Mothers dating advice for daughters

Thirty-year-old Julie tells her mom, Kat, everything -- mostly.

Growing up, Julie would bring her friends home to get advice from Kat on "just about anything: boys, makeup, whatever," says Julie.

Exchanging witty banter, enjoying each other's company for days on end, chatting on the phone three times an hour? These days -- much more so than when I was growing up -- many moms and daughters do.

They act less like parent-children than old college roommates.

At 50 and 19, respectively, they're such good friends -- and so physically similar -- that they're often mistaken for girlfriends, both in the friendly and the romantic sense. Let's put aside the more commonly-asked question these days -- that is, should you be Facebook friends with your children -- and get down to a much more basic quandary: Can you be real life friends with them? There's the sense that befriending our children -- and especially our daughters -- will cause them to behave better, rebel less.

After all, the reasoning goes, teens are less likely to spout off to their friends (if only slightly) than to their mothers; why not approach mothering more like friendship? At any age, but especially as girls grow into young women, mothers like to feel connected to their daughters and, in many cases, their daughters' friends.

It also helps us feel appreciated long after our children stop "needing" us to survive.

Indeed, this generation of moms and daughters has more in common with one another than ever before. In some cases, giving rise to the notion of cougars and MILFs, they even share men. The mother-daughter BFF trap is an easy one to fall into.

And now they've got their own reality show: VH1's in-the-works story, mother and daughter Julie and Samantha Bilinkas have matching t-shirts, catchphrases, and workout routines. (And yes -- I do mean trap.) We have come to believe that treating children as adults has benefits.

"I guess she's looking out for me, but now I'm nervous to pick things out for myself," says Alexis. Because if whatever Alexis does is never quite up to snuff until Mimi steps in, her role as mother will never be diminished.

But the sad side effect for Alexis is that she'll have a hard time believing that anything she does on her own is good enough.

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