Posted by: just a mom | 2004/11/05

daughter leaving home

I know I'll be getting a few insults/rude replies, but here goes: Up until last night I thought i had a good relationship with my children. My 18yr old daughter started working two months back, its not something that I would want her to do, but she took it to "get experience".

She drops a bombshell (no it must have been an atom bomb, coz I could not see in front of me for the whole evening after her news,) on us last night:- she is leaving home and going to live with a girlfriend - which she only met two months back, I don't even know the girl. So she packed her bags and left.

Her father still preached about what we did for her and she does not appreciate it, and she thinks she is an adult now that she is working etc. etc. - but to me its different. I don't believe that your children should pay you back for stuff you did for them. I believe that if you wanted kids, you should provide to them without wanting anything in return.

I know that in time she would have moved out, to start life on her own, but this was too unexpected! When asked why she wants to move out now, she said she wanted to a long time ago, but was not sure how she would have soped, now she has a job and she will cope.

When exactly was that 2/3/4/5 years back???

Her boyfriend, asked me to talk to her not to move out, but I think if she feels she can handle it, let her be. I do feel a bit hurt, because she did not talk to me first and to let me prepare for this, but what's done is done.

Where did it go wrong that she could not communicate with me?

I still have two teenagers at home, and I would not want the same episode to happen with one of them, what do I do.?

How do I find out if she is OK, I don't have an address or telephone number. Do I contact her at work? She told the boyfriend she cannot talk to me, but I'm the one always asking how she is, how her relationship is, how work is. What did I miss?

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Our expert says:
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Maybe she was afraid you would feel this devastated, and so put off telling you till the last minute. I dont believe a child owes you financially, but they do owe you more consideration than that. But let's see. Either it'll all work out marvellously, and you'll be pleased to recognize you don't need to worry, or it won't work out well, and she'll learn from the experience.
Let her walk out, but be sure she understands the door is open to her if and when she wants to return for a time. Don't let her feel she'd be too embarrassed to admit if it isn't working out and too hesitant to return and revise her plans. This is part of the difficult task you took on with parenthood, and which you have done well, and which you're still doing well.

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Our users say:
Posted by: just a mom | 2004/11/05

thanks guys. I really appreciate your feedback. As I said, I knew it was going to happen some time. I'll just have to get used to the idea.

Have a great week-end.

Reply to just a mom
Posted by: Juzlisen | 2004/11/05

Dear Mom
I am 24yrs old and moved out when I was 17 - I had finished matric. I had nothing, in one year I bought a car, furnished my house and did allot of growing up. The only advise I can give you is to never stop trying with your daughter. Be there for her when she needs you, this is a fragile yet growing time for her. Giver her guidance and lots of support. My reason for moving out was that I wanted independance, it was difficult because I had to grow up really fast I was lucky that I had great friends and even better mentors in my life. I was not lazy, always willing to learn and hard working as my first job was not too great ( pay wise). Now a few years later I have my feet on the ground even though It was and still is hard because at times I now feel like a parent cos I have my three brothers living under my roof. One is still a teen the others are 20 and 23. I understand and know the pressures and stresses parents go through.
Be there no matter what. There are times when you need to be more of a friend but that fine line is still distinguishable - communication is very important. My parents were very angry with me for a long time as they couldn't understand my motives or reasoning but now that the see i've grown into a responsible, mature adult - they seem very proud.

Reply to Juzlisen
Posted by: Listener | 2004/11/05

I was once told to give my child wings to fly and he will fly back.
I am sure that is true.

If you cut their wings, you will have a rebel and a lot of ireparable damage could take place.

Reply to Listener
Posted by: Suri | 2004/11/05

Don't blame yourself for your daughter's decision. I am on the reverse side. I am 27 years old and my mom lives with me. There is so many times I wish that she could move out or that I could afford to let her stay and me move out.

I do love her alot but sometimes as a girl grows into a woman, she wants to make her decisions without having her parents always trying to protect her.

Believe me, we do understand how difficult it is for you as a mother to let go. It is not easy but you will see that once you give your daughter her space and let her deal with her life as an adult and not a little girl, your relationship with her will improve.

Reply to Suri
Posted by: Shaun | 2004/11/05

Hi Mom,

I haven't got much to add, but maybe you can try to stop looking at it as something wrong you might have done, but try look at it as something she was wanting to do.

Sometimes people go ahead & do what they want just coz thats what they want. I think all you can do is offer support if needed, as it seems as if she does not want her privacy invaded if you are not certain as to where she is.

It is only normal to be concerned, but I don't think you should think of it as something you did wrong, or where you might look at yourself for faults. Before long I'm sure the real reason as to her wanting to be on her own will become known.

Take care,

Reply to Shaun

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