Power Distance: Growing Up is Hard To Do
The relationship between a mother and daughter is a deep-rooted and intense bond. While the loving bond is often a source of positivity and support, it can also be a source of frustration and ambivalence (Birditt, 2009). A mother demands the respect and obedience of a daughter, while most children wish to gain positive feedback from a parent. Nevertheless, as a child matures they often begin to reject the high power distance that exists between a mother and daughter. As a child, I spent the majority of time with my mother, she was a loyal homeschool teacher, soccer coach, and friend. I happily embraced her demands and actively sought out her acceptance. My positive perception of my mother motivated me to behave as a polite and well-mannered daughter. I completely accepted the imbalance of power that existed between us. However, my perception changed as my mother became less involved in my life. As I became more independent and responsible, I felt more powerful and became less compliant. I ultimately started rejecting the legitimate power distance and viewing my Mother differently.
On a Winter night in 2008, my mother was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In the weeks following her diagnosis my siblings and I spent time with our relatives while she received treatment at the hospital. Although I was enjoying the sleepovers with my cousins, I remember feeling anxious to see my mother again. After a few weeks, she was released from the hospital on heavy medication and strict doctor 's orders. I was excited to see her again and was sure that she would display the same enthusiasm, but was very disappointed. I raced to the doorway to greet my Mother and i...
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...ged I rejected the high power distance that exists between a parent and child. Our relationship endured hardships that made it difficult for me to behave as a compliant daughter. I became independent and responsible after my parents divorced, which led me to feel powerful. My mother started behaving defensively when she realized she lost her credibility and influence. However, time is the best medicine and we have found a way to sort out a lot of our issues. I forgave my mother for becoming less involved and realized that her life changed too. My mother became more open in discussing our issues and took in interest in getting to know me all over again. Our relationship has improved drastically, however the power distance is definitely not as high. My mother and I have a loving friendship and have learned to share power instead of allowing it to ruin our relationship.
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