Goldie Hawn with daughter Kate Hudson .... "It’s heart-warming to know that all mums really want is for their daughter to lead a happy life.”

Goldie Hawn with daughter Kate Hudson .... "It’s heart-warming to know that all mums really want is for their daughter to lead a happy life.” Photo: Getty

Are you the perfect daughter, the one who speaks to her mother every day, goes for lunch once a week and lets her get involved with your wedding plans? Or the flawed version who forgets her birthday, doesn’t visit and only calls when she wants something? Luckily for all the mothers out there, imperfect daughters are in the minority. A recent UK study of 1000 mothers and 1000 adult daughters to gauge the perfect mother and daughter relationship found that seven out of 10 mothers would describe their relationship with their daughter as "perfect".

So what do all these model daughters do to impress their mothers? Research from gift website Gettingpersonal.co.uk revealed 30 things that make them perfect. These included calling regularly and getting on well with all her mother’s friends as well as telling her mother her problems. She is always available in an emergency, helps with the cooking and cleaning on family occasions, is honest on shopping trips and lends her mother clothes, accessories and make-up.

A spokeswoman for the website said: “Of course there is a special female bond that a mum has with a daughter; this research shows that sharing common interests will help that bond. It’s heart-warming to know that all mums really want is for their daughter to lead a happy life.”

However, not every mother and daughter relationship blossoms. How do mothers and daughters successfully navigate their way from a parent and child relationship to that of parent and grown-up daughter?

Counsellor and psychotherapist Karen Phillip, who specialises in family relationships, says that when mother and daughter relationships struggle it is most often the fault of the parent.

“Mothers raise their daughters to become strong, independent women,” says Phillip, author of the parenting book Who Runs Your House, The Kids Or You?. “The problem so many experience is when the mother still tries to control the decisions and direction of her child. They tell them what they are doing wrong, try to force them to make different decisions and often judge or say ‘I told you so'. This can make the daughter shut down or deliberately go a different direction as they are often angry at their mum.”

Instead, allow the daughter to find her way and support her when she falls, says Phillip. “Never judge her decision, just ask the important question ‘Did that work for you sweetheart?’ and if the answer is ‘no’ then offer guidance on another way this may have been handled, again without necessarily telling her what she should do.”

Phillip says she has a strong and successful relationship with her own daughter. She believes this is because she always listened to her and allowed to make her own decisions. “I would listen to her feelings without ever telling her they were wrong.”

“My daughter made a comment to me when she was 17 years old and experiencing difficulty with her father in their relationship. She said, ‘the difference between you and dad is that dad loves me if I do, act and feel the way he believes I should. You love me completely unconditionally, no matter what I do or say.’ That sums up a healthy mother, daughter relationship. Confidence in them, space and no judgment.”

In my anecdotal research to discover more about the state of mother-daughter relationships in Australia, I was inundated with positive stories from mothers and daughters highlighting their good relationships.

“My daughter and I have a fabulous relationship,” said 58-year-old Christina Rookes from Sydney. Rookes, who is widowed, has a 29-year-old daughter who lives in Melbourne. She says that both her and and her husband attended and taught parenting classes and learned that children should be given extra responsibilities as they matured.

Rookes recalls the time she realised it was time to let go. “I distinctly remember when my daughter was in Year 12 recognising one day that it was time to allow her to manage her own life. It was a bitter-sweet moment as a mum because it mean’t I had to trust that she was able to make her own important decisions. It was difficult at first not to offer advice but to wait to be asked.”

Rookes says she thinks another key to having a great mother and daughter relationship is the ability to move the relationship from that of parent and child to one of confidante and coach. “You are never truly peers and your relationship shouldn't be like the relationship you have with your girlfriends,” she advises. “I love the fact that we have successfully negotiated the change and now are able to seek input from each other ranging from how an outfit looks through to dating advice. It is a unique, beautiful and very special relationship.”

What do you think makes a strong mother and daughter bond?