Reviving Ophelia - Chapter 5, Mothers Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 5, Mothers Summary and Analysis

In this chapter, Dr. Pipher reflects upon some of the mothers and daughters that she sees in therapy. She points out that Western civilization places unrealistic expectations on mothers. Mothers are held responsible for their children's happiness and the overall well-being of the entire family. Childhood relationships with fathers are viewed as productive and growth-oriented, while relationships with mothers may be seen as regressive and dependent. Fathers are praised for taking an interest in their children's lives. Mothers, however, are criticized for either being too distant or too overprotective and smothering. Daughters are expected to love their mothers, but not to be too much like them.

Adolescence requires daughters to distance themselves from the person with whom they are most closely identified. This happens at a time when girls need their mothers the most. Mother-daughter conflicts are not new...

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This section contains 557 words
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Buy the Reviving Ophelia Study Guide
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