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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Published May 21 2012

Hot topic: Conflict with mothers can stem from grief

Good or bad, we mothers bear the brunt of the blame for our children’s problems.

Never mind the fact that fathers are now more involved than ever in their children’s lives. That perception persists.

Think Kathy Hilton, mother of Paris and Nicky; Lynne Spears, who is now estranged from daughter Britney; and Lindsay Lohan’s mom, Dina.

While their celebrity has made them public examples, we ordinary mothers are at the end of our daughter’s pointy little fingers just as often.

Mother blame, as it is referred to by experts, is part of growing up and has a long history in our culture, said Dr. David Eigen, an Atlanta psychologist and author of “Women – The Goddesses of Wisdom: The Journey of Womanhood” (Gender Studies Institute Press).

“I mostly hear about fathers being either absent, physically abusive or emotionally unavailable,” Eigen said. “Mothers, though, are basically blamed for everything else because they are the ones typically thought of as the nurturer.”

When Mom is not available to fulfill that role, for whatever reason, he said children often feel neglected, unwanted and abandoned.

And when that child is female, the relationship is more likely to suffer, said Dr. Michael Finkelstein, medical director of Sun Raven, a New York center for holistic medicine.

Why?

Because a mother sees herself in her daughter and vice versa; she will often project her issues onto her female offspring, he said.

“They often see a characteristic that they don’t appreciate and they’re less tolerant,” Finkelstein said.