As a mother, have you ever asked yourself questions such as the following:
"How am I going to tell my daughter about that? What would I even say? Where would I begin?" You may feel an enormous pressure and weight on your back as you try to guide your precious, little girl through life. You want her to experience and grow with every accomplishment and challenge she faces, yet you want to protect her from the mistakes and heartaches you may have experienced yourself. Life is hard, and it becomes even harder as your daughter grows and the topics you discuss become more complicated.

In my newly released book, Side By Side The Revolutionary Mother-Daughter Program for Conflict-Free Communication, I help mothers and daughters navigate through their sometimes rewarding, other times, tumultuous relationship. I encourage them to attain balance through a technique I have developed called S.W.E.E.P. In order to live our lives to the fullest, we must find balance in five key areas which together form the acronym S.W.E.E.P. The five key areas we need to examine are Sleep, Work, Eating, Emotional expression of self, and Play.

I reveal the Four Truths of every mother-daughter relationship. The Four Truths are the following:

1. Mothers and daughters want the same things: love, understanding and respect.
2. Mothers and daughters speak the same language.
3. Mothers and daughters, on some level, are in competition with each other.
4. Mothers and daughters have estrogen-lots of it.

I introduce an easy-to-use method called the Chair Strategy. This strategy reveals that moms and daughters approach each other in one of three positions: back-to-back, face-to-face or side-by-side. I give mothers and daughters the tools and the ability to develop the skills for identifying their position and then moving towards the position they desire.

One of the most valuable sections of Side By Side is called Hot Button Issues where I enable mothers to tackle some of the most challenging of areas: sex, money, values and divorce.

Let's touch on one of the most taboo of areas between a mother and a daughter: sex. I want to go beyond just the telling of the proverbial birds and bees, beyond telling your daughter about birth control, about safe sex, and what men want and how a woman should be treated. In Side By Side, I talk about the notion of the Perceived Transfer of Sexuality. This may be a new topic altogether for some moms, and perhaps they are unaware of what it truly means to transfer sexuality. You can read further about Perceived Transfer of Sexuality (PTS) and post your own comments in this blog I wrote for Larry King Live:

Have you ever had a REAL conversation about sex with your daughter? Not the types of silly stories about where babies come from that can lead to confusion and embarrassment, but the truth about sex. Sexuality is a key component in defining who your daughter becomes, and leading her down a dangerous emotional path because you are uncomfortable with the topic is unacceptable. While allowing the freedom for your daughter to explore, it is also a mother's responsibility to instill self-respect in her daughter during this personal process.

Keeping your daughter ignorant and away from the opposite sex is no way to handle this issue, instead, it can reveal your own anger and resentment towards the opposite sex which is both unfair and damaging. Although the "sex talk" can be anticipated with dread, educating your daughter about sex and sexuality in every aspect is essential so that the lines of communication remain open as she matures so that you are to whom she turns with her growing questions and concerns. Your words are powerful, mom. The way you talk to your daughter can either enlighten or confuse choose wisely.

Read more about S.W.E.E.P., the Four Truths, The Chair Strategy, Hot Button Issues and how they can empower you to have the strength and ability to journey on the path from sabotage towards success in your relationship with your daughter.

Side By Side The Revolutionary Mother-Daughter Program for Conflict-Free Communication is available at stores and on-line now:

About the Author

Dr. Charles Sophy

Dr. Charles Sophy is medical director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

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