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Understanding "Mother Blame"

Everyone talks about it. Mother blaming is in all of the books, it simply isn't fair to place all the blame on Mom for a poor relationship with her daughter. By definition, a relationship must include more than one party. The mother-daughter relationship, good or bad, is a reflection on two generations not just one.

Determining Who Is to Blame

Society is partly to blame for Mom's dilemma here. Motherhood is undervalued in the media and the butt of jokes. Professions that use skills akin to those of mothers are paid less and mother's work garners a low fee when it comes to divorce cases. Caplan, author of The New Don't Blame Mother, says, "the less a group is valued or respected, the easier it is to target them for ills." In this case the ills include some more of those impossible expectations.

Setting Mom Up for Blame

When Mom cannot fill the mandate of the following four myths, Caplan says she is poised for blame. The four myths that Caplan refers to are…

    Myth #1: The measure of a good mother is a "perfect" daughter.

    Myth #2: Mothers are endless founts of nurturance.

    Myth #3: Mothers naturally know how to raise children.

    Myth #4: Mothers don't get angry.

Accepting the Blame, Moms Who Feel Guilty

We all know moms that are racked with guilt and without sufficient logic or investigation accept blame for their mother-daughter dilemma. No doubt, some are playing the role of martyr. Others genuinely wear the cloak of responsibility and ponder what it is they didn't say that could have made a difference, what they could have possibly done wrong or how they could have done things differently.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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