Mother strug­gles with daugh­ter’s in­sults

The Barrie Examiner - - LIFE -

I am the mother of a 21-year-old girl and an 18-year-old boy.

My prob­lem is with my daugh­ter. She treats me very dis­re­spect­fully.

She’ll tell me to “shut up” and calls me “stupid” or “dumb” if some­thing doesn’t suit her or if she’s feel­ing stressed about school or work (she is a straight A stu­dent work­ing a sum­mer in­tern­ship with a ma­jor ac­count­ing firm).

When I try to ad­dress the be­hav­iour, she’ll shut me down by mock­ing me. I am at a loss on what to do to stop this dis­re­spect­ful be­hav­iour.

Here is an ex­am­ple: yes­ter­day morn­ing she came into my bed­room (on the main floor), an­gry at me for turn­ing off the air con­di­tioner.

Her room is on the sec­ond floor and she said she was too hot to sleep all night. I ex­plained that it was 60 de­grees out­side and we didn’t need the air con­di­tioner.

She said, “You’re so dumb; hot air rises ... what are you — stupid?”

This is just one ex­am­ple of many.

My son doesn’t treat me this way and is very re­spect­ful and kind.

How can two kids from the same fam­ily be so dif­fer­ent?

My hus­band says I should com­pletely ig­nore her and not do a thing for her — ba­si­cally alien­ate her. This ap­proach doesn’t feel right. What do you think? — FRUS­TRATED MOM

You two should be at the cen­tre of your fam­ily, and should be in ba­sic agree­ment about what you will — and won’t — tol­er­ate from your lit­tle miss bossy pants, oth­er­wise she doesn’t have much in­cen­tive to change.

You three should meet pri­vately to dis­cuss her be­hav­iour. Ask her if she talks to her pro­fes­sors, mentors or co-work­ers this way. Then ask her why she talks to you this way. Lis­ten to her an­swer; if she doesn’t an­swer or shrugs this off, then let some un­com­fort­able si­lence hang in the room.

Tell her that she needs to be­have dif­fer­ently. Don’t of­fer ul­ti­ma­tums (she’ll be forced to won­der about the pos­si­ble con­se­quences).

If this con­tin­ues, then I agree with your hus­band — ig­nore her and do noth­ing for her un­til she fig­ures out how to get back into her par­ents’ good graces. If her be­hav­ior de­te­ri­o­rates, the next step might be to tell her that she needs to find some­where else to stay. Be calm, firm, in-charge, and — when the time comes — for­giv­ing. She’s young and test­ing you.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times in the past, but I need to know — if you’re dat­ing some­one, is it the man’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to pay the tab all the time?

And if I was to ap­proach my girl­friend about this is­sue, what is the best way to go about it? — MONEYBAGS

Yes, this is a peren­nial is­sue be­tween dat­ing cou­ples. The ques­tion is raised, again and again, be­cause as time goes on, so­cial mores change as we all make the tran­si­tion away from some tra­di­tions, and to­ward oth­ers.

Ev­ery cou­ple needs to dis­cuss money at some point, and the sooner you do this, the bet­ter.

You could start this con­ver­sa­tion with your girl­friend by ask­ing her if she thinks the man should al­ways pick up the tab, and if so — why.

My own view is that who­ever has more should give more. The per­son with fewer as­sets can ex­press her own gen­eros­ity by find­ing ways to host in­ex­pen­sive out­ings. Im­por­tantly, in the health­i­est re­la­tion­ships, the over­all at­ti­tude is one of bal­anced shar­ing, ap­pre­ci­a­tion and grat­i­tude.

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to read­ers re­gard­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.