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Question
Posted by: Maggie | 2019/01/24

Teenager interventions

My daughter is 19, my son is 16. My son is independent and as long as there is food in the house he is quite happy being at home and doesn't bother if I am there or not. However my 19 year old is hanging on my apron strings. She doesn't have friends, very insecure but a very bright girl, lots of common sense but in my last relationship she caused some issues. Asking me what time I am going to be home after I have stayed out the night before. If I am not home at that time she calls me again. I just feel like my life is being ruled by her. I know the whole thing about being your daughters best friend and all that but when do you draw the line and say now you are old enough, I do need to have a life of my own. Yes they both live under my roof. My daughter is working and earning her own money but only doing an apprenticeship so she cannot live on her own yet. I do everything for them they have food on the table, clothes washed, I pay all the bills. They are not demanding children but at my age now being 46 I just feel like I will never have a life of my own to explore having a normal progressive relationship with someone. It did cause a little bit of an issue in my last relationship but I have just started seeing someone new and I don't want history repeating itself. Any advice on how to address her on this will be appreciated. Yes I do know my children come first but at their ages? When do I start to say I need time of my own and deserve that

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/01/24

Hi Maggie,
Above all, kids need a mother, not a friend.  There's a difference between being friendly, and being a friend, which may prevent one from being an effective parent.  She's well past the age of being told, firmly but in a pleasant way, that she should be looking after herself and being independent, and not trying to control your life, as it's time you were allowed to life your own life.
Shouldn't she be contributing more to the home, like sharing chores ?  She sounds unduly controlling, and dependent.  Were she to win the lottery, could she really manage to live on her own ?  Try gently discussing these concerns with her, and suggest she see a psychologist or counsellor to explore her issues about living her own life rather than trying to be co-pilot on yours.

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