Parenting Adult Daughters

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Daughters

Do you remember how close you were to your daughters when they were little girls? We had five baby girls in a row. As they grew older, they would follow me around the house chatting all the while. Adult daughters are a little more complex. 

Parenting adult daughters can be a mixed bag of wonderful and complicated.

Over at HoneyGood, Susan “Honey” Good says,

“A negative answer by a mother will put [her] into a verbal war zone with her daughter… bite your tongue”

” I often ask myself, why can’t my relationship with my daughters be constantly positive? Why are my words, at times, taken out of context? Why are they over sensitive to my words? Why are they little tick tock detectives weighing into things such as the inflection in my voice?”

Have you ever had this experience? 

“I said to one of my daughters when my iPhone rang, “I am so happy to hear your voice. I haven’t seen you in a while. I miss you.”

My daughter’s cool response, “Well, I don’t know why you are complaining, Mom. You travel and spend the winter in California.’

Yeah. It’s like that sometimes.

Good went on to explain that her daughter did call her the next day to apologize. Her experience rang a bell with me. It seems to be a reoccurring issue for some of us.

We are still parenting our adult daughters. Only now, it takes a much different form.

Recently we visited Illinois, where we are originally from, for a family reunion. One of my grandkids ran up to me and gave me the biggest hug. He held me tight squeezing my neck with all his little boy might. All too soon he’d let go and run off to play. But then, within minutes, he ran back over again doing the same thing. 

It surprised me. He is just under three. When my daughter saw the look on my face, she remarked, “He misses you mom.”

If you’ve had the same experience, you might have read those words in two different ways. If the inflection was accusatory, you, Honey, and I have all been hit with the same guilt stick. 

You see, I’ve never lived close to this little grandson. I see him as often as I can. But the truth is, my daughter harbors feelings of resentment that we moved out of state. 

Honey’s daughter’s remarks savor the same bitterness. 

Even though our daughters are grown women they still need us more than we realize. Because we are older, and wiser, we can hear just as loudly what they don’t say. So, Good’s advice is worth sharing.

SAY THIS TO YOURSELF: “I AM MY DAUGHTER’S ROLE MODEL. I AM THE GLUE THAT HOLDS THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER.”

Therefore, I will wait, smile and be there when she needs me.