priorities in my life. And even though Ella's far from being a teenager, I'm excited to use some of the things I learned now.

And to think I initially came to the book launch for the amazing food from ABC Kitchen and the entertainment of my idol Natalie Merchant. I got so much more out of the night than I expected. I wish I brought Ella!
pictures of natalie merchant's performance after the jump. . .

I bawled during Natalie Merchant's performance. I listened to her, Innocence Mission, the Sundays and REM almost exclusively during my teen years. She brought me right to back to 11th grade, one of my favorite years ever. I got the chance to give Natalie a giant hug and thank her for writing such happy and poignant music. She took so much time to chat each fan. It made me love her even more. She preformed 4 songs: Tell Yourself, Motherland, a folk song, and Kind and Generous. I have to see more of her someday. Amazing. 
I was acting like I was taking pictures of the flowers, when really I stoked to be considered press haha


  1. You are amazing, Mrs. Presswoman!

    I hear ya about Natalie, she rocks...and makes me bawl, too, in a good way!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience!

    1. thanks!! At first when I saw your name--I thought it was a spam comment from an online flower delivery service or company. haha i'm so glad you're an actual person :)

      Natalie merchant for president.

  2. I love how you go about parenting and view it in such a happy and wonderful light!

  3. Oh my friend, what a fun night you had!

    After having Jake and Cole I was a bit scared to find out I was having a girl. And it was twins! Two girls!

    Sadly, Claire's twin didn't make it, but that isn't the point here.

    It's about my similar fear of NOT forming a strong and healthy mother-daughter relationship. I have 5 sisters and it was and still is a very challenging adventure for my mom to balance that times 6!

    You are amazing and I just know Ella will be proud to call you her mother when she becomes a teenager!


  4. Love the idea of doing a project together when they are a teen. I too am so nervous that when my kids get older they won't want to hang out with me, right now they think I'm pretty darn cool. :) Maybe Ella will be a runner and you can finally do that NYC Marathon together!

  5. Hi - I really, really, really like your blog, and am glad you are doing it full time again. Love all your ideas for kids, activities, food, budget stuff and clothes and conversations. Really love this one - wish I lived in NY.
    My baby daughter (first) isn't even one yet and I am already obsessed with how to develop the relationship - So please keep your ideas coming - I really enjoy them and get a lot of good tips.

  6. I would cry listening to Natalie Merchant in live version as well. I would end up bawling to Motherland since this was the song on repeat when I was laboring my daughter Olive. For 2 hours I could not get enough of that song. As an immigrant in the States, birthing my daughter in a foreign country had such a special meaning.
    I hope to paint or cook with my daughter.

  7. This is a topic that is in my thoughts very often, with 3 daughters! There is so much enjoyment in raising them and being close to them...the future is always present in the back of my mind though. Thanks for posting and giving info about this book. Would love
    to hear what else you got out of it. I'd like to think that if it stays a priority and I'm always thinking about retaining the relationships, that it's a good start! You're doing that, you're good at it!

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  9. Thanks for the book recommendation...I have two daughters and my oldest is turning 13 next month and I am trying to sort out our relationship and manage the Social Media maze with her right now. It is so hard!
    PS Natalie Merchant is awesome, one of my favorite songs all time is "Kind and Generous"

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