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My daughters resent me.

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  • My daughters resent me.

    I am the mother of two beautiful grown daughters one is now 26, going on 27 and the other is 30. I always believed in harsh love as they grew up. Basically I told them the truth when I thought they needed to hear it. I remember when my oldest daughter was 16. She came down the steps in a skanky dress for a school dance. She asked me if she looked pretty. I told her the exact truth "No you are not pretty in that thing. You look like a **********, now take it off and never let me see you look like that again!"

    My oldest daughter loved dressing up most of her life, and once she reached 14 she went from cute pretty outfits to skanky ones. I let her get a job at that age, and she used all her money on short short skirts, revealing tops, revealing dresses. And I told her exactly what I thought of those clothes. I made her get rid of them and I took her shopping for what I thought appropriate. From time to time, I would still find some skanky little dress. And then she went away to college and it got worse from there. She lived with room mates after her first year and she told me I couldn't tell her what to wear anymore. It wasn't until she was about 22 when she got pregnant that all this stopped.

    Now my youngest daughter was the opposite. She was a Tomboy. She refused to wear dresses. I had to plead with her to wear a dress for her grade 8 graduation. I used to tell her all the time "You would be pretty if you would just dress up." but she wouldn't. It wasn't until she was living on her own that she took interest in prettier clothes. I can only think of a few times she wore nice clothes as a teen. Her grade 8 graduation, a couple school dances, her formal and her graduation party. I think once she was 19 she finally started dressing like a girl all the time.

    I could never find a middle line with my girls. I just wanted them to wear normal pretty girl clothes. Not boys clothes and certainly not skanky clothes. The kind of clothes they wear now are what I wish they would have worn back then.

    So recently, I found out they resent me for this. For what? Being a parent? I overheard them discussing it at our Sunday lunch. My youngest daughter resents me because she thinks I was always calling her ugly when she was growing up, and my oldest daughter thinks I was always calling her skanky.

    I remember when I used to read their diaries all the time (they never found out) that they thought that stuff as kids, especially my youngest daughter but not as adults. I thought they grew out of those insecurities. My youngest daughter says she has no self-confidence because of the way I treated her and she still feels ugly to this day. I never once called her "ugly" to her face. She was pretty. She just didn't look it with those boy clothes.

    And I overheard them complaining that I treat my grandchildren better than I did them. My oldest grandchild is eight, and she is beautiful and I am always telling her that. I never criticize her. And I guess that is something my daughters have picked up on and they're actually jealous of this. My youngest daughter isn't married and she doesn't have kids, but my oldest has three. My youngest daughter says I'm the reason she can't find a man because she has no confidence in herself. Both my daughters complain that I never ever called them beautiful growing up and all I did was criticize and never compliment.

    Now is this normal for kids to complain about their parents like this? I mean, she's 26 years old so why should she not have any confidence just because I told her to stop dressing like a guy when she was 13? I was helping her out to be a better person.

    She is her own person now. She is responsible for her own confidence, not me. After hearing this conversation between my daughters I feel hurt that they blame me for all their life problems. I never thought I'd be the parent kids resented. I never had these issues with my own mother, so I am surprised to hear grown adult women saying that they have confidence problems from me.

  • Very normal. As parents, we are constantly yelling at the kids because they don't listen to us. It makes us feel like nothing is getting through and we are wasting our words. The reality is that parents are the #1 influencers of kids. THEY ARE LISTENING - TO EVERY WORD. That one time you were too tired and yelled at them to leave your alone - they remember that! The one time you were cranky on your period and comments that they (kids) distroyed your body - they heard and remember that!

    What we as parents say is very important to kids and that is why we need to be very careful about what and how we say it. There are things my father said that still haunts me to this day. He was a very good man, a good provider and tried really hard in his own way. But the list of things he did that still impacts me to this day is huge. At almost 40, I still have to fight to overcome my insecurities. That is just the way it is.

    You can't change the way you parented them. You did what you thought was best at the time. But you can try to make up for it now. Sit down with them and have a heart to heart talk. Tell them how you felt at the time, but don't talk in negative terms. For example, you told your dauther she would look pretty if only she dressed girliers. Your daughter interpreted that as "you are ugly. you need to wear girly dresses to make you look better." Explain to her that what you really were trying to express was that your daughter is such a beautiful person, you wish she would be more interested in taking care of that beautiful appearance.

