I need help communicating with my daughter.

Dawn - posted on 10/26/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 31 year old daughter and my 3 year old grandson has been living with me for 3 years and I love being here to help; however, my daughter is s disresptful to me. When I tell her she is she tells me that I need to stay out of her live. I truly try to communite with her but unless it's about buying items that she can't afford she doesn't want to have conversations. Here's the last text message I received from her after I asked if she would watch a political video that I found and thought she would enjoy it, and thought it would open up a line of communitcation: "Just because I live in this house does not mean I am an extension of you. I have my own life and things going on with me. Mine. My own emotions, which are valid for me to have at the times I see fit, not you. When this becomes understood, as it is the only healthy way to live, we will have less problems." She continually yells when things don't go her way and then storms off and sends numerous text messages. How do I find a way to communicate and have a wonderful relationship with my daughter.


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Vicki - posted on 10/30/2012




Hi Dawn! When I was reading your post it brought back a rush of painful memories with my own daughter. She's 32 now, but she and I have had problems for years. She left home at 18, and has lived with me several times since then, at first by herself, and then with her kids as they came along. Unfortunately my daughter has a problem with drugs, so that's a little different. But she and I have had so many "wars" over the years I couldn't even count them all. Now in my case, my daughter has not been a good mother, and I now have custody of her children . . . all 4 of them. And I really have my hands full. I wish things were "normal" and I could be "Grandma" and not "Mom" again, but I never minded having her come back to live with me. In fact, I would have been happy if my son and his family had moved in too. But, that's because I was lonely, and would not have been the best way for them, or for their children. I think it's a little different when we get older and need to move in with them. At least by then they have learned to make it on their own. They wouldn't feel so dependent on us. And I think "Grandparents" can be great to help out (if they want to) by babysitting, etc. while the grown children work. But they need to have their own place to go at the end of the day. Have you ever talked to your daughter about her goals for the future, and how you can help her reach those goals. Kicking her out is one way, but what happens to your grandson if she can't take proper care of him? Do you end up in the situation Im in? Maybe she needs to hear that you will "support" her moving out, rather than forcing her to which certainly won't do anything for your relationship. Maybe she feels trapped. Maybe she doesn't and is just taking advantage, in which case you can try forcing her to make a move later on if necessary. Ask her what type of house she'd like, or where she'd like to live. How would she like to decorate her own rooms, etc. But don't get caught up in telling her that her decisions are wrong. Just listen and learn more about who she is. Then you can offer to watch your grandson while she works, and get her to really start daydreaming about being on her ow. I don't approve of the way she's treating you, but, at some point you really have to face the fact that children and their parents can rarely be best friends. You can be "friends" but you each need others closer to your own ages as well. Parents and kids grow up in different generations, and really don't have many things in common. There will be some things, and treasure those when you discover them. But if you try to "force" her to be your friend, it won't work. If she feels trapped badly enough, there is nothing to keep her from picking up your grandson and leaving for parts unknown, and you may never see either of them again. She's acting like a spoiled child because she probably still feels like a child under your roof. Help her find her freedom in a way that won't make you enemies. You will all be happier in the end.

Sheila - posted on 10/28/2012




Politics is definitely a touchy area between family members.

But that is still not an excuse for disrespect.

Your daughter is 31. She has a son. What her son really needs is for his mother to learn to stand on her own two feet and provide a stable home for him. If his mother is still living with HER mother, even when she is 31, and is then treating that living arrangement as if it is an entitlement, that is not a good situation for him to grow up in.

I'd advise sitting down with your daughter and giving her a deadline and a timeline for when she will move out. Say that in three months she must have enough saved up for first and last months' rent, and so in two months she should be looking for an apartment so she finds one once she has the money saved. And put limits on her.

You can't be her best friend. That's not your role. And you'll probably find that you get along better with her when she's not living with you and treating you badly.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/26/2012




I'm with Dove on this.

Try to find common ground by doing activities with the child. But, also, encourage her to get on her feet and move out! I know that you love having them, as far as you can see your grandson whenever you want, and you get to experience him growing up, but if you are on her nerves that much, and she's continually yelling or ignoring you, or texting rather than having an adult conversation, that indicates to me that she's using you because you like having your grandson around.

YOU ARE NOT A DOORMAT. Your daughter is an adult! By the time I was 31 years old, I had my own house, cars were paid off, and I was raising my sons. She may be "frustrated" that she's living with you, but that means she can put on her big girl panties and deal with the reality of life.

You say yourself that unless its an expensive purchase, she can't be civil...that means that she's sucking up to get what she wants, and being a bitch the rest of the time. She's acting like a spoiled 2 year old, and you continue to allow it, presumably to keep contact with your grandson. Personally, if one of my kids had the balls to treat me like that, i'd have no problem showing them the door, with the apartment ads in hand. It would break my heart to do so, but if I created that monster, I'd have to deal with it.

Just for the record, my mom and I didn't have a good relationship either. She showed me the door when I was 18. Not because I was a monster, but because I was 18, and she felt it was time for me to go. She didn't approve of my choice of husband (Who, I may add, I've been married to for 22+ years now). When we shared that we were expecting our first child (her first grandchild) she wasn't happy, she asked me "Why did you want a kid". (the rest of my family was ecstatic for us). When I shared my second pregnancy, her comment was "what, one wasn't enough??"...needless to say, I see her once a year so that the kids know who their grandma is. I had hoped that the kids would bring us closer, and for a bit, they did, until she started telling me how I was going wrong in raising them, or offering unsolicited advice.

You need to help your daughter set up an independent living situation.

Dawn - posted on 10/26/2012




Thank you Dove. I appreciate your thoughts and I was thinking the same thing about the politics. But she usually loves to discuss politics so I was completely surprised. I do think it has something to do with her self esteem as well. I'm trying to be patient and not so motherly. Hopefully things will come around.

Dove - posted on 10/26/2012




When my mom mentions politics to me I completely ignore her and we DON'T live together. ;)

I'm sure that is just your latest example of examples, but I don't think politics are a good way to open up the lines of communication. What about just having a fun day centered around something your grandson enjoys instead?

My mother and I pretty much had ZERO relationship until I became a mother. Then when we were together we could both focus on the kids and they brought us together.

It might be very frustrating for her having to live with her mother which could be messing with her self esteem. She may be using text messages as a way to try and communicate, so that she doesn't continue to yell. I don't know though.

Good luck!

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