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professional_Alison, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 78
Experience:  Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
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I am having a difficult time with my 22 year old daughter.

Customer Question

I am having a difficult time with my 22 year old daughter. She is in her final year of a music degree in university. She does not particularly enjoy her course, having loved music and been very talented all the way through school. She is at one of the top rated universities for music in UK and it is VERY competitive. Last year she was distracted by an intense two year relationship with a young man whom she loved but decided (correctly, I think) that he was wrong for her. She ended it though it broke her heart to do so. This cost her her place in the performance module of her music degree, which she failed to get into in her last year. So this year she's doing academic music courses, not her strong point and not why she went to uni to do music in the first place. She went straight from this relationship into another relationship with a student. This is now ended (his choice this time, I think). During the weekend that this was going on, she was largely absent from the house, so I had no idea what was happening. I sent her a text and followed up with a phone call (a cross one) about something she had borrowed on an account of mine and was failing to return on the day, therefore incurring a (small) fine. I was just annoyed by her carelessness (she has done this before), but would not have reacted as I'd known what else was happening in her life. Since then she has not spent much time at home, communicates with me in monosyllables, does not eat meals at home (not anything I've cooked anyway). She is not at all focused on her studies in her final year, preferring to go out with her equally lazy friends. She is incredibly messy around the house, leaves everything everywhere, takes up three bedrooms in the house which are filled with indescribable clutter. I pay her car insurance, (she works part-time) and help her with assignments when she asks, which is often enough when they are due in as she does not leave herself enough time to do them. She hasn't given much thought to graduate programmes next year, having applied to just one primary teaching course which she has an interview for which demands some preparation as entry is very competitive. To date shes done no prep. Other courses are in the mainland UK where she says shes not prepared to go. (If she wants a career in teaching she should really be applying to UK now, as shes far more likely to get in there than here in Northern Ireland, where jobs are scarce and the pool of talent is very high). She has completely shut me out, still talks to her dad, who was able to establish that the reason for this 'freeze' is that I told her off a few weeks ago. I'm getting a bit tired of her selfish, spoiled behaviour. I know shes going through a hard time boyfriend-wise, but the fact that she has kept this behaviour up for almost a month now is hurtful. I guess I'm getting some of the anger which might more properly be directed to these boyfriends. She was out again last night, has not returned home, we have no idea where she is. She says shes going to move out next year, but I dont think she has thought the finances through, as without a full-time job it may be very difficult for her to do so. I'm worried that she's going the same way as her elder brother, who got a (2:1 in law, did a postgraduate course in Law paid for by his parents in London, got wasted on drugs and alcohol, still has an alcohol problem which he denies, and at 30 has not managed to get himself a job except part-time work with his father.) I'm so angry and disappointed in both of them, but am trying to prevent her going down the route of her brother. However, I'm persona non grata with her at the moment. Part of me feels like just telling her to get lost, go with her friends (lazy ungrateful slobs who are horrible to their own parents and who are influencing her, not in a good way), move out and pay her own car insurance (we bought the car of course). I'm at my wits end, dealing with a stressful job situation myself, where my own future is uncertain. Please advise
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  professional_Alison replied 4 years ago.

professional_Alison : Hello there, may I help you? I understand you are in a difficult situation here. You daughter is an adult but she is still living under your roof and therefore does need to let you know if she is not coming home. It's time to sit down and talk to her about your concerns, explain that through her broken heart you feel she may have lost her way and you don't want this to end up ruining her chances of a career and wasting her talents. Explain that you want to help and support her but can't do that if she shuts you out.
professional_Alison : Ask her to sort out some if the mess in the three bedrooms into two and offer to help her if she would like.
professional_Alison : Tell her you would like her to be home for a meal twice a week and try to break down te communication barrier she has out up. With regard to her study tell her how proud you are of her talent and that you want her to be successful. Again offer to help her in any way you can. I think the key here is for her to feel you are on her side, if you go in the first time with any negative comments or demands you are likely to push her away further. It often helps to write a letter to her as she had to read it and will have time to reflect on what ou have written without arguing, dismissing what you have said or answering back. Try this in the first instance before making any rash decisions with her car insurance etc.
professional_Alison : let me know your thoughts on my answer. I would be happy to advise you further.