Women only start to appreciate their mums at the age of 23, it emerged today.
It isn’t until after a few tempestuous years of teenage angst, door slams and outfit disagreements that mum and daughter become truly appreciative of one another.
The study found that at the age of 23 the frequent arguments and bust-ups are replaced by heart to hearts, shared interests and shopping trips.
With the average teenage girl experiencing 183 quarrels with mum, 123 bouts of tears over boys and 257 fights with their siblings each year, it’s easy to see why the teenage years are testing for the mother-daughter relationship.
But that all changes just before their daughter hits her mid-twenties, when she’ll turn to mum more than ever before.
In a poll of 2,000 women about their relationship with their mother as a teenager, one quarter said their teenage years had been full of anxiety and impacted on the whole family.
Rows over bedroom tidiness, answering back and dating boys were among the top twenty issues to crop up between mum and daughter.
The research was commissioned by Lil-Lets as part of their Becoming a Teen campaign, which aims to help reassure and educate young girls on the issues they face when going into and throughout the teenage years.
Mary Young, Head of Marketing at Lil-Lets, said: “The relationship between mum and daughter can be testing during the teenage years but it’s clear that when a woman reaches her early twenties she appreciates her mum more than ever.
“It’s not unusual for a girl’s teenage years to be full of angst. Falling out with parents, worries about growing up and long chats over boys is probably the norm for most teenage girls.
“But as you get older you really learn to appreciate your mum and how much she did for you.”
Despite all the tears and tantrums, mothers play a key role in helping their daughters through the teenage years – four in ten said they had heart to hearts with their mum which proved crucial for getting through their teens.
And fortunately things seem to improve once girls hit their early twenties, with 23 being pinpointed as the age at which they start to appreciate everything their mothers have done for them.
Three quarters of women said they are grateful to their mum for the way they were raised – even if they didn’t realise it at the time – and seven in ten say they are the person they are today because of their mum and owe her a debt of gratitude for guiding them through a tough time as a teenager.
When it comes to the perfect mother-daughter relationship, a 25 year age gap was deemed ideal.
One fifth feel mums and their daughters should be best friends who tell each other everything, while three quarters feel the relationship is best if there is a close bond but some things remain private.
It’s sometimes hard to talk about personal issues and certain topics are particularly hard to broach – over a third of women said they’d struggle to talk to mum about periods and nearly two thirds shuddered at the idea of talking sex and contraception.
In a separate research group with girls aged 10-13*, three-quarters of girls questioned admitted they were anxious or fearful about their periods and a fifth feel anxious about the way they look.
Mary Young added: “At Lil-lets we understand that being a teenager is hard, but having a mum to turn to and talk things through or answer any questions is priceless in helping young women to manage.
“We offer advice and helpful tips through the Lil-lets Becoming A Teen website and at youtube.com/becomingateenuk.”
A YEAR AS A TEENAGE GIRL – THE NUMBERS
Door slams – 164
Grumbles with Mum – 183
Arguments with siblings – 257
Fall outs with Dad – 153
Fall outs with mates – 127
Tears over boys – 123
Chats with friends about periods – 125
Chats with friends about boys – 306
Hours on the phone – 274
TOP ROWS BETWEEN MUMS AND TEENAGE DAUGHTERS
1. Tidiness of bedroom
2. Answering back
3. Relationship with siblings
4. Relationships with boys
5. Staying out too late
6. The way I dressed
7. Attitude to school work
10. Use of bad language
* Dubit research focus group of 10-13 year old girls