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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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How can i help my 22 year old daughter mature and become

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how can i help my 22 year old daughter mature and become responsible? She is in college and does well. her issues are lack of responsibility, not facing or dealing with problems, overweight; and what i believe is due to lack of motivation to help herself She doesnt take care of herself and it seems to have affected all these mentioned concerns. I realize that there are two sides to every story, but i myself and the people who are close to her all feel this way. Its not about us, but the stress is eating me and others up. Please help, Dave Schulnick
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear *****,

I appreciate your concern, and as a caring father you want to help her.

To her great credit, she has not only entered college, but is doing well. She is facing up to assignments, studying, and doing what it takes to "do well".

Her weight problem may be due, in some or great part, to her inherent metabolism. Eating may also be a way to deal with the stress caused by the rigors of college demands.

I am sure that your concerns are valid and your feelings of stress exist, but they are certainly something that you do not want to add to HER already full plate of concerns for fear of adding to her own stress level.

You say, without giving any detail, that her issues are "lack of responsibility, not facing or dealing with problems" and what you believe is "lack of motiviation to help herself" and you add that "she doesn't take care of herself". These are your personal assessements, bolstered by others, but they are not facts that I can translate into behavior (such as: she doesn't bathe, she grossly overspends, she uses drugs or drinks to excess, she is promiscuous, and so on).

If she does not have any of the real concerns I speculated upon above, then perhaps she just needs to be allowed a bit more freedom from advice and guidance so that she can make her own decisions.

If you give her money, give her a set amount and let her run her own budget, for example. Right now, she is suceeding quite well at her main mission, which is to successfully work her way through school.

If you are too critical of her, you may unwittingly sabotage her efforts. If you tell her, yes your grades are wonderful but you don't look good because you are overweight, then this can sink her efforts.

She is painfully aware, I am sure, of her weight problem. She doesn't need to be reminded. What she needs most is your unconditional love and support. She is obviously an intelligent young woman, and is her parents' daughter. As she matures, the wisdom already in her will begin to take effect.

If this is not an emergency situation, then you will have to learn to take the good with the bad. She sounds like she is succeeding in an important aspect of her life, and as she develops more self-confidence and the ability to control her own life, she will figure out how to deal with the other areas in which she needs help.

If she gets your support she will continue to prosper. If she thinks that her efforts are not enough to satisfy you, she may just begin to give up.

If there are other concerns that you have not voiced, please get back to me, if I have missed something of importance.

If seems that, from what you have told me, you needn't be so concerned. She is getting there at her own speed and needs her family's love and approval to keep going.

I wish great blessings for your family,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
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