Adult daughter demanding too much of mother

Monique - posted on 08/20/2014 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My adult daughter is always expecting me to change and respond to her the way she expects. If I do not respond in the manner she is expecting to get a reply she goes on to say that I am the worst mother ever and I never support her in anything. I have done everything in my power a mother can do for her daughter, but she never acknowledges that. Being divorced has also been hard on my daughter and she keeps blaming me for the pain I have put her through when my ex and me were having indifferences and arguments in the past which was almost 20 years ago. She moved out and got her own place but when she got laid off, she came back to the house to live with me. She continues to be mean and disrespectful and say nasty things which are very hurtful to me. I have financially assisted her numerous times; do all her groceries and never ask her to pay me back. Yet, she claims that I am not a good mother. I am at my wits end not knowing what to do. It has come to a point that I am scared of what she will say next.

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Jenny - posted on 08/22/2014

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I think its time for some tough love. She has found a comfort zone in blaming you and her father for her ways. She gets what she wants this way. Sorry, but your daughter sounds very entitled. And by allowing her to continue to treat you this way you in no way are helping her grow up. I too am in my late 20's (dang, first time I've said that) and I would rather be dead than to treat my dad that way...and believe me he way more than deserves it. I'd say ask her to start paying rent, treat her as a roommate who rents from you, set the rules and draw up a contract. If she doesn't like the rules then there is the door. Stand by that and let her say what she wants. In the long run, trust me, she will thank you for it.

My dad showed me the door when I was 18...although I was paying rent and my own bills at his house he wanted me out. I don't agree with how he did it, but I am thankful he did.

Lea - posted on 08/20/2014

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My daughter is only 11 and I divorced her father when she was little. She now sees why I left him and appreciates me for it. The issue with your daughter seems to be that she wants to blame you and her father for her current situation. The reality is that your supporting her and her decisions now, she needs a wake up call. If it takes giving her a push towards the door, so be it. If it takes you sitting down with her and having a discussion and set guidelines up, then so be it. You are carrying too much worry about this, let it go and if she continues to be rude and mean, then nicely guide her out of your home and wish her luck out there in the real world. trust me, it's always better at mom's house, regardless of what she thinks now, she will soon realize it later once your not there to pick up her pieces and take the blame for everything that goes wrong.

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Jodi - posted on 08/22/2014

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There comes a point at which your daughter needs to take responsibility for her own life and stop blaming you. She needs to grow up and recognise that plenty of people have difficulties in their earlier life that have impacted them in some way. However, learning to forgive, learning to move forward and learning to accept responsibility for your own actions and feelings are part of being an adult. Continuing to blame you and her father shows a lack of maturity. Has she had counselling over how she feels?

Monique - posted on 08/20/2014

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Rebecca:
My daughter is in her late 20s and she still blames both parents for having disagreements and arguments and says it has affected her life and childhood. She claims she has never had a happy childhood and now resents her mother. I have done my maximum and been there for her. She never complained about this before but has started bring it up only a year ago. She sometimes throws things around and has smashed may glass objects and furniture which I have had to fix or get them replaced. She ignores me and asks me to say I am sorry for everything. She even taunts me and says that I should say it as though I mean it. This has consumed my whole life. I am living in fear all the time.

Faye - posted on 08/20/2014

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Monique,
I'm going to add to my last post, and say my daughter is 24, and after using "tough love", putting her stuff outside and changing the locks a year ago, I realized that while I may not need to create such a dramatic event to make my point. My inability to own what I need, and practice setting my own boundaries in life and in arguments let it get to that point. My kid did what I trained her to do, as we all train everyone around us to treat us the way in which we believe we should be treated. Yeah, she was shocked, surprised, and had to scramble to protect herself. We didn't speak for 6 months.

While that space gave me time to get help for myself, I still wish I'd started practicing non punitive boundaries when my daughter was a pre-teen.

Punishing kids at any age because of an inability to say no in a nice way lacks maturity.

A year later, our relationship is very good, with both of us practicing healthy borders, I've also learned to nicely end the conversation if I feel that "ouch", and am learning to ask for what I need from her, an intelligent adult. Not perfect at it, as old habits die hard, but we're working it out. Best to you.

Dove - posted on 08/20/2014

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Stop helping her. Let her know she has one month to get a new job and get out... or to start paying rent. Also draw up a contract immediately of how she will and will not treat you while she is staying in your home... and if she doesn't sign it or abide by it... change the locks and stick her stuff outside.

Hang in there! Tough love is tough, but sometimes it's necessary. Granted, I don't have personal experience in this as my oldest is not quite 13 yet... but I will not accept being treated like dirt in my own home... by anyone.

Faye - posted on 08/20/2014

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Dear Monique,
Awareness of the pain your relationship with your daughter causes you is the first step to making a change inside of you.
Y'know the slightly tight feeling, the pain in your gut when you're feeling taken advantage of? that is you signal
Anytime you feel that pinch, that "ouch", it is your body and brain's signal to you that you have let YOURSELF give too much. When you choose to be more discerning where you put your time and money for YOU, you're doing it without pointing fingers at anyone else!
Your daughter (like mine) will not be happy that you are changing the dynamic of the relationship. In the beginning, look at it as something you're doing for the both of you. (Until you can accept that you have a basic human right to do so).
We women aren't taught to put ourselves in to the equation- it makes for porous borders. For me, I traded in my earnest commitment to be a good mom for my need to check in with myself to see if I was giving too much. I encourage you to check in on a daily basis.
Yay moms.

Rebecca - posted on 08/20/2014

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I'm a single mother of a 12 year old daughter as well, and she's never like that. She's always Miss Sunshine all the time but due to her hormones, she can say things that I may dislike. Your daughter will get over it and she's probably a bit upset about her past. Parents think during their arguments, their kids don't pay attention to it but they do. It effects them big time! My daughter still remembers all the bad situations with me and my husband when she was only 6! I don't know how she remembers all these things, and I never told her about it before. Her father did call us several times and we had arguments on the phone, and it doesn't make my 12 year old happy. Sometimes her Little Miss Sunshine mood goes away and she says mean things that I don't think is inappropriate and I caught her swearing a couple times before.

Jackie - posted on 08/20/2014

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Right, I know what you mean. My daughter has come a long way. She used to be more like this when she lived at home, but living on her own has taught her a lot and she appreciates Mom & Dad a lot more. :)

Monique - posted on 08/20/2014

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Jackie:
Thank you for your advice. It is so comforting to hear this. My daughter claims she does not feel bad when she talks to me in a condescending manner. She does that to her father too. She keeps blaming both parents about a horrible childhood she had with not having both parents to participate in activities (in a normal family environment). I have always been at home for her and attended all her school activities - and even paid for her university education.
It is hurtful to hear this from your own daughter when I have gone way and above my means. Thanks Jackie.

Jackie - posted on 08/20/2014

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Monique,

This is where I would say its time to cut the apron strings. I would tell my daughter that if she can't appreciate what's being done for her its time for her to go. Find another job, even if its flipping burgers there ARE jobs out there, and move on. She sounds like she needs to grow up and take responsibility for herself, her situation, and her feelings. Blaming others gets you nowhere in life, the past is the past dwelling on it also will get you no where. At least this is what I have told my 19 year old when she gets to feeling bad and dwelling on things, which she is also good at , Good luck!

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