Gransnet forums


DD all grown up and still jealous / insecure

(42 Posts)
Loujoamk Fri 14-Jul-17 09:27:55

My two kids are approaching 30 - I was a single parent since they were very young. DD has always been demanding - I have worked hard to get the balance between being tolerant and understanding and also challenging her ( often) unreasonable behaviour. She can be lovely and thoughtful and kind but also quite derogatory and self centred at times.
I recently started provided supported care for young people leaving foster care - a lifelong ambition of mine and now is the right time for me to do this! I am so happy and have two lovely girls living with me. Now the problem - DD!! She professes to be supportive and proud of my new venture. However, there are little snide comments made in company e.g. I no longer have a bedroom in my mum's house. We are all going on holiday - I paid for DD and her partner to fly to Spain and join us for he weekend as DS and granddaughter are coming for he first week and I didn't want her to feel excluded!
We all met up for dinner this week and I mentioned that I had bought concert tickets for me, the girls and my sister ( her aunt). She often goes to concerts with her partner so I assumed that she would've bought a ticket herself if she had wanted to go! It was an impulse buy, lucky to get tickets - concert is next Summer! DD was not pleased and expressed her annoyance quite vocally - luckily the girls were at other end of table and didn't hear! DS told her that she was being ridiculous and was an adult who could buy tickets herself! I changed the subject!!
I can't go on tip toeing around her - how on earth do I handle this? If I am direct with her she will spiral into a depressive drama and say that I have 'abandoned' her etc.

MissAdventure Fri 14-Jul-17 09:41:10

So you'll have to continue to tiptoe around her then? I don't think you're going to be able to sort it out without saying something..

MissAdventure Fri 14-Jul-17 09:43:28

Oh sorry, that sounded harsh. It wasn't intended to be. I just meant that you're going to have to state your case, and its probably going to cause upset; exactly what you've already made clear. flowers sorry!

harrigran Fri 14-Jul-17 10:05:57

Oh dear me I think you have been too nice for to long, stern words are needed along the lines of "grow up". Why would she need to retain a room at mother's home when she has already left, she is not a teenager even though she is acting like one. I know we love our children but sometimes they can be exasperating.

franjess2000 Fri 14-Jul-17 10:12:13

Also what a wonderful thing you are doing well done you!

She should be supporting your kind venture, not making life difficult for 2 young girls who have already had a tough start in life.

Perhaps she needs (reminding) to start realising how lucky she was to have an upbringing with you. Maybe she could be involved in doing things with the 2 girls to help with the situation.

She should be proud of you.

Luckygirl Fri 14-Jul-17 15:06:16

Well done with your brave venture. My nephew, who is a very troubled young man, has recently been placed with a family who act in a similar way to you, and I salute them and you.

Your DD is being a bit silly TBH so I think you should let it wash by you if you can - your son seems prepared to tell it like it is - good for him!

You can only keep reiterating that you love her and are there for her.

Imperfect27 Fri 14-Jul-17 15:23:53

Loujoamk it seems your new found venture - and yes, hurrah and well done! - has raised obvious insecurities in your daughter and she is putting you through the mill because she needs to hear that she comes first with you. She is probably aware that she is reacting and being unreasonable at times, but maybe she also needs a wee bit of reassurance that you are able to give..

I wonder if she sees you spending money on your foster girls as money you could have spent on her - if so, perhaps she needs to understand that you are able to treat them because of the care money you receive for them?
Perhaps she also needs to be reminded that it is because you are 'earning' by having the girls that you have - very generously - been able to pay for her air-travel to Spain.

Don't beat yourself up about the ' I don't have a bedroom' anymore. Lots of young adults go through this and gradually adjust without us having to apologise for it ... my son gave me grief for a while when I remarried and relocated and down-sized ...he didn't live at home anymore, but still didn't like the fact that there were changes. He wanted me to feel guilty, but I brushed it off, made the point that this was still his home and he was always welcome and there would always be a bed if needed and he got over himself after a while!

Whatever you do, reassure, but do not apologise. She will only go on giving grief if she thinks she has a right to ...

Good luck and hopefully she will calm down soon smile.

rizlett Sat 15-Jul-17 09:27:48

Do you find Lou that she seems to play on your feelings of guilt?

Remember when she is complaining she's not really coming from her adult self - she's coming from the child part of herself.

Perhaps really she is still looking for some boundaries? It's important for you to remember that you are not responsible for the way she feels - that's entirely up to her and it's ok for you to be direct with her.

