Advice please

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I need some advice about my daughter’s behaviour. It’s a really long story but I’ll try to keep it as brief as I can. She is 21 and still lives at home with us as she’s just finished her university course. Her boyfriend who she’s obsessed by ended it with her a while back but wants her around when he comes home from uni. So he’s messing with her head. She’s addicted to gaming on the computer. She’s up all night and sleeps all day. She has no interest to do anything other than sleep or gaming. She says gaming is her escape but doesn’t agree its ruling her life. She eats trash and never eats a meal. No fruit. No veg. Nothing healthy. Her skin is sallow and full of spots. She has low iron and vitamin D. Big black bags under her eyes too. But she doesn’t care. She dresses in baggy worn out clothes and doesn’t wear make up or shower too often. The problem isn’t that, that’s her life she chooses. She’s not a child. The problem is that whenever I help her or try to advise her she screams and yells at me and cusses at me really bad. Telling me to f*** off. I do everything for her. Clean, laundry, taking her places, we take her on vacations. She doesn’t make an effort to get any work. She doesn’t contribute in any way. Some would say she is spoilt. I guess she is asshes my only child. But it seems the more we do for her the worse she has become. She abuses us as parents. She has zero respect for us or our home. She’s had counselling for anger issues which did no good at all as she’s now worse. I think she’s frustrated and angry she can’t win back the boyfriend. Therefore she’s taking the anger out on me and her Father. The other problem is she runs to the ex boyfriends mother when she fights with us and is all sugary sweet and the mother adores her saying what a lovely girl she is. We don’t see this angel. We live with this devil. She is pure horrible right now. I can’t even ask her about the weather and she’s going for my throat. My husband has said we have to back off her and ignore her. He thinks we should withdraw from her as she thinks we are on her back. I am so upset today. I need some advice from a parent that’s maybe been through it. Thanks. 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Doesn't sound fun.  I know when my son (16) gets out of line and yells, he's tired.  But if it continues to be more and more I will have to do something.  I understand that she is 21 so you can't ground her and if she wants to 'game' all night that's on her BUT you can insist that she works or goes to school.  I plan to do this with my kids-- it's fine if they don't want school but they do NEED to work.  My niece is home from school for the summer and her parents INSISTED that she works too.  She also needs to get back to counseling-- try a different one.  It would help her so much to move on with her life-- going to the ex's mother isn't helping!!  Yes you can back-off but if you can get her to therapy that would be a great start!!

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  • Posted

    She stormed off yesterday afternoon and hasn’t come home all night. She’s such a worry. I think she’s at the ex’s mother who isn’t helping the situation one bit. She won’t go back into therapy again. Especially not for family reasons. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Kim - I so understand, I was there with my daughter. Its so hard to accept right now but she will get through this! Your husband is right, give her the space to get through this traumatic time in her life. I do think more counselling would help her. 

    ?I know your heart is breaking & the feeling of not being able to help her pain is unbearable to you as a mother.

    Please try & keep your patience & look after you as well. 

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  • Posted

    Thank you. I don’t recognise my daughter at all right now. It’s like dealing with a stranger. It’s so upsetting. I just don’t know what to do anymore. She’s my only child and I feel like I’m losing her. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Kim my daughter is my only child & I lived a nightmare for 3 years, I spoke to help lines & they told me that I was doing the right thing by being there for her & not to blame myself, at the time this was not what I wanted to hear! now we are so close like she was before & I love her so much & I'm so proud of what she has achieved. 

      ?I believe that girls (Cant say boys as I haven't had a son) they have hormones flying all over the place & life is so muddled in their brain & hearts & they hurt so much. We need to be there for when they reach out to us! I think right now if you start laying down the rules you might loose her? I know your heart is breaking!

      Would she go with you for a spa break? or do something she may like to do? 

      ?Sending you huge warm hugs Kim & again do try & look after you & hubby too X

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  • Posted

    Hi I think it is your  home and you need to be laying down some rules.  She is 21 and is an adult so has to contribute towards her own keep by working.  She has to keep a civil tongue in her head too.  I would make these rules non negotiable.

    If she agrees to seek therapy you could relax the work rule until she feels a bit better but it would have to be a condition.  I know she is your daughter but letting her live at yours and get away with this is enabling her bad behaviour and she has no incentive to change.  x

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  • Posted

    Join they club i have three sons and the are pretty much the same if u ask me she needs to bed howing a bit off thought love like we were when we were young I hate to say this to you but u do too much for her she won't change on less your husband and u don't stand together

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  • Posted

    It is so hard parenting adult children, but we have to remember the goal of parenting. An adult that moves out and is a productive member of society. 

    Right now her boyfriend is using her, and in turn she is using you.  I would recommend you and dad work with a therapist to set some firm boundaries and consequences if she does not respect them , that both parents will stand behind.  She probably does act differently at boyfriends moms house. If she acted like she does at your house she would be asked to leave.   Every time you try to enforce your boundaries, she likely will take off to boyfriends home, but they likely will not do her laundry or support her long term. You and dad need to be able to stand together.  Sounds easy but there is fine line between being firm and uncaring. Also, she will test boundaries, so you need to be willing to do the consequences.  So be careful to chose consequences you are willing to let happen. Each time we threaten a consequence but don't follow through things get worse.  If she has a mental illness, addition or depression she needs to do the hard work of changing. Doing therapy. But, if she does not have any consequences for refusing help or bad behavior you are just enabling her. What happens if you stop doing her laudrey or paying for her Internet/phone. She will run to boyfriends and say how horrible you are.  But, she will be forced to come back or get a job when they get tired of supporting her.  I would make it clear to her she will be welcomed back anytime but same conditions will apply. 

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  • Posted

    Thank you. You all make so much sense. We have taken her car away so when she strops away she has to find her own way home. This worries me as I hate her getting around as late as she chooses to return home. She’s a bit calmer today. But I still can’t appriach her or request anything. I think she has a form of depression. She definitely has a gaming addiction which is ruling her life. But she won’t afmit she has a problem so nothing we can do about that. I personally think she could do with some anti depressants to get her through the worst of it. But she really thinks it’s all our fault and won’t accept any responsibility. Her father has said we should stop her allowance and cut the WiFi in the home. But it’ll be like taking heroin off a user and I’m not sure I can’t stand the uproar this will cause. We have to do something. 
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    • Posted

      Good for you!!!   Taking away the car is a start!!   Wonderful!!  I know us moms do worry but she will be OK and find her own way. I'm shocked that she is still getting an allowance..  My kids want an allowance but I refuse because they need to learn the basics for themselves..  We do buy them what they need.    It's OK, she will be mad/upset even moody because you are taking away certain things that she has taken for granted..  You are on the right track.  And yes, cutting the WIFI is a wonderful idea especially after a certain time at night so she can get some sleep!!  In fact, once school starts I have thought about this myself since my boys have trouble turning off their devices by a certain time.  

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