EP19: Sil Reynolds on Mothering and Daughtering “Better” (Not Easier) with More Connection and Support in the Digital Age

You are really in for a huge treat in meeting Sil Reynolds.

She and I have connected intermittently over the years. Although our contacts have been brief, she has given me gems that have stuck with me over time. At a time when I felt deeply insecure about mothering and especially single mothering, she told me, a child needs ONE person to securely attach to. And she is a person you listen to and trust when she speaks. She is a wise elder, a former women’s health nurse practitioner, a coach and teacher of women and mothers and an author, together with her stellar daughter, Eliza Reynolds, of the book Mothering and Daughtering.

What Sil Shares:

  • Why it’s our job to stay at the center of our daughter’s world
  • How mothering and daughtering can get better (not easier) during the teen years – meaning more connected, deeper, and closer. And how conflict is an opportunity for deeper connection.
  • Her choice to mother more consciously than her mother and the process of “growing up,” confronting undernourished places internally
  • Her thoughts on rites of passage, attachment, dependence, and interdependence
  • The Feminine rising in men and women = we need each other
  • The wisdom of slowing down, connecting with other women, and creating creative containers
  • Perspectives on mothering today. Is it really harder?
  • How we deal with raising kids in a digital age

What You’ll Hear:

  • On becoming the mother of a daughter (6:23)
  • As a mother, it’s our job to stay at the center of our daughter’s world and not believe peers will be a better influence (7:20)
  • It can get better in the teen years. Better doesn’t necessarily mean it feels better…(8:12)
  • Sil on “growing up” as a mother and finding mentors and guides (9:18)
  • Life and death cycles and rites of passage (10:58)
  • The story of Vasilisa: An old way of relating as a mother and daughter is dying and a new way is being born (13:04)
  • Mothering is raising your daughter to become herself (14:15)
  • Attachment objects; vulnerable attachment requests at any age (15:35)
  • What kind of rituals can we provide to honor rites of passage today? (17:42)
  • On mothering and daughtering, interdependence, and attachment (20:04)
  • Describe Feminism (with a capital F) (21:19)
  • Feminine rising in men and women says, “Bring it on need!” (24:00)
  • When the tears come in the circle, there’s the oracle. Let your feelings catch up with you. (26:31)
  • Sil sharing Marion Woodman’s quote (27:29)
  • The antidote to so many things these days is slowing down, curing the “too much, too fast, too soon” to reveal a whole other level of understanding (28:33)
  • Is mothering harder today than it ever was? (30:02)
  • Motherhood is exhausting because we don’t get enough help. We don’t have the natural supports we’ve always had (31:38)
  • Don’t miss this quote! (32:40)
  • Attachment parenting doesn’t stop in adolescence. We need to be just as involved in a different way (34:04)
  • Examples of missing containers in our culture: sisterhood, mothering circles, etc. (34:57)
  • On “rupture and repair” and why conflict and communication are important (38:14)
  • How do we deal with technology and mothering? (40:25)
  • Perspectives on raising children in a digital age through the attachment lens (42:36)
  • On setting limits with children (47:30)
  • Attachment doesn’t replace limits (48:02)
  • When you’re in right relationship with your child, there’s a natural hierarchy (48:18)
  • “If you have your child’s heart, no discipline is necessary” (48:50)
  • About Mothering and Daughtering mothering courses and upcoming events (49:04)


Video Blog on Tech Boundaries with Deborah McNamara:


Hold onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neuf, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, MD