Encouraging Adult Daughter

Linda - posted on 07/08/2013 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have always encouraged my daughter to do her best. However, now that she's an adult, married, with 3 children, she has told me to act like her mother and not treat her like she's my project. She told me to accept her for herself and not expect her to be what I want her to be. Her husband is currently out of work due to carpal tunnel which he claims has been made worse by a job he did less than one year. He has a pending workers compensation case. He had surgery on both hands (one at a time) over 1.5 years ago and was pulled out of work last November and has just had second surgery on one hand and will have surgery on other hand later. However, he still fishes every day, works on his jeep, installs cabinets, moves cinderblocks, mows lawns, paints interior walls, plays games on his ipad and computer, etc. My daughter went back to school for Accounting last Fall (took one class that Sept, 2 classes this past simester) and is taking an online class this summer so she can stay home and take care of her husband. Before he was pulled out of work last November, they had applied for a mortgage and downpayment assistance and were approved for both. However, they needed to come up with $2000 for various fees (inspection, water tests, etc) and they came to me for help. I gave them $500 to start and would give them the rest as needed. When the mortgage company re-reviewed application, they denied the mortgage because monthly income was $60 less than acceptable. Now that he is no longer able to work, that was a blessing as they would have had to foreclose. (Note: husband has had two vehicles repossessed in the past due to non-payment). The day before Mother's day I went to pick up my two granddauthers (ages 2 and 6), my grandson was there. (My daughter left her son when he was 2 yrs old when her and her sons father split up - she was not employed and could not take him with her). Anyway he is 16 yrs old now and was visiting that day. When I was leaving with just the 2 girls, my daughter told Scott, my grandson, to go with me. He said he wanted to spend some time with his mother for mothers day. My dauther responded that she has a paper to write for school and it's due on Thursday. I asked why she couldn't work on the paper another time since she's not working, Hayley is in school all day and why can't Josh take care of Mackenzie so Angie can work on her paper. Well, Josh gave me a look (rolled his eyes). I said, well what else are you doing all day, neither one of you is working, so why can't you spend a few hours with your son and work on your paper during the week. Well, Josh BLEW UP at me! He said, I'm sick of you pulling that working card out. F--- you!, Get the F out of my house.....it went on and on for about 5 minutes. They live in the Projects and he was out on the sidewalks yelling, back in the house yelling: F you, F you. It was embarrassing to say the least. I'm sure it didn't make my grandson feel very wanted. And I've seen Josh do mean things to Scott many times in the past. Angie has told me he's very jealous of her ex husband so maybe that's why he's mean to Scott. Since this happened, I've been waiting for Josh to apologize. He has not. And my daughter has not been calling me like she used to and has only asked me to take the girls with me on Saturdays so she can spend time with her husband. She called me this past Saturday (I have worked in my administrative career since I was 26 yrs old so have always set a good work ethic example) to see when I could come pick up the girls and I said that Dave, my husband, didn't really want to babysit and maybe she could come visit for a while with them since I haven't really spent much time with her lately. She explained that she doesn't feel very close to me anymore since I "dissed" her husband and told him he doesn't work. and she was screaming at me that I owe him an apology. I need some advise on how to interact with my daughter. I've always thought I was supposed to encourage her to do her best so she could reach her highest potential. But she just wants me to accept her and her family as they are.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/12/2013

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Wow, Linda, do you assume much about people?

FYI, my KIDS are on the 'young' end of the Entitlement generation, and even THEY thought you were mainly posting about your SIL not working.

You stressed that far, far more than you requested advice about "communicating"

A - posted on 07/12/2013

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wow how incredibly judgmental. I am of that generation and I want to tell you not everyone in that generation is of that mindset. Just because you don't like what you hear doesn't mean we are right or wrong, we have an opinion about something. And for the record, I do hope my child grows up like me. Not one thing that I have said has been rude or judgmental, you are the one doing that, both with us and with your daughter and son-in-law. So good luck with that

Jodi - posted on 07/11/2013

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Well, I guess if we missed your point and your concern was about how she treats her son, then maybe you should have made that clearer......because it certainly wasn't clear that this is what you wanted advice about. Your summing up statement was "I need some advise on how to interact with my daughter. I've always thought I was supposed to encourage her to do her best so she could reach her highest potential. But she just wants me to accept her and her family as they are." Nowhere in there were you asking for the advice you now claim you were seeking. And nowhere was I rude to you, but you certainly were to me.

And going through to delete all your posts? That's really mature.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/09/2013

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Well, Linda, maybe you can bring your healthy butt over and "teach" my disabled husband how to ignore the complete block of numb that is his left leg so that he can work if he wants to?

