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Telling my adult daughter I love her just the way she is.
Family & Parenting / 2:34 PM - Friday April 30, 2010

Telling my adult daughter I love her just the way she is.

My young adult daughter lives 850 miles away.
This is fine Her dad and I raised her to be an independent adult which she is. However, I often times jump to conclusions about her life. She tells me that no matter what she does, it's just not enough in my eyes. She say, "Mom I don't do it the way you think it should be done." I admit I give her that feeling. However, I HATE myself for doing so. I want her to know that I accept her for whatever choices she makes, even though they may not be the ones I would make.
I want to know the right words to tell her that I don't want her to feel this way.

- Asked by tchur1, A Sweet Sarah, Female, 66 or older, St.Louis, Who Cares?

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The right words are "I AM SORRY I made you feel that way."

- Response by hnygrl, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Managerial

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Phrases that are empowering such as "You are an intelligent person. You will make the right decision." or "I have every confidence you will make a good choice." or "You know what is best for you -- more than anyone else."

Of course -- you must BELIEVE these statements.

- Response by utahmom, A Thinker, Female, 56-65, Managerial

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As a young woman who takes A LOT of criticism and judgment from my mother, I can tell you this: Take interest in her life. Listen without judgment. Apologize for past and present wrongdoings. Tell her in so many words that you WANT a positive relationship as much as she does (trust me, she does). If my mother would do those things, I would be so happy and relieved. Right now I have practically no relationship with her because I don't tell her anything - she'll just turn it against me.

- Response by A Creative, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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Apologize, back off from getting into her life (like the way you do concerning her boyfriend of a different race) and tell her you are proud of her for living her life as an independent adult. Then apologize again.

You may want to take some counseling to help you let go--you may be too attached and a perfectionist due to your own shortcomings and putting them off on her. It would be beneficial to you in other areas and relationships of your life too I bet.

- Response by thottienc, A Career Woman, Female, 36-45, Who Cares?

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You did your best to raise her, now it's her turn to live her life. There's a huge difference between providing loving guidance and being a meddlesome thorn in her side. I love the response above that says to empower your daughter - this is great advice. Love her, trust her, support her (even if you don't agree), find reasons to compliment her and know when to keep your mouth shut. The last one is probably the most important.

- Response by 1junebug, A Cool Mom, Female, 36-45

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She has created the message within herself that whatever she does, it will not be good enough. She also attaches that belief to you and there is really nothing that you can do to change that belief. You did not give her that feeling and as long as you believe that you did, you can't forgive yourself and whatever you try to say to her will "not be enough" because she is still stuck in her belief. If I were you, I would not try to change the way she feels and I would change the way I feel and forgive myself for the past. Then I would say "Yes, I am and have been judgmental of the way you do things and I don't have a clue as to how I can change the past but I am willing to start anew from this point forward if you will let me."

- Response by wiserman, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Who Cares?

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Our mother was like that. She ended up having her best friend tells us as part of the Eulogy at her funeral.

Find the words. Get real. And let your actions moving forward erase the scars and the heartache of having raised "not good enough" kids...

- Response by A Creative, Female, Who Cares?, Los Angeles, Self-Employed

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My mom is the same way. The problem isn't finding the words to tell her you accept her no matter what; the problem is why do you even bother telling her what YOU would do if she's not asking for advice? Don't tell her the way you'd do something differently if there's not a reason to. I wish my mom would cut that out and I've talked to her about it but it doesn't work. I don't have a very good relationship with her anymore and I don't see or talk to her very much, which is sad because I love my mom, I just hate the way she makes me feel.

- Response by lizarella, An Alternative Girl, Female, 22-25

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It's a good start that you realize you have a personality/emotional glitch that's affecting her negatively.

Now it's up to her to realize that your personality/emotional glitch is no reflection on her.

You could kick start her process by telling her exactly what you've said to us. Those are all good words. ;)

- Response by trawna, A Career Woman, Female, 46-55, Toronto, Consulting

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i say write her a heart felt letter, stating your failures, your love for her, your confidence in her, her thinking

your happiness and pride inher

that you make mistakes,a dn want to work on it,

let her know that you would rather have her tell you to stop and explain how what you are doing makes her feel, and you will LISTEN and not defend yourself

a nice long letter, that way it will soak in, she will read it a few times

you you have acknowledged you have a fault, thats the easy part, now FIX IT, or lose her, those are your options

clear as a bell, i see my mom doing what you do to my sister, and i see my sister pulling away from my mom and my mom is clueless about it, you are on that path, and by the time you do fix it, it will be too late

aloha

- Response by beautifulloser, A Rebel, Male, 36-45, Detroit, Executive

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Send her this message along with an apology for not knowing what to say in the past and for making mistakes in how you tried to encourage her. Send along her favorite treat or a gift card to a favorite store along with the promise to try to do better in the future.

Resolve to do more listening and less reacting. Don't offer advice unless asked for it. Know she might not want any help in solving her problems just a kind ear and shoulder. Offer her that. Before saying anything, pause and ask her - out loud - "Honey, what do you need from me now? Support or advice or nothing?" Let her tell you what she needs.

THEN - she has to start accepting your attempts, no matter how poorly you may do it. She has to start accepting that you do love her and that while you don't always know how to say it (none of is perfect in that arena), YOU DO!

- Response by momto11, Female, 46-55, Home Maker

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...And remember... We are all responsible for how "we" feel. We are not responsible for how "others" feel. You cannot "make" someone feel this way or that because in the end that decision and choice is up to the adult individual. "You made me mad"... well, no "I" did not. You chose to react and feel that way. I am not in charge of how you feel, react, exclaim, or understand things, you are... you can "encourage" bad feelings and "validate" bad feelings, or you can "encourage" good feelings and "validate good feelings. What another person ends up choosing to believe is up to them. Hence the advent of therapy..
When someone is mean and says something that is not nice it says more about the person speaking that the person being spoken to..
I hope that makes sense..

- Response by timeforanoverhaul, A Father Figure, Male, 36-45, Self-Employed

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I have always been told that sometimes action is better than words.Just continue not to be bothered by the way your daughter lives her life and how she does many things in her life, her way and not yours.If you were like that when she was growing up, she needs to she that,before she will let down her defense. :)

- Response by roanna, A Hippie Chick, Female, 56-65, Self-Employed

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Here's the cold, hard reality. You sound lik you have not necessarily smothered her, but have never let her live her own life. You need to trust her foremost, and let her live her life. If you cannot do this, and this will be hard for you to take, but she WILL rebel, and she may decide to cut you out of her life altogether. If, upon reading that sentence, your first thought was, "She would never do that", then you have just answered your own question about whther you are too controlling. Let go,m and do it today, and be thankful for my tough love. The advice I just gave you usually costs $500, heh heh heh (hey, that's a joke to all my detractors here).

- Response by doctorphil, A Guy Critical, Male, 56-65, Los Angeles, Celebrity

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