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  #1  
Old Jul 6, '12, 6:03 pm
madelynn madelynn is offline
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Default Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Hello!

I read some helpful threads on this forum, and now I would like some feedback.

I have 2 children, both college students, 23 and 20 years old. I am also a student, and I work full time. My 20 year old son stays on campus except during breaks, but the 23 year old has a child and lives with me. She pays a portion of the rent and half the utilities. She was working part time on the weekends, but decided several months ago to quit her job so that she could better concentrate on her studies. Sometimes she pays the rent in advance, but I have to wait until she gets the money for utilities and then she reimburses me.

Since we moved into our 4 bedroom house about 1 1/2 years ago, my daugher has become increasingly unpleasant and I don't know why. I always try to speak to her respectfully. Also, it has gotten to the point where I can't depend on her for anything, although she expects me to be available to babysit when she has to put in late hours at school or wants to hang out with friends. When I ask for something, I either don't get an answer, or I get a bunch of sighing. My son doesn't do this - he either says "yes" and goes out of his way to help, or he says, "I'm sorry, but I can't."

Last week I was hospitalized for surgery. Since then, my son has been driving me everywhere since I am restricted from driving right now. Unfortunately, he went away for a long weekend with friends. So I asked my daughter to take me to my appointments & errands for the next 2 days. This was in MY car, using MY gasoline. Two of the stops involved a drive-in window, which I asked her to go to. She became annoyed, saying that I should get up and go inside, but I insisted since I'm still recuperating. I didn't understand why she needed to start an argument about this-it was my car! She had made a necessary stop along the way for herself, but I didn't complain. When we returned, I said how much I appreciated her driving me, but I just got more insolent silence.

At this point, I am sick and tired. I don't know why my daughter is acting like this, and I don't want to just explode in anger, but she is really pushing my buttons by being nasty and hateful, even over little things (such as agreeing to mail an important letter for me, then letting it sit in her car for a week). When I ask what's wrong, her answers are evasive, infantile, or she doesn't answer at all.

I don't know what to do. I'm pleasant, and she acts nasty. When I express my anger, she responds in kind. I can't win. She was not like this as a child, but as an adult, she has become so ungrateful. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Jul 6, '12, 6:08 pm
thequeen thequeen is online now
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

She may resent the fact that her brother has been able to get away for the weekend to be with his friends.
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  #3  
Old Jul 6, '12, 6:39 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Is there anyone who could speak to her? Maybe your son or another family member she is close to? Something is obviously going on but she doesn't want to talk about it.
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  #4  
Old Jul 6, '12, 6:46 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Ask her to sit down and discuss this with you. If she will not at least discuss her attitude like a grown up, then tell her she will have to move out.

This book may help you.
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  #5  
Old Jul 6, '12, 8:24 pm
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TheOne33 TheOne33 is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Mundum View Post
Is there anyone who could speak to her? Maybe your son or another family member she is close to? Something is obviously going on but she doesn't want to talk about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
Ask her to sit down and discuss this with you. If she will not at least discuss her attitude like a grown up, then tell her she will have to move out.

This book may help you.

Both of these users are right. Talk it out with your daughter. Tell her that you can help, but like every human you need your own personal time. By the way, if I may ask, where is the father of the child?
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  #6  
Old Jul 6, '12, 8:40 pm
EatTheFishPeter EatTheFishPeter is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

I think you should take her out on a very special day to an amazing restaurant and talk about things that do not relate to your daily schedule, like things you agree on. Or just ask her one day where she wants to go even if she does that huffy look thing. Make the offer unrefusable. Kids think their parents don't get it and the parents don't think their kids get it, so it's good just to relax and forget about things for a while.
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  #7  
Old Jul 6, '12, 8:46 pm
Cryptic1 Cryptic1 is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

The bible says to raise your child up in the ways of the Lord and they will grow up to be a blessing. The bible also says that in the last days, we will see more children rebelling against their parents. It's nothing personal, but it's definitely a sign of the changing times we are living in.

As I see it, your son is loving and respectful as evidenced by the help he gives to you when asked. Your daughter, on the other hand, appears to be a little selfish, and though she may be going through a period of change right now, it doesn't in any way excuse her irresponsible behavior.

The issue is what to do. You appear to be a kind person and people who are into themselves (like your daughter) find it very difficult to see when others (like yourself) are in need. No amount of talking, begging, pleading will make her see the light. Right now, it's all about her and what you can do for her now.

I know there's a grandchild in the middle of this, but your daughter still needs to be accountable for her actions. You have to take a hard look at your situation. You either have to a) compromise in order to live with your daughter, where she will be calling a lot of the shots or b) take a stand and basically tell her if she doesn't follow your rules--she's out. You, and you alone will have to make that decision. And as soon as you do, you should move on your plan of action. We are creatures of habit and can easily get comfortable with the circumstances we create.

I would talk to your son or a good friend or family member for advice or maybe your local church. Also, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to make the best decision in this case. This is by no means an easy situation, but you certainly need to have a life for yourself. It is God's will.

