Need Advice from parents of girls...

<p>I'm hoping to get some advice from those of you who've gone through the senior year with your kids. My DD and I (she's an only child) have been extremely close for most of her 18 years, but for the last several months, she rolls her eyes, pulls away if I touch her, and generally can't seem to stand being around me. My husband and I have had a really good relationship with her, and she is a great kid, so this is really out of left field for us. And it seems to be just with me, not my husband.</p>

<p>I realize there is a degree of "pulling away" to make her transition to college a little easier, and I have tried to pull back myself and give her space. I have a history of "micromanaging" and have been making a conscious effort to stop doing that, so I really don't think it's that. </p>

<p>I would appreciate any words of wisdom to help me get through these next few months. As much as I realize I'm her mom, not her friend, and this is a stage she is going through, I can't help but have my feelings hurt.</p>

<p>As a parent of two girls who have already graduated from college, I can feel your pain as I was in your shoes and I wasn't ready for it at the time. Good news, it does get better and relationships return and actually get better. </p>

<p>When my oldest was going off to college, she too, pulled away, asserted her independence, announced she didn't want my help in getting her ready to go away (she wanted to do all that with her roommate). I struggled with it immensely and the underlying feelings of abandonment caused more than a few fights and tears.</p>

<p>If I had it to do over again, I would try hard to not take it personally, I would learn earlier the difference between controlling and influencing and try to be the later :), I would try and respect her choices better, I would decide what were non negotiable items on my part, IOW, what I needed from her to ease my own transition and I would reach out to other friends and support groups like this to realize I'm not the only one and this too will pass.</p>

<p>Good luck, try to enjoy the time before she leaves. FYI, even after the extremely difficult 8 months leading up to her leaving for her freshman year, it gradually got better over time and now 4 years post graduate we are closer than we have ever been in a healthy boundary way</p>

<p>BTW, my second daughter was a different personality and we had different issues when she got ready to go, but I think I navigated it a bit better than the first. Again, now that she is working and on her own, we are closer than ever. </p>

<p>I now get to do it with the final and only son. Who knows how that will go! Just when you think you have it figured it out....:)</p>

<p>excellent post, laserp! I've found that each of my three ds withdrew (or, more accurately, became very difficult to get along with) as college drew near, and was somewhat distant during their (happy) freshman years away. Our relationships today are different, and better. Definitely worth hanging in for. </p>

<p>One d was weirdly easy throughout middle and high school, and especially close until the last few months before leaving for college. It took this one longer to reconnect with me in a better relationship, though she eventually did.</p>

<p>Sorry for the hurt feelings, MomfromTN. They do hurt - I shed many a tear. If you can realize this is something she has to do to complete those last steps into adulthood, it might hurt a little less.</p>

<p>Read Letting Go - I read it numerous times through senior year and really helpful!</p>

<p>One final thought, I don't know your religious views and you may not be interested, but I found a book by Stormie O'Martian, "The Power of a Praying Parent" to very helpful to me as my children transitioned to adulthood.</p>

<p>I read the following thread before D1's senior year. It helped me cope with it.</p>

<p><a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/337239-summer-before-they-leave-college-awful.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/337239-summer-before-they-leave-college-awful.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Thanks for the great advice. Laserp, I am trying SO hard not to take it personally. My friends with older daughters have told me it gets better, and I really thought I was prepared, but I guess I wasn't. </p>

<p>I just downloaded "letting go". I think it's exactly what I need.</p>

<p>One final thought, I don't know your religious views and you may not be interested, but I found a book by Stormie O'Martian, "The Power of a Praying Parent" to very helpful to me as my children transitioned to adulthood.</p>

<p>Yes, I am a praying parent, so I'll get this book too. Thx.</p>

<p>who is the author for Letting Go?</p>

<p>WOW - We have been going through this as well. D was golden child from 6 months to over 17 and now is pulling away. Several times I have had to initiate the conversation of "I want you to be independent as much as you do, but you have to work with me here so come March/April you will have a range of choices in front of you to go BE independent. If you don't work with me some now and tolerate a bit of management, you could be living at home going to CC net year." However, D went to a week long sports tournament on her own in Florida this past November - across the country for us. She sent more lovey dovey text messages per day than I've received ever. Absence really did make the heart grow fonder. She also has these days or flashes of old self - happy go lucky, close to parents etc. On the flip side - she is MUCH closer to her set of girlfriends than ever and has gotten giggly and chatty with them, this is a change for the better in my opinion. As a sporty and academic girl, she didn't have a best girlfriend to share regular teen travails with until the last couple years. It's very tough to wait out the prickly moments and takes lots of intentional self-control, but so far she seems to circle back around to friendly self when given the space.<br>
On the bad side - I have found that in trying to time her moods to put my oar in about college deadlines, etc. I am spending more mental energy an real time on this than I should. If I push at the wrong time, she'll snap at me and shut down, so I have been doing more walking on eggshells than I would like. Not long ago she went from "help me brainstorm an essay idea" to "you said too much and now I have writer's block and it's all our fault" in the space of 15 min!
This weekend is do or die to get final state school safety apps in, so here we go again.</p>