You didn't abandon her - but her father did - perhaps she might need to talk about his more?

There's also a good book which outlines the different personality types of children (it also works well with adults.) and helps teach us how to adjust our communication so that it's effective with everyone. (Children Are From Heaven by John Gray - they'll have copies on ebay)

BlueBelle Sat 15-Jul-17 09:33:03

I feel for you all in this I think it's easy to judge the girl as spoilt pampered whatever, there will be reasons surrounding her insecurities and they won't necessarily be anything you ve done say they are approaching 30 are they twins? I think it's only natural to have a little bit of jealousy when you see your mum loving another child the thing is you are doing the right things to include her and basically take no notice of her jealous words whilst showing your care for her Her reaction to the concert tickets shows how insecure as 'still part of the family' she is ...lS she happy in her own relationship,?I take it she has no children. Is she prone to depression? How is she with the girls when you are not with them

I don't know about tip toeing around her but I would keep inviting and including her and ignoring any spite coming from her Good luck

IngeJones Sat 15-Jul-17 09:56:34

You could say in a sad but loving tone "Oh you're all grown up now, and I am getting old, I was looking forward to you being MY emotional support now! I do love you"

grannygranby Sat 15-Jul-17 10:02:29

I think there are some wise things said here. I too think you should stand back from the negative comments. Let them go and keep reassuring her in an everyday way. You are focused you have a project, you are doing well. You are in a good place. There are bound to be some down sides! My daughter's incredibly trying but also very proud and supportive but the occasional shots of jealousy or disdain can sometimes knock me off my feet. Then their remorse sets in - not a lot but grab it - Gratefully, and so we go on. smile I think it was because you were such a good mum she is not afraid to show her distress I think our boundaries are weakest with our loving mothers but I think it's fine you'll just have to roll the occasional punch and keep on going. Suddenly flatter her, bake her a cake. Take her breath away occasionally she's worth it.

SunnySusie Sat 15-Jul-17 10:04:08

I think I would explain to her exactly what you have said above that it was a spur of the moment purchase and not in any way meant to exclude your DD and then ask her, or suggest, an alternative event that you could attend together. It works with my rather headstrong DD, who likes everything to be 'fair' with regard to who benefits from what. Families! dont you just love 'em.

ap123 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:13:44

Your daughter is obviously insecure. No matter how hard we try sometimes life throws curveballs that do affect our children. You say you have been a single parent since she was young: the absence of a father must have affected her whatever the circumstances. and now she sees her only parent getting new children. Have they moved into her bedroom? And you are doing fun stuff with them when she is not included, perhaps repeating some of the experiences she has shared with you?
I think you need to talk to her and reassure her that she is and always will be your only daughter. That the same way she has found enough space in her heart to love someone else -her husband - you have space in your heart to care for another child, but that the new children do not replace her anymore than her husband replaces you. In other words tell her you love her and make sure you have quality/fun time with her without the new children, even if it's just an hour lunch now and then.

Victoria08 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:18:13

When my DD visits, which is quite often, she seems to revert to being a child again.

She is always tired with two year old grandson and wants me to wait on her with cups of tea, nappy changing etc.
She will raid the fridge, just like she used to when living at home.

I don't mind indulging her some of the time, but sometimes it irks me.

She has an older brother who never wants anything when we see him.

Maybe I should reread that book "Families and how to survive them".

kooklafan Sat 15-Jul-17 10:30:16

I think without the whole story it's difficult to comment or have an opinion. I'm with BlueBelle on this. There will be reasons's surrounding her insecurities, reasons that we don't know and some might say are none of our business but seeing as it's been brought up ... I'd be tempted to take her out for lunch, just the two of you and ask her why she feels this way? There's obviously something on her mind and the only way to fix it is to talk about it.

Loujoamk Sat 15-Jul-17 10:35:27

Thanks folks - she is an incredibly insecure young woman and I constantly have to boost her, which I do willingly. There are, I know, many reasons for this - I can't solve it all for her but I continue to reassure her and encourage her etc. She will acknowledge this with gushy proclamations in eg birthday cards but revert to somewhat bullying behaviour at other times. I am 'gearing myself up' - i will monitor the situation and tackle it head on if necessary. It's early days - girls have been with me for just 2 months so there hasn't been a great deal of contact with my kids and them due to busy lives etc.
Thanks for your wisdom and voices of reason - I will definitely read those books !!!

