Rebellious college daughter doesn't want to come home for Christmas or any other holiday...How do I cope? Any Advice? Would you let this happen in your house?

Ann - posted on 12/14/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi - I'm new to this website and community...Boy, could I have used this connection during my children's younger lives! I have a question for all moms of college kids. My college duaghter has not come home for any of the major holidays. Again, after speaking with her tonight, she's choosing not to come home. Her college is in a little dead-end town, with nothing much to do there. She's decided to take on a job (which is causing her schoolwork to suffer...), and is saying that she "has" to work over part of this Christmas holiday.. Now she's telling us she's driviing to a guy's apartment to spend part of the vacation with him ((he's not in college, is older, and she's known him for maybe 5 weeks. Have any of you had this problen/situation? She's been terribly rebellious ever since age 13 - and my permissive spouse allowed her to get away with so many things....cursing at me, not doing chores, no expectations as far as grades, helping around the house, etc. And, btw, I've always been the "mean mom" who tried to get my kids to do the minimum at our house...Anyway, my spouse is the same, and refuses to talk with her further and set the "loving" expectation for her to come home and spend some positive family time. what do I do? How do I cope with yet another disappointment? None of my vast array of friends have ever gone through this with their children. I think it's not healthy, and not teaching her about the importance of family time. Not to mention going to a guy's apartment with whom she barely knows. Any tips or advice? (Any psychologists care to offer your opinion?) thanks so much!!!

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Michelle - posted on 12/14/2012

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The reality is she is in college and you can't make her do anything, keep inviting her and one day she may take you up on it but if you make it a big deal she will just pull further and further away.

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Ashley - posted on 12/16/2012

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i dont have children in college. but, she is old enough to do what she wants. i know that isnt what you want to hear, and that your heartbroken since she wont come home for the holidays. but just be proud that she is in college, and that she is choosing to work to make her own way. maybe you could ask if you could go to her? that way, she wont miss work and lose her job, and you can still spend christmas with her.

Denikka - posted on 12/14/2012

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Unfortunately, at this age, it's her choice whether she wants to come home for the holidays. Mom and dad don't make the rules anymore, all you can do is make helpful suggests and requests. She's a grown woman and is making her own choices.
It wouldn't hurt to sit down with her and explain how you feel in a calm manner (preferably in person), but you really can't force her one way or the other.
Lots of kids want to go out and claim their independence after highschool. I would say that she's totally normal in that respect. Kids want their parents available *at their (kids) convenience/on their terms*. Which sounds bad, but really isn't. They want their parents available in case they really need them, but they need the freedom to do as they wish, when they wish, with whom they wish, and to make whatever mistakes they make.
Unfortunately, *family* means different things to different people. While it means a lot to you to spend the holidays with your family, maybe it doesn't mean as much to her. Her priorities are just different than yours are, all part of growing up and letting go.
I'm sure she'll come around eventually :) Maybe not this year or next year, but eventually :)

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