This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Daughter says she feels invisible to us need help(22 Posts)
Our oldest DD has just texted me and said she feels invisible to us and that all we talk about is her brother! I am devastated as I had no idea she felt like this and I don't know what to do to make it right any advice what to do next would be appreciated!
Errrr.....phone her back immediately?
First thing I did was phone she doesn't do speaking on phone all on messenger I am meeting with her tomorrow just wanted advice about reassuring my daughter how much she is loved
In my experience, it's all about acknowledgment.
Rather than say 'oh that nice dear' ( as you're busy with 100 things) say, ' oh that's great, tell me more.
If your daughter says she's feeling invisible. She's reaching out to you. Rather than say, I'm sorry YOU feel that way or I didn't realise you felt that way, say 'oh sweetheart, feeling that way must feel awful for you. That was never my intention but I want to put this right straight away.
It doesn't matter if your daughter is right, fair, or wrong. It is how she feels. Acknowledging it will go a long way. It's much better this way than to just hug and say poor you, I'll try harder.
Your daughter may have a worry or anxiety and not know how to approach you. It could be leaving the nest and suddenly feels out there all alone. ( you mentioned seeing her tomorrow)
Maybe suggest a plan for you to avoid this feeling in the future by suggesting text times, meet ups. If she's away from home, little parcels. My daughter is at uni and I send her stuff she wouldn't want to spend her money on i.e., chocolates, slippers, face masks, make up brushes etc. I enclose a card and always write a note inside saying how proud I am of her.
This isn't necessarily your fault. Sometimes we can feel in the outside. She trusts you though and do has shared this with you. That's a great sign. Hope this helps x
Oh thank you Ozzie I'm devastated and I need to make this right xx
Good advice from Ozzie.
Listen to her and let her express her feelings without getting defensive.
Maybe she needs to hear that you love her, that you’re proud of her more often.
Do you go out with her often? Or buy her little gifts because you thought of her? The little things really matter.
Where is your daughter in the line of siblings? ie oldest, youngest, middle?
Both moved out at same time DD is oldest to live with BF son to uni meet DD for lunch once a week and pick her up to take her places in between
Do you have any idea why she might be feeling like this?
Did she go to Uni?
Ask her what's made her feel this way and what she'd like from you to make it better.
My DM spends a lot of time with me, but she never really asks me about how I am or feeling. She never really offers help or support at times when I feel like it's bloody obvious I'm struggling. She tells me I'm too good at coping on my own but in reality she never asks.
My mother makes me feel like this. On the Rare occasion I speak to her, she spends her time telling me all about my sister (including on my birthday when she didn’t even ask what I was doing, just said she was calling early as she was off to see my sister!). I won’t tell her how she makes me feel, but it really hurts. Be glad your daughter feels she can approach you about how she feels, I’m sure you’ll work out how to show her how valued she is.
I don't want to be like my mum who favoured her 5 sons and have always tried harder with DD and I thought I'd got it right obviously not
Good luck for today. Don't forget to take your ears .
Maybe write her a letter before you go telling her how proud you are and how much you love her. Maybe touch on some special memories between the two of you. Let her read the letter whilst your there and say she can read that letter if she ever worries again and then she can call you and say 'mum!! I'm here!!!'
sometimes, the kids that get it all right, get the least attention. My 21 year old is perfect in every way. I have to mske z conscious effort for her. She's at uni. Her other 4 siblings at home get lots of my time.
A couple of days can whizz by, and I think 'pants, I haven't text her'
Thank you Ozzie I've taken your advice and written a letter she hates when I get emotional so she hasn't seen my tears! In all honesty my heart is broken this has been a rollercoaster the teens to adult years and wish I could turn the clock back and start over xx
Also do not minimize how she is feeling or justify your behavior.
Say life is so busy sometimes we forget how important the small bits in life are. Tell you are proud and how do we make sure we make time for the two of you alone and with her Dad.
Also if you talk to him - will he say you talk about her all the time. If you are the middle person you will be talking to both about the other. So don't beat yourself up.
A good time to re-set.
You see her every week and drop her off other times....that seems a lot of interaction as an adult...
how old is she ?
She has moved out to live with a boyfreind or best friend(bf can be either)....is she working?....I think if shes 20ish or more then you should be helping her to enjoy her indepenedance and adulthood...
the odd gift/card maybe nice and I can undertand if DC dont have cash for 'treats' but more than that seems over the top
maybe try and get to the real nub of the issue and listen and think about what she and you as adults can do about it
She's almost 21 and lives with her Boyfriend at his parents house it's like push pull I was told I was smothering her so backed off now this I'm at a loss but I will keep trying to strike a balance x
It sounds like she may not be happy with her situation.
How did you get on today op. I've been thinking about you
Well what can I say I took her for lunch and we had a long chat and I listened. When we got home I gave her the letter and we had a lovely afternoon I got out old photographs and watched the corny afternoon channel 5 movie, I have promised to listen more if she promises to be more open and I am hopeful that we will get through this thank you everyone for your words of wisdom it is greatly appreciated xx
That sounds really positive.
I'm glad you listened and didn't minimise. I've always felt like the unflavoured one out of my 2 siblings and me. Sister very demanding and brother youngest and only boy. I'm oldest.
My mum would never recognise this (extended family do!) and it's always at back of my mind despite me making peace with it.
And by peace I mean learn to accept as t won't change and no point being eaten up with bitterness.