Madgran77 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:39:12

Rather than \" confronting her" or telling her your view of her behaviour use "open questions" to get her to start "justifying/taking responsibility for her behaviour. When replying to her answers don't comment/give opinions, just listen and then ask a follow up question. So
"Why are you angry about this?" (Lets say she replies "I feel you should have bought me tickets/asked me") reply "I assumed you would buy tickets if you and ... wanted to go. Why do you think I should have bought them for you/asked you? (Lets say she replies " You are spending money on those girls, you prefer them to me ...or words to that effect") You reply "I spent money for you to join us on holiday. Why do you fell that I prefer them to you?" ...and so on. If you can keep going people start to run out of steam/make themselves look silly/ attention moves away from them etc etc . I promise that it works but it takes practice. Maybe start small at first!?

NameChange2016 Sat 15-Jul-17 10:40:13

Your daughter sounds like me! I have always been desperately insecure. I was jealous of everyone and everything which took my Mum's attention from me: my sister, my stepdad, her return to education after retirement, her friends, even the cat.

I never found a solution. I always felt jealous. I fought with my stepdad constantly. After my mother died we got on much better.

I really hope you can find an answer!

trisher Sat 15-Jul-17 10:41:52

As someone who has spent most of her life with a mother who preferred my brother to me I wonder if your DD is just feeling she has been demoted even further down your caring chain and the 2 girls have taken her place. It may not be so, it may even be tiny things she sees as meaning it, but if that is how she feels you need to address it. I wish my mum had asked me how I felt when she was younger (but her generation didn't do that). Now she is in her 90s and I am her main carer she has come to realise my DB isn't the angel she once thought him and we have a different relationship, but things might have been better earlier if we had been able to talk about it. If I could have told her that the continual praise she heaped upon my DB made me feel less valued. I'm sure she didn't intend it to, but the way others hear things isn't always exactly as we mean them. Talk to your daughter, ask her about her feelings and recognise them. Then work on it. You don't have to stop caring for the girls (well done for taking them on by the way) just accept your DD is upset and try to help her.

dizzygran Sat 15-Jul-17 10:44:51

Dear Loujomak. After reading your post and the replies I recognised so many of them apply to my own DC, who are both in their 30s!!! The both raid the fridge of mum and treat the house as their own (which it was until they left). They both have left clothes and items in their old rooms - both rooms have been redecorated, etc. I know its up to me to put everything into bags and hand them back but we have the room.

Your daughter is trying hard to be the grown up she is, but is feeling usurped - you are her mum. I admire you for fostering young people and giving them a good start. You are dealing well with the situation and your son recognises this. Give your daughter a bit more time - she will come round. A confrontation at this point will cause grief to you and your daughter and could upset your foster children. Good luck

Coco51 Sat 15-Jul-17 11:08:04

Ask her how she would have felt if she hadn't a Mum to support her through her young life. This sounds a little like childish jealousy, but none of us can help the way we feel about situations, even if our head tells us one thing our hearts may feel another. Maybe you have assumed that your daughter knows your love for her is just the same as it always was and her actions, unreasonable as they may be, suggest she needs it to be said out loud. That said, she really shouldn't expect you to arrange your life to suit her, especially as you have put your ambitions 'on hold' for so many years. I hope you find a solution

Gemmag Sat 15-Jul-17 11:22:12

Loujoamk....a tricky one, good luck. Very wise comments from rizlett and BlueBelle.

BlueBelle Sat 15-Jul-17 11:41:22

One other thing I thought of can you include her in the girls lives more could she take them to the park or the shops for a couple of hours it might really help if she can bond with them Can you ask her opinion about something they re doing or wearing make her feel 'grown up' and important like you need her advice

W11girl Sat 15-Jul-17 11:44:54

From what you say, it seems to me that she is and has probably always felt insecure...she needs your full attention and doesn't want to share you with anyone...the both of you need to talk this through....there is definitely something underlying.

susantrubey Sat 15-Jul-17 12:16:21

My children are and always will be my first priority. Perhaps you should ask yourself why you feel such a strong desire to be needed by young children. Maybe you feel that you failed the first time round. Why do you enjoy going to a concert with somebody else's children and not your own? Why are you lavishing love on other people's children and not your own? Your daughter could probably accept you being in adult company, but not children's. Are you sure you were a good parent? Did you give your daughter what she needed? It seems that you have looked at her misgivings, but not at your own. Give these children up until you repair your relationship with your daughter.