There are some disabilities that yes, can be worked around, and some that can't. For example, my husband has a crushed nerve. It is NOT fixable, not operable, and not even really medicatable, but you'd have him work? Well, trust me, lady, he'd RATHER WORK than stay at home being what he terms as the "house bitch". He'd rather be earning so that I could stay home and get into my sewing and crafting business. The brutal fact of the matter is that he cannot, no matter how damned hard he tries, work a full shift. He can manage 3-4 hours on his feet, and then he's not walking for a full day following. He did not leave work by choice, he was medically removed from work and banned from coming back. And no employer will touch him, but, hey, you say he could still work so...just how should we accomplish that?

You keep saying that your main concern is your granson's feelings, etc, but you didn't even MENTION the grandkids until your post was HALFWAY through. You spent the first half of the post mentioning every thing that you see as being wrong with your daughter's spouse, and the first (and most repeated) thing you mentioned was his supposed disability. This, my dear, tells me that you are NOT concerned as much about the grandkids as you are about your daughter's loser of a husband. Yes, I can and did read between the lines.

Were you not posting under the name of Linda, I'd swear up and down that you were my mother, bitching about my husband. Well, lady, I'm pissy, darned right I am. I am sick and tired (as I said) of perfectly healthy people assuming that (because someone isn't in a wheelchair) you know the extent of their disability.

Oh, and I'm just repeating the language that you used, my dear, but if I did want to curse, I fucking damn well would...except that I really don't see the point in bringing expletives into it...

Really, you are so bent on that you were RIGHT and she was WRONG that you can't see the forest for the trees, or the real issue for what it is...you don't like your daughter's choices.

Amy - posted on 07/09/2013

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I didn't read through all your posts, but I can say I just got out of a similar situation. My parents had helped us out numerous times, helped with the mortgage, helped buy groceries, cover expenses I couldn't cover. My now ex lost his job a year and 1/2 ago, my parents never threw it in my face, they never questioned whether he was looking for work, they kept their mouths shut and supported me when I needed them. 8 months after he list his job and things weren't getting better but worse I filed for divorce, not because my parents had pushed me but because I realized nothing was going to change! But it was something I had to do by myself not because someone else thought it was a good idea.

Maybe start looking at things from a different perspective, maybe she wanted her 16 year old son to go with you so he wouldn't be subjected to the nasty treatment of her current husband who you say is jealous of him. Maybe she wants you to apologize to her husband because that's the only way he's going to allow her to continue contact with you or your grand kids! Stop giving them money and learn to be a supportive parent without making comments that may be innocent in your mind are clearly upsetting to them. If you want any relationship with your daughter at all I suggest you learn to bite your toung, and hope that she realizes this is an unhealthy relationship. And if that day ever happens you should just be there for her and not say I told you so!

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Jodi - posted on 07/12/2013

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Just for the record, I am not of that generation. Neither are a number of the women who responded to your post here ;) Again, you make ASSumptions - first voting preferences and then age. The only judgmental person in this thread has been yourself.

You also DO have the option of locking the thread if you choose to.

Linda - posted on 07/12/2013

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Jodi,
I would delete this entire thread if I could as it was a mistake that I posted this plea for advise to a group of 20-30 year olds otherwise known as the Entitlement Generation: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/e... Definition: the group born between 1979 and 1994 who believe they are owed certain rights and benefits without further justification. I want nothing further to do with a website that is apparently being used by this generation for the sole purpose of insulting and degrading others to make yourselves feel better. Goodbye and good luck. May your children grow up to be just like you.

Linda - posted on 07/11/2013

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Like everyone else who responded with "advice", you totally missed the point. My issue with my daughter was about the way she treated her son NOT about her husband being out of work. I came for advice but was instead slammed from all sides. What about the "Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS" quote??? BTW: I have worked this out with my daughter based on real advice provided on another website.

Jodi - posted on 07/09/2013

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"did you vote for Obama?"
"I mentioned voting preferences, because people who tended to vote for Obama seem to support anyone who is receiving government assistance regardless of whether they are justified or not. "

Really? You come here asking for advice (and you have received plenty) and you decide that it should become a political discussion because I don't agree with you? What an utterly judgmental statement to make! Clearly you are not here for advice, but merely validation of your immature behaviour in this situation. And I am not going to give that validation. I'm sure someone will come along and give you the answer you want at some point.

Amy - posted on 07/09/2013

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You stated "I have supported them quite frequently over the years (new tires, air conditioner, clothes for their children) without ever asking that they repay me. If they are asking for me for monetary support then yes I do have the right to make suggestions"....umm actually even if you gave them a million dollars you have no right to suggest what they do with it. I'm sure they wouldn't of ever taken anything from you if they knew you were going to be making "suggestions" the rest of their lives. As I stated before my parents have helped me out many times, and they still never gave their opinions because they knew that I would of cut them out of my life. I got to the point of leaving my ex on my own, and had my parents would of given their opinion I probably would of stayed even longer just because I'm an adult and I get to make my own decision.

