Sharon - posted on 05/22/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )
My 21 year old and I have always gotten along ... until recently.
Her father stopped paying child support when she turned 9. She has a special needs brother who required a lot of attention, sick grandparents and a nasty step-mother. She has seen me juggle things for years - and often took control. People would often ask 'Who is the mother' in this family.
In addition to helping me out over the years, my daughter has done everything by the book: great grades, impressive extra-curricular activities, no drugs, minimal alcohol.
While she left for college 3 years ago, I did everything possible to keep her college years stress free. I was also successful in filtering the stress out of my life as well. With the exception of the relationship with her father and step-mother, life has been good these past 3 years. I am now more focused, calmer and in control than I have been in years.
My daughter is now home for the summer … and constantly criticizes me. I don’t parent her brother right, I don’t clean right, I don’t listen to her, I should not have done something this way or that way.
I really think that she is used to having drama and chaos in her life and does not feel needed since I now have things under control. I have convinced her to go into counseling. Her first appointment is next week; however, she threw another tantrum last night and ran out the door without telling me where she was staying for the night.
I refuse to talk to her unless she treats me calmly and respectfully. I told her that ‘piece’ in my life takes priority over everything and everyone. She refused to tell me where she was sleeping last night. Her response ‘I’ll just cause chaos and unhappiness. I am sorry that I am not the easy child anymore.
I am remaining firm. She has the option to talk to me calmly or stay angry and go on her own. At the same time, I am sad for her and me … and scared that our relationship is on a downward spiral.
How do I terminate this power struggle before it gets worse?