For mom's of adult children.How do I cope? My daughter's dysfunctional

Elona - posted on 07/31/2015 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi,
I can't seem to find the right community for this so I guess I'll post this here. If anyone knows of a community please let me know.
My daughter is 37 and has ADD without hyperactivity. Her main symptom is impulsivity. The matter is about her manners. My daughter is a caring and lovely person and we pretty much get along well. There is one issue we need help with. I'm thinking of family therapy. I'll give you an example. My daughter lives a block away from me with her son, my grandson. Yesterday, I went to her house and her friend and grandson and her were having pizza. I sat down and joined the conversation for about 10 minutes. Out of courtesy I asked if I could have a half a slice of pizza. She hadn't offered anything at all. She said no. She wanted to save it for my grandson. I was insulted. This seems to happen a lot. The other day, my grandson who is 13 had a bag of chips. He didn't offer me any. I asked if I could have a chip. He said "no". Then he went to my daughter and said I was asking him for his food. My daughter told me to stop. There are tons of examples of this which I could tell you, but it's way too long. My daughter is generally a giving person. She just doesn't like to share anything. I think it's selfish. When it comes to food I have raised her to share her food. I don't know how to approach her. It's getting out of hand and I'm concerned it's going to rub off on my grandson. Can any of you give me any ideas that might help. I've approached her and it doesn't go anywhere.
Thanks so much!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2015

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I agree with Sarah. Your posts are contradictory. If you truly have an open relationship with your daughter, then you should be able to approach her without being antagonistic.
You keep bringing this back to 'sharing food'. Look at this from the other side. If one shares food with others, others begin to expect one to continue to purchase, and share their food, putting the burden on the one. This happens frequently as the kids reach HS age, where they tend to go out more as groups. My sons were both victims of this, as they were taught to share and be generous. When they started running through their allowances way too quickly, I examined the situation and found that, BECAUSE of their sharing nature, they were being taken advantage of. At that point, I told them to STOP SHARING. With anyone.
Perhaps your daughter learned the same lesson as she grew up, causing her to be less 'giving' in that arena, and I can't blame her.
Not to mention, your daughter is well into her 30's. Maybe she's ready for you to stop 'stopping by' at odd hours.
The other thing that resonates here is that, in your initial post, you say that you've approached her and its gone nowhere. Perhaps that's your sign that its time to let it go. Use your time with your grandson to show your values, and let him decide if they are also his. Not every person is going to continue to have the same values throughout life, and perhaps your daughter's values and yours have differed more than you realize as she's grown into adulthood and her own life.

Cindy - posted on 07/31/2015

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I suggest that maybe you offer that you two alternate a family get together meal on the weekends. Maybe speak to your daughter about what your grandchild would have to go through while in school if he doesn't learn to share. But you don't want to be defensive to your daughter while doing this. She may take things the wrong way and not see that you're trying to help. Most people don't like when you use the word you for instance " you are going to" or " you did this" so I suggest you make statements like "what can I do to help" or "I can help you teach him to share"

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Tanya - posted on 08/01/2015

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I think I actually get you.

I'm of a European origin...lol...no European will ask if they can eat, they'll just join in and eat. They always have an open door policy...LOL... And in my family the door is always open, we even have keys to my in laws house and vise-versa...Now would I like that they call before coming somethimes...sure...is it a big deal...no, not really.

Anyways, they should share they're food...they're not raised to be savages...if they don't know the difference between taken advantage of by friends or family, then you'll have to teach them. I, on the other hand don't think anyone can be taken advantage of when it comes to food (unless you're at a restaurant and someone is racking up the bill) ...if someone is hungry, feed them. Food is a way to come together. Every time there's food with my family and friends it becomes a social event...even if we're 2 people.

Everyone has different views, but I get you! However, your daughter is 37 already...will she change? I don't think so...And your grandson... Well, he's your daughter's child and all you can do is gently guide him in a way that's not insulting his mother.

Just tell your daughter that you enjoy eating with her!

Elona - posted on 07/31/2015

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Thanks for posting an answer. I agree I should say something to her. And you're right if she doesn't accept it, I do have to let it go.

About us being close and sharing values. In "general" we do. It's strange, but she has quirks in her personality. Most times she is caring, she just doesn't like to share food. I don't understand why. I have asked her and she says she is short on money. But she is certainly not short on money all the time.

I will have to have a talk with her about this. Maybe it will help.

Thanks so much for answering my question! :)

Sarah - posted on 07/31/2015

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Then say just that to your daughter; that she hurts your feelings when she does not share. If she responds with defensiveness, you gotta let it go. Regarding your grandson, if you have been caring for him since he was born, you've have ample time to demonstrate sharing and caring with him.
I think I am missing a piece here because to me, your posts are contradictory. In your first you talk about how she is selfish and inattentive to being a polite hostess. In you second, you say how close you are, how you've been caring for you grandson and how you have an open door policy and share the same values (when you don't practice the same values)... what am I missing?

Elona - posted on 07/31/2015

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I'm disappointed at your answer. I don't need to be criticized. I was looking for constructive and helpful advise. I want to improve my relationship with my daughter.

It was't dinner time. I never mentioned it was dinner time. It was 10 at night. It was way after dinner time. My y daughter and I don't have a formal relationship. I take care of my grandson and have since he was born. We have an open door policy, too. I come when ever I want and visa versa. She asks me to come for various reasons almost daily. We are a close family. When she comes to my house she doesn't have to call, she does out of curtesy and so do I. She didn't invite me to come, I needed to pick something up and stayed to say hello. This problem is ongoing and I want it to stop. I don't think teaching my grandson to not share or offer food is healthy. This is not petty. It's part of getting along with others.

Granted everyone and every family has different values and habits. If my daughter was the formal type I would recognize it and respect her wishes. This is not the case here. Our values are similar. It's not about observing boundries. This is about sharing and caring.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/31/2015

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Actually, it is presumptive, and rude to show up during dinner hour without an invite (parent or not), and to ask to partake when not invited to do so can also be considered rude.
Granted, the kid not sharing his potato chips was pretty petty, but overall, you showed up at HER home, while they were eating dinner. You weren't invited to dinner, but were there in the middle. Yes, it would have been polite of her to offer, but it also would have been polite of you to call first prior to just showing up.
Not to mention, but you being mother/grandmother does not guarantee free access to the refrigerator or pantry without being invited.
Now, had you dropped in to my house during the dinner hour, I'd have offered a plate, if we had extra, but without an invite...well...? Maybe the offer would have been made, and maybe not, depending on circumstances.
Perhaps if you show her a bit more respect and politeness, she will return the treatment, but otherwise...All I can say is dropping in, even on your children, can be considered rude and unwelcome behaviour, and when one indulges in unwelcome behaviour, it can be met with unwelcome behaviour in return.
If anything, maybe I'd suggest therapy for you to learn how to let your adult daughter live her life without constantly popping in uninvited, maybe...

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