<p>Karen coburn and Madge Treeger. Get the 5th edition, I think it's the latest one. Just started reading it. I think it's going to be helpful.</p>

<p>It may even get worse before it gets better. I had a hard with dd last year. So moody and miserable most of the time. I realized that non of it really had anything to do with me and didn't take it too personal. I did gain 20 pounds trying to cope with it so I guess I ate my feelings. lol She is a freshman at college(well sophomore) and doesn't call me much now and I find that a little painful. When she is home she expects me to keep her entertained and talk to her. I guess out of sight out of mind. I look forward to the adult relationship now.</p>

<p>It's not only a D thing. Actually, for us S was MUCH worse. He became so difficult, it was a RELIEF when he left, though of course we missed him. Someone wrote they "foul the nest" to make it easier for them to leave. Even tho we know intellectually it's to prepare them for being away & ease the separation, it still is painful. Good luck! Know that this too shall pass. ;)</p>

<p>I am so in your boat right now! The thing is I really like and enjoy her company but she is off in her own world that I don't exist in unless of course she needs something. I do get the sense that our relationship will forever be different.</p>

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<p>I don't know whether to laugh or cry. This is exactly the dynamic between my D and me. The posts from the moms who've made it to the other side are very encouraging!</p>

<p>We went through the same thing with our daughter. We are a close family and we were looking forward to senior year thinking the college process would be fun. It was a miserable year. I don’t know if it was preparation for the separation or the stress of college applications, probably both. She wanted to go to an out of state school and ultimately was accepted at her dream school. Once that step happened things settled down and got easier.</p>

<p>The separation was hard for us but you do get use to it and settle into a pattern where it does have benefits. Once they are away at school you do not worry as much on a day to day basis. I am referring to when they go out for the evening you always are half awake until they get home.</p>

<p>Once at school things settled down and got back to normal. She calls us between classes so she stays in touch. She is always excited to come home and recharge her batteries and finds comfort from the stress of college. Be supportive it will change when she recognizes how much she misses home.</p>

<p>My mother became bitter and nasty when I was in my late teens. We had always been very close. Week-ends were spent at horse shows as a family. When I became uninterested in participating I was rejected. I seldom came home after college and when I called my mother was often angry because she was hurt. When she was hurt, she was nasty and sarcastic. Thirty years later and I found myself the mother being pushed away. I knew what to do and that was to jump into another routine. I started daily exercise, I changed the way I cooked and I started traveling with friends. I take adult classes through the university close to my house and I attend lectures. I planted bulbs and had my eyes done. In other words I made a mental list of things that might make me happy and it's helped. I'm not always happy and I miss our old relationship but I see a new respect for me when she comes home and finds I'm not the same old me. I have some new hobbies and friends and I've lost fifteen pounds. (I admit I would stalk her on facebook but she's smart enough not to friend me).</p>

<p>Thanks for your post thecheckbook. I'm sort of at the same place. I have a great relationship with my daughters, though a little distant. But now that I have an empty nest, I'm finding it hard to find things to look forward to each day. I, too, am starting to exercise, travel, and take classes. I hope it helps!</p>

<p>One of my went from the golden child to the b...from hell. She still says that we were "wrong" in giving her a curfew, only letting her go out one night a week............you get the picture.</p>

<p>We are now very close again. Do we always agree? No. But she is responsible (generally). Do I always like her choices? No. Is she making her way in the world in a positive way? Yes.</p>

<p>For us: Time was on all of our sides. College was a tremendous growth experience...and will continue to be a growth experience. And, in our case, we insisted that she get a paying job She was very entitled and then she learned what it took to run a day.</p>

<p>Good luck!! It will get better.</p>

<p>Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences with me. I am reading "Letting Go" and it does help to know that I'm not the only one going through this. We've had such an easy and incredible relationship up to this point that it just took me by surprise. I am definitely "walking on eggshells", but every once in awhile we have some moments that make me think there is hope! She had oral surgery on Friday, so suddenly "mommy" is very valuable...making smoothies, changing gauze, refreshing ice packs and dispensing medicine. </p>

<p>She has traveled quite a bit on her own the last couple of years, California and Alaska for 28 days, China for a week and France for three weeks, and we didn't hear from her very often while she was gone. She is enjoying the sense of independence that she gets away from us, and in one of our recent conversations said that she is really looking forward to taking care of herself when she goes away to college. I do get some relief knowing that she will be OK when she lives on her own on the other side of the country. @ellebud, I really like what you said, "Do we always agree? No. But she is responsible (generally). Do I always like her choices? No. Is she making her way in the world in a positive way? Yes."...because really, that is what it's all about.</p>