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Why don't my daughters get on?

(6 Posts)
65hplane Fri 12-Dec-14 22:22:59

I'm new to the site and haven't got the hang of all the acronyms yet, so excuse my language!

My oldest daughter is 20, working, living with us with boyfriend, also working. My youngest daughter is 18, at college and also living at home. My problem is that while sometimes they are fine, sometimes they can't seem to say a civil word to each other. At the bottom of it I think is that they are very different. Oldest is typical oldest, strong willed, driven, confident, youngest is typical youngest (as am I!), lazy, sarcastic and not confident, always in shadow of oldest, real or imagined. Oldest says youngest has an attitude problem and youngest says oldest isn't her mother etc and makes sarcastic comments about boyfriend, who doesn't seem to care, thinks it's funny and gives as good as he gets! Oldest gets offended on his behalf and youngest says get over yourself.

When the oldest was growing up she was no trouble, worked hard at school, got hersef a p/t job, wanted to learn to drive, passed first time, had boyfriends, will talk about feelings. So when youngest had problems at school, quit volunatry work after two days, quit school, had a provisional licence for a year before having a lesson and now can't be doing with gears so wants to learn automatic, we were not sure how to deal with her! She hardly speaks to my husband because he 'goes on at her', basically asks how her day was, then what she did and it's 'just stuff dad'. Maybe wrongly, but I feel that if I can keep communication open with her then at least there is one of us, but oldest thinks I let her get away with things. Husband just doesn't get it and leaves it to me.

They were close as children and I wonder if youngest feels excluded with the boyfriend, but it has been nearly three years! Perhaps oldest needs to move out, but financially thats not an option and I don't want her to feel pushed out in favour of youngest. I think youngest needs to mature, but she is intolerant of oldest and oldest needs to make allowance for typical teenager behaviour and not judge. I love them both and can see both sides. Their longest non-communication was 6 weeks.

I have no brothers or sons and am one of three girls, but while I accepted my position as no. 3, my youngest is struggling and I can't help. My oldest is also struggling and trying hard, but you can't tell them anything - I remember the stories that started 'when I was you age ...' and vowed never to do it! My oldest sister is not perfect either and we probably didn't really get on until we were both mothers, so maybe I have to let my two get on with it.

Sorry, rant over, any comments, good or bad gratefully received, I think I need a fresh perspective!!

CrazyOldBagLady Fri 12-Dec-14 22:55:54

I think you do indeed just have to let them get on with it. They are both adults, albeit young adults and you can't force them to like each other all the time, or even some of the time! You are living with four adults in one house and really it is too many, it probably won't calm down until your eldest finds the funds to move out and be independent.

I can imagine it's hard for everyone living with a 19 yr old who isn't quite fully matured, but then again I wouldn't like to live with a 20 yr old second mother either!

I don't want to be unsympathetic but what I do get from your post is that you have nothing but praise for your eldest, but your youngest doesn't seem to have any positive attributes according to your post. Is her lack of self believe and tenacity perhaps something to do with the fact that she has resigned herself to being the lesser of your children? I don't know, maybe I'm reading too much into it, only you can say whether there is anything in that.

Seriously though, it won't get better until the both of them grow up and one or both of them ships out.

In the meantime I think you are well within your rights to insist that there are no major disturbances in your house and they need to try and get along, or just walk away from each other when they are starting to piss each other off.

CrazyOldBagLady Fri 12-Dec-14 22:57:18

Oh yeah and be like Switzerland... neutral.

Cockadoodledooo Fri 12-Dec-14 23:54:08

Me and my dsis started getting on great again the moment we started living in different counties!

Onlyonamonday Sat 20-Dec-14 15:47:11

Yes be neutral .. Don't get too involved.. They are finding their own individual ways one doesn't have to be like the other .. It's hard though I know.

65hplane Sat 20-Dec-14 17:31:37

Thanks for all your replies, sorry for my late one, life gets in the way sometimes! Overall. I agree with the advice, stay neutral and keep talking to them both. I'm usually accused of spoiling the youngest so to hear that I am negative about her is interesting, we are very alike so perhaps I am over compensating but definitely something to think about. At the end of the day they are protective of each other if someone.else upsets them and I know they love each other, perhaps I just have to accept that they wouldn't be friends if they weren't related. Thanks for all the feedback and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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