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Literally no relationship with 18 year old DD and it's killing me.

(34 Posts)
Diemme Fri 24-Jul-20 22:15:23

I'm desperate to improve my relationship with DD1. We were very close when she was a child. Then at around 14 she started the typical teenage attitude of only being interested in hanging around with her friends and having no interest in me or anyone else in the family. I thought it would be a short phase but it's got worse and worse. She's 18 now and still only talks to me when she wants something. If I try and start a conversation she grunts a one word answer and goes back to looking at her phone. And now I've lost confidence in my ability to communicate with her because I know I'll get nothing back. When I'm giving her a lift or something we sit practically silence. I just don't know her, she's a complete stranger to me. It's killing me. Has anyone been through this and come out the other side?

OP’s posts: |
WhereYouLeftIt Fri 24-Jul-20 22:27:21

"If I try and start a conversation she grunts a one word answer and goes back to looking at her phone."
What do you think her response would be if you were to grunt at her and return to what you were doing when she talks to you because she wants something?

Diemme Fri 24-Jul-20 22:35:02

Honestly I think she'd just get a bit irritated and then do it herself. There'd be no hurt like there is with me. She appears to not care whether or not she has a relationship with me. So I don't want to teach her a lesson. I want to learn how to talk to her and get close to her.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfgirrl Fri 24-Jul-20 22:35:56

OP I understand where you're coming from, but she is a teenager.

The things she will be interested in will be things she wont want to discuss with you.

I see a lot of these posts on MN - their teen doesnt have enough friends, or they only want to spend time with their friends, they dont have any hobbies, they're obsessed with their hobbies, they havent had a girlfriend/boyfriend, they don't like their girlfriend/boyfriend etc etc

Sounds like she is doing what most 18 year olds do, if she is still like that at 25 I would understand.

But not everyone is going to get the exact right balance of everything all the time, although MNers seem to expect them to.

Just enjoy having your own space and doing your own thing, she will mature a bit and I'm sure you will be best of friends.

BraveGoldie Fri 24-Jul-20 22:39:43

Oh Diemme, that sounds really hard. I have no advice but I am hoping someone will come along who does.

My DD is 10 and is slipping into the monosyllabic answers and rolling eyes when I speak. I also feel I am already losing confidence. I find myself artificially 'making conversation' and realize I must be boring even to my own ears.

I wonder if she is old enough simply to have a totally honest conversation with her. Pretty much what you said here. Then ask HER what she would advise you do?

But I have no experience with teenagers, so hopefully some wiser heads will come along!

Hileni Fri 24-Jul-20 22:42:13

'How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk' by Adele Faber is amazing. I think there's a teenage version too.

Good luck

ButteryPuffin Fri 24-Jul-20 22:43:17

I wouldn't give lifts if she couldn't at least hold a polite conversation with me. She doesn't have to talk to you atm as there's no downside to the one word grunting. Say no next time she wants something and tell her why.

Diemme Fri 24-Jul-20 22:56:07

I wouldn't give lifts if she couldn't at least hold a polite conversation with me. She doesn't have to talk to you atm as there's no downside to the one word grunting. Say no next time she wants something and tell her why

I get where you're coming from but part of the problem is that I've lost confidence in my ability to communicate with her. I know I won't get anything back so I can't think of anything to say. She probably thinks she could accuse me of not bothering to make polite conversation.

OP’s posts: |
houstonspca Fri 24-Jul-20 22:58:45

Do you have any common interests? Anything that you could go and do together - getting nails done, shopping, funny film, anything at all? The more time you can spend together the easier it will become to talk as you're having shared experiences to talk about IYSWIM.

This sounds really sad for you, I hope you make some progress.

Binterested Fri 24-Jul-20 23:10:24

I wouldn't give lifts if she couldn't at least hold a polite conversation with me. She doesn't have to talk to you atm as there's no downside to the one word grunting. Say no next time she wants something and tell her why

You saying you’ve lost your confidence in holding a conversation concerns me. We are all owed basic civility by the people we live with - even more so by people we look after and care for. This sounds like a potentially abusive dynamic to me - you’re a bit scared and she’s an entitled madam who can’t be bothered with you. I think she needs to start bothering. I think you need to channel your inner queen. You deserve respect. You don’t have to make conversation with her or be interesting to her. This is a basic point of respect.

At 18!she wouldn’t get away with this in the workplace. She’s be expected to put an effort in. Is she at school ? Dad around ?

Diemme Fri 24-Jul-20 23:17:14

That's actually really helpful Binterested I needed to hear that. She left college and is working in a shop. It's actually been great for her, she loves it and is getting loads of training. Yes Dad's around. We also have another daughter who's a year younger and the complete opposite. She loves being with me and tells me everything that's going on in her life.