Pam - posted on 07/09/2013

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Linda I know this hard. You have done everything you can to this point. Your daughter needs your support and love, she's not ready for advice. This sounds like a very difficult time for her and you. Give her space let her know in a heartbeat you will be back by her side. She will need you and it may be just an ear to listen. When ready she will then ask for advice. Be brave, be patient and remind her you will always be there for her when she needs you. It's only if you think there is mental or physical abuse should you step in otherwise step back and understand among everything she she could be happy. And if you need to connect maybe instead of talking to her, email your thoughts and that way she can absorb it versus reacting to your voice on the phone.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/09/2013

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Good luck, Linda...

LMAO...but good luck anyway...

A - posted on 07/09/2013

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If you are going to apologize to your daughter, I wouldn't say- I am sorry for what you thought I said. Just an fyi

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/09/2013

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In my opinion, a mature adult would quit bringing up the disability issue every single time you speak with them...they are correct and it really is none of your f*****g business. And, while you may have felt justified in taking your adult daughter to task for her parenting abilities (or lack thereof), you really weren't.

The blunt fact is that really, none of what goes on over there is your business, unless you're fully supporting them.

Bottom line? You do owe them an apology, for overstepping your bounds and assuming that you knew better than they, and assuming that they wouldn't mind hearing about what failures they both are. My mother taught me (not much, really, but this stuck) that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. That applies here. If you don't agree with the doctor's assessment of the disability, fine, you don't have to agree with a damned thing. But keep your nose out of their business.

Josh doesn't owe you an apology. You were in his home, you assumed that you had the right to comment on both his disability and the situation in the home, neither of which were your place to comment on, and you continue to throw this "you don't work" in his/their face.

I'm not saying that your daughter was correct in her behavior either, but were you even privy to any of the arrangements between herself and her son? Did you hold the damned phone for them? Maybe sonny boy knew that mom had a paper due, but wanted to be in the home with her anyway. Maybe, just maybe, you didn't have the entire story at all, much like none of us have exactly the entire story about what went on.

But, it's not US that's continually bringing up the disability. You do. Numerous times, in each paragraph, you mention that he "thinks" he's disabled, and the "reasons" that you see that he isn't truly disabled (which, BTW, I absolutely love when healthy people ASSUME that one is not disabled, or that if they just did this or that, they'd be better...) You mention numerous times that you tell them frequently that he could do this or that "because he doesn't work"...and you really think that it's not about that?

apologize to your daughter for assuming that it was your place to mention anything. DO NOT EVER AGAIN mention the disability, or your perception that there is none. Because that is none of your damned business. If you feel that your daughter is not handling her parenting as she should, and you think you can make a simple suggestion without being judgmental, then do so, but if you cannot keep that judgement to yourself, then at least keep your mouth shut to save what little relationship your daughter is willing to have with you.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/09/2013

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What do Jodi's voting preferences (BTW, she isn't even in the US...but LOL) have to do with your perception of her answers?

You keep turning this around to point out that your SIL does not work. That is probably a very sore point in that household, especially if the issue is a disability one, which you quite obviously do not understand.

My husband is disabled as well. Does he look it? Nope, because nerve damage is invisible. But he's damned well miserable 95% of the time. My mother making snippy little comments about how he sure looks fine, and seems to be able to putter around just fine, so...(you fill in the blank, Linda, because you know the refrain "why aren't you working") Do you even REALIZE how much that cuts to the quick?

Perhaps when you are able to make a comment to your daughter WITHOUT mentioning (not even once, bite your tongue if you have to) that her husband is disabled and not working...you could begin to heal the communication.

Jodi - posted on 07/09/2013

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Quite honestly, Linda, I am reading a lot of "tit for tat" in your posts, and I think you are all acting badly. There seems to be a lot of "nitpicking" and minor issues blowing up into situations they don't need to be. There comes a point at which someone has to BE the adult and take the high road.....

Jodi - posted on 07/08/2013

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Just stop loaning the money. Again, she is an adult. It is her responsibility. This is one of the things I am seeing a lot of these days - our kids seem to be fully aware of their rights, but not their responsibilities. Let her know that you won't be loaning any more money until the rest is paid back.

Jodi - posted on 07/08/2013

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She's an adult. Your job as a parent is done. You need to accept her and her family as they are.

As a side note, my mother didn't want me to marry my first husband (I found this out many, many years later), because she didn't feel he was right for me, and she wasn't happy with some things. She never said a word. She embraced it, she did what she needed to do as a parent - she allowed ME to make my own decisions as an adult without criticism. Sure, it ended up being a bad choice, but it was MY life. And to be fair, I had my son in that marriage, so do I have regrets? No. Bad choice but no regrets.

Our choices in life are the things that build our character and make us who we are. As parents, we have to step back and allow our children to become who they are meant to be, not who we want them to be.

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