I’ve been wondering how to navigate the relationship between my daughter and I as she forges on into adulthood.

As luck would have it, I know someone whose Mom came up to town from Florida last week. As I watched their dynamic, I knew that I had the basis that I needed to start creating a better relationship with my own daughter…

  1. When you arrive at your daughter’s house, get mad that your daughter was working when you got there. Tell her explicitly that she should have been at the front door waiting with literal open arms.
  2. Complain, again, about the “no shoe’s in the house policy” that your daughter has. Repeatedly scoff at the suggestion of house slippers, because house slippers are stupid.
  3. Complain that your grandchildren are at school. What’s more important after all- algebra II or being there for your grandmother
  4. Remind your daughter all the things you did for her while she was growing up
  5. Tell your daughter that she doesn’t treat you with respect
  6. Cry that she treated her own mother so much better and she wants you to treat her as she treated her Mom
  7. start yelling at your daughter because your daughter doesn’t cater to your every whim
  8. Tell your daughter that she’s a despicable spoiled brat
  9. Call your son and tell him that she can’t stand his sister and she has to leave that very moment because she can’t spend another minute in the house
  10. Curse at your son because he dares to say that he will call her a car service- a good son would rent a car and drive over and pick up his Mother
  11. Remind both your children that they don’t respect you
  12. Tell your children about how you worked to support them and without her you would have nothing
  13. Spend so much time talking about a gift that you gave, that the daughter hands you a check for the amount of the gift because no gift is worth it being thrown back in your face a million times
  14. Ask why they treat their Father, her ex, so much better than they treat her, because he was despicable.
  15. Give a birthday toast that doesn’t say anything about your daughter, but tells all the sacrifices that you made for your children

Do you understand why this example showed me exactly how to further my relationship with my daughter?


What would we do without them…

79 thoughts on “The Parent/Adult Child Relationship

      1. Hard to believe that in this day and age people still act like that. My own mother was a bit like your example. But she was born in 1920. When expectations of women were very different. And guilt reigned as a parenting tactic. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. Controlling mother and I also have two tweens that I tell them” I brought you into this world, I can take you out.” Doesn’t do a bit of good. I’m not quite there yet, my daughter is 14 and blocks me on her phone. I feel like saying all that to her! But, it doesn’t work, a 14 year old girl is a total species in itself.

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  1. Speaking as one who is witnessing many of these with a certain adult daughter and her father, it’s heartbreaking to watch. On the other side is the issue of how the adult child treats the parent. Perhaps there is a level of disrespect or ingratitude. That makes for a festering wound that is very hard to heal.

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  2. goodness gracious, sounds like an absolutely exhausting and self-centered person. 🙃 Also, HOUSE SLIPPERS are a necessity!!! how can someone complain about that??

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  3. We were raised differently from our children. So, we do more for our parents / grandparents, whether we want to or not, because there was an expectation to do so. There is that saying, “You teach people how to treat you.” I think “our generation” did not want our children to suffer or be inconvenienced in “any way,” so the scenario above is a parent REALLY complaining about HOW she raised her children to not love, respect her. ALL parents have issues with their children for different things… parenting and being the adult child are not easy. Issues have to be constantly discussed and renegotiated on how they will work, boundaries being set, etc. NOT EASY!

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    1. I think it’s a very American attitude to put children first.I noticed this in a blog I wrote a few weeks ago where Americans had a very different attitude than non Americans about a certain parenting thing. So yes, I think generationally, much depends on when people emigrated to America…children of early 20th century immigrants were probably more likely to do things like “the old country”

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      1. Yes, and then my Asian/Indian/Russian/Ukraine friends definitely put their parents/grandparents needs first. Visit them, check on them, buy groceries for them. Make sure they are OK.
        They were taught a sense of duty to the family, for the elders. So, those comments the lady made… I don’t feel it is about being controlling, I think it is mourning the fact that her children do not want to put her first in any way. This has to do with how a child was raised. So, she has only herself to blame for how they act. Raising children is a tough job, it’s not easy. As they get older there has to be respect on both sides and the “love” part is what creates a sense of duty on both sides to take care of each other, no matter what.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh…it’s totally about being controlling. She has no friends because she tells them all that they don’t treat her right. She did that with her ex husband. She had no relationship with her brother because she said he didn’t treat her right. She confronted her boyfriends sons and told them she deserves his money when he dies, not them. You need to respect to be respected

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  4. My mom and dad weren’t very good at navigating the parent-young adult relationship. They tried to be very controlling—well my mom really never stopped. My mom has early dementia now–but I never shared large parts of my life with her so I wouldn’t have to hear the constant judgment. Even stopping at Starbucks to get a fancy coffee drink might set her off.
    My mom was all about no shoes in the house though.
    I have tried not to make the same mistakes with my kids. I have found myself wanting to offer “helpful advice” a few times but then stopped myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I try to do a 140 away from how I was raised, but it’s hard. First, sometimes those things you heard growing up just pop in there unexpectedly. And yes, as a parent when you see your kid doing something stupid, it’s really hard not to interject.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds familiar to me, the ex MIL with whom I now have no contact. I’m so sorry to read about this narcissist experience! And the not a clue that they are acting out of line – yup. Ex-MIL crossed every boundary ever drawn. While I don’t have daughters, I have sons and hope that they will have learned via my role-modeling and the bond we’ve created to understand the dynamics of parent/child relationships. So far, I think we’re doing well, but not sure if it’s because they’re sons and I’m the Mom…

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  6. I’ve been thinking about this since I first read it the other day. While I agree that quite clearly you’ve seen how you don’t want your relationship with your daughter to become, is it enough to simply do the opposite, or is it necessary (or just more helpful) to see a positive alternative demonstrated? I knew I didn’t want to continue the relationship I had with my mother, who was repeating the relationship she had with her mother despite not liking much, but it wasn’t until I spent time with a school friend & her parents that I got to see how it could play out in practice. I really valued that and it had a huge impact on me. Some years ago my mother told me how much she’d disliked my evident affection for and admiration of that particular family.

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