God Bless
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  #8  
Old Jul 6, '12, 9:01 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by EatTheFishPeter View Post
I think you should take her out on a very special day to an amazing restaurant and talk about things that do not relate to your daily schedule, like things you agree on. Or just ask her one day where she wants to go even if she does that huffy look thing. Make the offer unrefusable. Kids think their parents don't get it and the parents don't think their kids get it, so it's good just to relax and forget about things for a while.
This is not a "kid." She is 23 years old and has a child of her own. She is paying her mother rent and half of the utilities. It's time for the daughter to grow up and act like a decent person, not to be treated to a restaurant meal courtesy of the mother she is unkind to.
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  #9  
Old Jul 6, '12, 9:38 pm
Lady Love Lady Love is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

To me, it sounds like a "broken heart" and overwhelm. It also sounds like she may be struggling to accept herself, feel loved and cherished. She can't give what she doesn't have. If she doesn't love herself than she can't love anyone else.
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  #10  
Old Jul 6, '12, 10:06 pm
EatTheFishPeter EatTheFishPeter is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
This is not a "kid." She is 23 years old and has a child of her own. She is paying her mother rent and half of the utilities. It's time for the daughter to grow up and act like a decent person, not to be treated to a restaurant meal courtesy of the mother she is unkind to.
just saying..food connects people. sorry about the advice in that case don't take my advice
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  #11  
Old Jul 7, '12, 2:19 am
Rainaldo Rainaldo is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by madelynn View Post
When I ask what's wrong, her answers are evasive, infantile, or she doesn't answer at all.
Next time she throws a silent tantrum, I would quietly spell out the following:
  1. You are over 18 and living under my roof at my pleasure.
  2. If you are going to act adult enough to have sex and get yourself pregnant, then you can act adult enough to get along with the person who is providing you with a place to live.
  3. If you can't do that, then I will evict you.
  4. I still love you, though.
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  #12  
Old Jul 7, '12, 8:54 am
gardenswithkids gardenswithkids is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by madelynn View Post
...At this point, I am sick and tired. I don't know why my daughter is acting like this, and I don't want to just explode in anger, but she is really pushing my buttons by being nasty and hateful, even over little things (such as agreeing to mail an important letter for me, then letting it sit in her car for a week). When I ask what's wrong, her answers are evasive, infantile, or she doesn't answer at all.

I don't know what to do. I'm pleasant, and she acts nasty. When I express my anger, she responds in kind. I can't win. She was not like this as a child, but as an adult, she has become so ungrateful. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
"What's wrong?" you ask her? She's a single mother without a college degree who quit her job and is now unemployed and having a difficult time paying her bills. Your daughter's life sounds difficult and depressing. As much as I love my dearly departed mother, I would never have wanted to be a 23 yo single mother who is an unemployed student living with my mother. Your daughter has few better alternatives at this point based on the decisions she's made thus far, because her alternatives sound even more difficult. She could be a single working mother supporting herself and her child on her own or on welfare without a college degree. By offering your home and your kindness, you have made it possible for her to remain an adult child--and she's ungrateful and angry.

She shouldn't be angry at you or ungrateful, but she's probably striking out at the safest target--and you're it.

These are the questions I'd ask:
Where is the child's father?
Is he capable of parenting and helping her support his child?
Why did she think it was acceptable to quit her job when she had bills to pay?
Did she have a "just cause" for quitting that you don't know about?
How long has she been in school and how close is she to finishing her degree?
What steps can she take to find good employment once she has her degree? (hint: employers typically look at work history.)

There are lots more questions I'd ask depending on those answers.
Honestly, the way to find good answers is to ask the right questions. "What's wrong?" is the wrong question. Lots of things are wrong. Instead of asking what's wrong, ask her--and yourself--what can be done at this point to make things right.
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  #13  
Old Jul 7, '12, 7:21 pm
madelynn madelynn is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Wow, this is some great feedback I've gotten so far. I do appreciate it.

Right now, I want to comment on some of the questions I've seen in order to clarify a few things:
  1. My grandchild's father works out of state & won't return for at least another year.
  2. The last I checked, the father was sending minimal cash support (maybe $70 per month, and sometimes he misses a month). I am going to ask for an update on this.
  3. My 2 kids are very good friends with each other.
  4. My son and I have similar courses of study, quite different from my daughter's, so son and I have similar interests.
  5. My daughter decided that she needed to quit her job to concentrate on her studies better. I did not agree to this. She will graduate next year & she may have to look out of town for work.
I will read more of your feedback and follow up on the situation with you all.

Thank you!
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  #14  
Old Jul 7, '12, 11:31 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

Quote:
Originally Posted by madelynn View Post
[*]My daughter decided that she needed to quit her job to concentrate on her studies better. I did not agree to this. She will graduate next year & she may have to look out of town for work.
It sounds tough to do what she is doing. I'm sure there are supermoms out there who raise children on their own, go to university and have a job. Maybe your daughter is not one of them and things are a bit too much, and hence the weird behaviour. Obviously, I have no idea about the details and am just guessing, but it is worth mentioning the possibility. It is great that you are so generous and are helping her with this. Of course, it is wrong of her to take her frustrations out on you and if this doesn't stop you should sit her down and have a chat about how to make things work while she lives with you. But the real solution to this will come when she moves out and I'm sure your relationship will improve. I think this is how it works in most families. People need their space.

Last edited by Contra Mundum; Jul 7, '12 at 11:48 pm.
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  #15  
Old Jul 15, '12, 12:05 am
madelynn madelynn is offline
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Default Re: Ungrateful, Angry Adult Child

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Originally Posted by TheOne33 View Post
Both of these users are right. Talk it out with your daughter. Tell her that you can help, but like every human you need your own personal time. By the way, if I may ask, where is the father of the child?
The father is in another state. He sends only $70 per month child support (I feel that he can do more, but he does the minimum).
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