    There is still time to mend things, but only if you try. It doesn't matter how old they are or how much older they will get. What their mother says or said still impacts them alot. The resentment they feel won't go away unless you appologize for your mistake, try to explain what you were really trying to do, that you never thought your daughters were ugly or skanky and explain that you were parenting in a way you thought was the right way to raise kids. Every parent makes mistakes. Your daughters will make their own share. Its normal.
    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by sp346 View Post
      Very normal. As parents, we are constantly yelling at the kids because they don't listen to us. It makes us feel like nothing is getting through and we are wasting our words. The reality is that parents are the #1 influencers of kids. THEY ARE LISTENING - TO EVERY WORD. That one time you were too tired and yelled at them to leave your alone - they remember that! The one time you were cranky on your period and comments that they (kids) distroyed your body - they heard and remember that!

      What we as parents say is very important to kids and that is why we need to be very careful about what and how we say it. There are things my father said that still haunts me to this day. He was a very good man, a good provider and tried really hard in his own way. But the list of things he did that still impacts me to this day is huge. At almost 40, I still have to fight to overcome my insecurities. That is just the way it is.

      You can't change the way you parented them. You did what you thought was best at the time. But you can try to make up for it now. Sit down with them and have a heart to heart talk. Tell them how you felt at the time, but don't talk in negative terms. For example, you told your dauther she would look pretty if only she dressed girliers. Your daughter interpreted that as "you are ugly. you need to wear girly dresses to make you look better." Explain to her that what you really were trying to express was that your daughter is such a beautiful person, you wish she would be more interested in taking care of that beautiful appearance.

      There is still time to mend things, but only if you try. It doesn't matter how old they are or how much older they will get. What their mother says or said still impacts them alot. The resentment they feel won't go away unless you appologize for your mistake, try to explain what you were really trying to do, that you never thought your daughters were ugly or skanky and explain that you were parenting in a way you thought was the right way to raise kids. Every parent makes mistakes. Your daughters will make their own share. Its normal.
      Well a lot of the time my youngest would complain that boys didn't like her, and she never felt pretty. So I kept telling her to dress differently. She would never do anything to make herself look better when she complained about this. All she would wear was extra large clothing that hid her nice figure, and she would never do anything with her hair.

      Comment


      • Given what you said in your opening post I can understand their side. Whether you think you were right or wrong doesn't matter, you're the one that will have to take the "I'm sorry if I said something you took wrong, I meant well, did the best I knew how, etc..." approach and try to build a new and better relationship with them.

        They were on the receiving end of what you said, I guarantee they will never suddenly decide they are wrong at 27 and 30 years old, and unless you take that approach they will continue to compare your actions toward them to with the grandchildren now.

        Parental words and actions carry weight for a long time.

        Comment


        • What parents think of their kids; matters to their children. It hits deep inside, it's remembered. And when situations arise; they hear their parents voices in their heads repeating what was said.

          You said yourself you believe in HARSH love. You may have meant the love part, but you were calling your daughters skanky and only pretty if they wore the clothes that YOU wanted them to. Meaning that as long as they dressed as you wanted them to; only then did they look pretty.

          Of course as teens they acted out. So in retaliation; you verbally abused them. You name called, yelled, threw out their clothes that they bought with their own money, and you bought them the clothes YOU wanted them to wear. Only once they were away from you, living their lives on their own; did their resentment start to fade and they began to look inside of themselves and find what style suited them.

          You only complimented their looks if they were doing exactly what you wanted them to. Meaning if they dressed themselves; then something was wrong. They were skanky. They looked unpretty and like a male. If they were themselves; they were not appealing. You imprinted this in them, and with time they were able to undo the damage. But the damage still stems from what you did to them, what you said to them; for years on end.

          In teenage years we start to search for ourselves, we try out styles, we try to express ourselves. And whilst they did this; they were being criticized and chastised in their own home. Of course their self confidence was non-existent. It's difficult to stand tall, like yourself, be confident, head held up high; when you were raised being constantly told that you were only pretty if you dressed like how mommy wanted you to.

          Comment


          • You mentioned "I overheard them complaining that I treat my grandchildren better than I did them." Another way possibly to look at "complaining" is "hurting." They've expressed that they were hurt growing up. We all make mistakes as parents. You've stated your intentions were good, but in the process, they were hurt. I agree with the others here that you have an opportunity to say how very sorry you are that your girls were hurt by what you intended for their good. Express to them in every opportunity you get how very much you love them. They can see that you love your grandkids already, and can probably eventually come to understand how very much you love them as well.

            Further, would you say that maybe they're ENVIOUS of your relationship with their children, rather than "jealous"? I think you have a great opportunity to improve your relationship with your girls now that they're adults having their own children, and slowly heal the hurt they've had over these years. You can do it!!

            Comment



            • Sometimes parents of teens forget how super critical and insecure teens already are of themselves.
              Once heard that for every negative comment a child hears, they need 5 positive comments to erase it.

              So if a parent is super critical, they need to be pouring on the praise and positive comments to overcome the negativity.
              Last edited by amy40; 12-29-2016, 01:04 PM.

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