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Binterested Fri 24-Jul-20 23:23:32

Good ! Tell her this needs to stop. You are mum and you are telling her change is needed. Obviously you’ve both let this dynamic evolve but as the parent you are saying now it cannot continue.

She sounds quite powerful if you are now feeling underconfident around her. What happens if you show her some fire ?

Diemme Fri 24-Jul-20 23:39:23

I don't show much fire these days. Laying it down like this makes me feel pathetic. You're right, it is potentially abusive. She makes me feel I've got nothing interesting to say so I keep quiet. Incidentally I'm only like that with her. I'm a fairly chatty person generally. And she's the same with the whole family, not just me. It was her sister's birthday last week and she ignored it. Didn't give her a card or say happy birthday or anything!

OP’s posts: |
LovingLola Fri 24-Jul-20 23:41:45

OP I understand where you're coming from, but she is a teenager.

Many posters would consider her an adult.

wentawaycameback Fri 24-Jul-20 23:47:38

She is a teenager - she isn't an adult (so please do not listen to the MN posters who will tell you otherwise). I would carry on, stop worrying and develop your own interests (that maybe make you occasionally unavailable to give her lifts). She will come back to you in time.

NotDonna Fri 24-Jul-20 23:55:58

Do you think she could be depressed? Being so withdrawn could be a sign.
I know exactly where you’re coming from and I’m not sure ‘showing her fire’ will help. However, being a wall flower won’t either. Somewhere in the middle. Can you sit her down and be honest? Gently and kindly point out that your concerned about her and your relationship. Don’t make it all about you and your hurt feelings. Or that you ‘need’ anything from her. Or that you want to know everything that’s happening. Tell her you don’t like your current relationship and want to work with her to make it better for the both of you. I know she doesn’t want this either. Maybe ask her if she thinks she’s depressed.

IDidntChoseThePondLife Fri 24-Jul-20 23:58:53

Ooh binterested can you do podcasts? I need to hear this too. woolffgirl yours is a good point too.
@Diemme your daughter sounds like she has moved on from all of you, maybe start asking her when she is going to move out? You’re lucky you have such an easy relationship with your younger DD. As binterest has said - remember your inner queen, Graciously give her space and a lift (if it suits you) but insist on manners and courtesy.

NotDonna Sat 25-Jul-20 00:00:36

She’s eighteen - thus a teenager.

LimitIsUp Sat 25-Jul-20 00:06:30

I'm with Binterested. My 18 year old can be moody and difficult at times, but she knows I have boundaries. I wouldn't, as has been suggested, just wait for her to come to you. Call her out on the behaviours that are disrespectful / dismissive

Grandmi Sat 25-Jul-20 00:10:37

My daughter was bloody hard work at your daughters age .! She is now 26 and a lovely human being. My advice is for you to really try hard not to bite..eventually they work it out . Just definitely pick your battles !! I am like you ....I am outgoing and confident but I lost all my confidence and actually felt worried about being in her company. It will get better..maybe just take a big step back and not try too hard 💐

Diemme Sat 25-Jul-20 00:27:34

There are some good points here. I really don't think she's depressed. She has loads of friends and is out all the time. She only withdraws around the family. If I thought she'd definitely 'come back' I'd be ok. But my concern is that the distance between us will become so big that she'll forget there was ever anything to come back to.

OP’s posts: |
Wolfgirrl Sat 25-Jul-20 00:29:17

@LovingLola

Yes but on the brink and still a teenager. What were you like at 18? I was horror! Moody, selfish, rude. I can say that now as I have changed.

People used to laugh at moody teenagers, now they obsess over and indulge them, analysing everything they do.

Let go OP, I guarantee once you do she will want to come back.

ButteryPuffin Sat 25-Jul-20 00:37:24

It was her sister's birthday last week and she ignored it. Didn't give her a card or say happy birthday or anything

How would she feel if this happened to her? As @Binterested says it's about mutual respect. Does she pull her weight around the house, clear up after herself, do her own washing?

TheSmallAssassin Sat 25-Jul-20 00:44:33

I would have a conversation with her about it. Let her know that you are going to stop giving her lifts because it upsets you to be treated in that way. I don't think natural consequences ever wears out.

BraveGoldie Sat 25-Jul-20 08:18:13

OP, It may be she is simply an entitled teenager who needs to grow out of it. But is it possible she feels she doesn't have a place in the home. She sits and sees you and her sister having a wonderful relationship.... she doesn't want to acknowledge sister's birthday..... perhaps she feels her sister is the favorite and she has dug herself a hole.... it sounds a bit like you are both in a spiral and don't know the way out. As the adult, you have the best chance of looking at this and changing direction....

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