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3 Types of Mothers Who Constantly Criticize Their Daughters

Living with constant criticism is one of the most difficult skills that, unfortunately, many children learn to master in more or less good ways. 

Growing up is especially painful and challenging when the most significant criticism comes from the mother. 

If you are a daughter constantly criticized by your mother, your relationship with her is probably not the best either. Mothers who constantly criticize their daughters have a lot in common, and none of it is good.

Mother and daughter arguing

No one wants to be a bad parent, and it’s good that today people are increasingly asking what it takes to be a good parent. 

In contrast to the older generations, who decided much easier to copy their own upbringing pattern, the younger generation of parents is constantly questioning themselves and looking for ways to play this role better and differently than their parents. 

And although today, it is often emphasized that the father’s role in growing up is just as important as that of the mother, this does not make the part of the mother any easier.

What makes a mother who only wants the best for her child become a mother who constantly criticizes her daughter? 

How do you deal with a mother like that? Can a relationship that is so compromised ever be repaired? Is it even worth fighting for such a relationship?

We will answer these and other essential questions in this text. But, before we do so, there are some truths you need to know before you dive into this topic. 

10 Things You Need to Know If Your Mother Constantly Criticizes You

Regardless of the reasons your mother constantly criticizes you, there are some things you need to learn to make your life easier. 

Simply by thinking about the truths we are sharing here, you’ll feel empowered to deal with this issue more efficiently:

  1. The criticism is never really about you
  2. You don’t have to please anyone, not even your mother
  3. You will never be good enough for your mother, but you can be whatever you want to be
  4. You have the right to criticize back your mother 
  5. It is not your fault your mother is never satisfied 
  6. You are not responsible for your mother’s happiness 
  7. The parent is always more accountable for the relationship with the child than the child is
  8. You have the right to protect yourself from destructive criticism regardless of who it comes from
  9. It is not your job to fix your mother’s childhood trauma 
  10. Your job is to find what and who makes your heart sing not to find a way to please anyone

Now that we’ve got this out loud and clear let’s give you a more profound explanation of why your mother feels the need to criticize you so much. 

Type 1: A Perfectionist Mother 

Authoritative mature mother sit on couch at home fight quarrel with grown-up adult daughter

The sad truth is that your mother’s childhood must have been at least twice as bad as yours, as bad as yours was. 

People who tend to criticize others, to see flaws in everything, and find it difficult to give praise, are people who themselves have only experienced harsh criticism. 

They lived and survived with a strong feeling that only perfect is good enough. Still, since perfection is unattainable, nothing is ever good enough.

Mothers who criticize their children too much are often perfectionists who project their perfectionist standards onto their children. 

The perfectionist mother has never been able to accept herself with all her flaws, and her life is a constant struggle against herself. 

This kind of mother mistakenly believes that constant criticism will save you from some imaginary all-seeing ill-intentioned eye of the public.

She experiences your failure or mistake as her own defeat. 

Since she was never allowed to make a mistake, she sees the mistake as an apocalypse. She feels the world will collapse no matter how small and insignificant the mistake is.

What to do? 

Since it’s not your job to treat your mom, the best thing you can do with a parent like this is to learn to praise yourself for every success, develop your standards and get to know yourself well. 

When you know what you want and what is important to you, it will be easier for you not to care about anyone’s criticism. 

It will be easier for you to focus on the path to your goal.

Type 2: A Narcissistic Mother 

overreacting mother

A narcissistic mother is a profoundly immature person who is only interested in others as far as they fit in with her grandiose self-image. 

narcissistic mother does not see her daughter as a person with unique needs, characteristics, or talents but as a tool for personal marketing. 

The child of a narcissistic mother usually somehow makes it to adolescence and learns to satisfy his mother’s needs and to be what is expected of him. 

But since adolescence is a stage of rebellion, daughters often rebel against parents who do not meet their needs. 

And that is the moment when the narcissistic mother most often becomes a fierce, bitter critic of her child. 

She sees her daughter either as a rival or as her personal project. A daughter who refuses to be one of those two faces harsh criticism in every sense.

Such a mother does not have the emotional capacity to be a parent in the true sense of the word. 

It is harrowing for a daughter to face the fact that her mother does not see her and only loves her under certain conditions.

What to do?

No matter how hard it is, it is healthiest for you to distance yourself from this kind of mother and seek support in other relationships. 

You should not hesitate to seek the support of a psychotherapist. This is the fastest way to get rid of the influence of such a parent. 

Our parents gave us life, but that doesn’t mean they have the right to destroy it.

Type 3: A Mother With Failed Ambitions 

Mad bothered millennial girl annoyed by authoritative lecturing mother

There is a certain type of particularly devoted mothers who, for various reasons, failed to achieve their own ambitions. 

Their life strategy consists of dedicating themselves to their children as much as possible. 

They sacrifice their personal needs, unconsciously expecting their children to make up for them by realizing their ambitions.

If you are the daughter of a failed mother, it will be complicated for you to separate from her. 

Such mothers unconsciously manipulate their daughters by making them feel guilty through constant complaints about how much they sacrificed for them. 

The simple reason why this kind of mother will never be satisfied with you is that she is trying to live her life through you, and that is impossible. 

Unlike a narcissistic mother, she manages to recognize and satisfy some authentic needs of her child. 

Still, in the end, when the child shows that he is not interested in living her dreams, she becomes profoundly disappointed and often slips easily into depression. 

Your desire to fulfill your dreams and not hers represents the final confrontation with the truth that she will forever remain unfulfilled. 

That is why it is so difficult for her to accept that your dreams are different from her plans for you. 

What to do?

More than a perfectionist mother or a narcissistic mother, a self-sacrificing mother has a chance to eventually repair the relationship with her daughter and abandon toxic criticism. 

When she accepts the truth that she will always be what she is, this kind of mother often still manages to rejoice in the child’s success. 

Through the child’s success, she at least feels like a successful mother, so that becomes the basis for building a new relationship with the child. 

Although it is not your task to heal your mother’s trauma, it can help a lot for a better relationship with such a mother if you show her that you sincerely see and appreciate everything she has done for you and show her that you love her. 

However, it does not work in all cases. Sometimes you just have to learn to distance yourself and live your life.

Final Thoughts 

Regardless of why your mother constantly criticizes you, you need to learn to avoid criticism and be kind to yourself. 

A healthy relationship with someone who can provide support, the love of a partner, a friend, or the experience of someone with a similar mother can help you in this. 

It is challenging for a child to stop expecting the love they are entitled to from their parents and to start acting like an adult towards their mother. 

When a child is born, they want only one thing – their mother loves, caresses, and feeds them, and they will do everything to get the attention they crave. 

It is usually when we have our own children that we realize how true this is and how hard it is to be both a parent and a child.