All too often, young spouses come into a marriage with conflicting ideas about what that means.One young couple I counseled years ago was in constant conflict about her family. This was part of the routine she and her daughter had followed for years before the marriage.
And it's painful when your children don't seem to feel the same way about you or to share the values that kept you close to your own parents.
It can hurt a lot when you think about how much you gave your kids, how many sacrifices you made over the years, the countless times you put them first and now they can't even bother to call you occasionally. And so your feelings of hurt and anger and disappointment come out in a number of ways -- comments that start with "Is it asking a lot....?
I just want to know how to cope with these feelings I am having of being such an outsider in my daughter's life... I was blessed beyond measure with the joy they brought into my life and all of the memories we made together. I put my life aside for my children who have lots of medical issues. My daughter said to me yesterday "I have my own family now." I am very perplexed about my daughter's inability to call me every once in a while. I just can't believe my children can be that uncaring. The dream, of course, is close and warm relationships with your independent adult children, perhaps as you had with your parents (or wish you had had with your parents.) And there are some young adult children who are truly wonderful about maintaining close and warm ties with their parents. Why are loving parents -- who seem to ask so little -- so shut out of their adult children's lives?
They call wanting me to drop everything to aid them. But when she needs babysitting, she'll call immediately. I raised them right and they are wonderful children in so many ways, but too busy to even give me a call. Barriers to Closeness Young Adult Developmental Issues: Noted psychiatrist Lee Robbins Gardener once told me that parents of adolescent and young adult children not only experience the empty nest, but also the battered nest when the young adults may devalue, in a number of different ways, home and family of origin in order to ease their passage out of the nest and into the world. One friend, who had enjoyed a wonderful relationship with her daughter growing up, found herself feeling embattled and rejected when her daughter went away to college.
" or "You should...." or "You owe me...." And then you feel dismissed as a guilt-mongering mom.
Or you may try to recapture the closeness you once shared by making comments and observations about your adult child's physical being or lifestyle or choices the way you used to when they were younger, only now these observations or unsolicited opinions sound like criticisms to him or her -- when that isn't what you meant at all.
Even when you retire and are on a fixed income, they ask for and expect financial help. And, for many just starting out in young adulthood with its endless horizons of possibilities, there is a tendency to deny the limits of time.
They imagine that babysitting your grandkids is a privilege -- at their convenience -- and too often don't think about how lovely it would be to simply have family time together. They think that their parents will be there forever, that there will always be time to get together, to do this or do that together someday.
I've seen other friends and patients blind-sided and baffled by sudden hostility from adult children who, as they mark their new independence, start complaining about their parents' deficiencies in parenting.