Daughter turns cold and distant

Dear Ms. Belle,

My daughter used to be a sweet little girl, a loving child to her Papa and me. She is the eldest of four children and has three brothers. When she turned 15 and in high school, she asked to have her own room because she found her brothers too noisy and bothersome. Giving in, we remodeled the living room into a bedroom for her. She also asked to have her own computer and TV, which we also granted.

One day, the househelp reported that she couldn’t clean our daughter’s room because it was locked.

I asked her about it and she got really mad and had a tantrum. She was sobbing hysterically and said that she never has anything for herself, that she has no privacy and we are always meddling in her affairs. I was very surprised and was not prepared for it so I got very angry myself. I made it clear that in my house she has to abide by my rules. In short, we were screaming at each other. Ever since, she has been very aloof to all of us, especially me. Her father talked to her but she said everything’s fine. How can it be fine when she has changed?

She hardly talks to me and if I greet her, she just looks at me. She would keep to herself when she’s in the house. Ms. Belle, all this started during high school and now she’s graduating from college.

Hurting Mom

Dear Hurting Mom,

If your daughter seems cold to you and you are bothered with it, then you really took in a difficult situation because it is happening at home, which is one’s sanctuary and it is with someone you love dearly. I suggest that you look at the situation differently and deal with it. One—she is in this “challenging” phase in her life, which is high school to college or the teen years. Two—she has defined how she will be in life, private, a bit distant and undemonstrative. That is her choice and you’ll just have to accept this change in her character. Surely you miss the sweet little girl you once had, but as a parent, we can only provide an environment for our offspring to grow into the person we desire them to be but we cannot shape them ourselves. They make the choices. Three—keep trying to reach out to her even if she is seemingly cold.

Many parents share your sentiments. One thing I keep reminding myself through the journey of raising my sons is that I do not have the power to make them what they are. I just have to accept and forgive and love them for who they are.

Ms. Belle

TAGS: family, Lifestyle, parenting
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