I think my daughter thinks that of me! The truth is, I love her deeply and dearly, and couldn't admire her more. The other day, however, when she told me of a new gig she was trying, I thought I was just being supportive by saying, "Oh, how great." Unfortunately, I added something to the effect that maybe that could open up new doors for her.
Often it's an adult child's own high expectations of themselves that causes them to be hypersensitive to our comments. I also think that maybe it's paradoxically a reflection of the close relationship between a parent and a child. An adult child knows us so well, that any small inflection in our voices is interpreted as a negative. But sometimes, they understand the code all wrong. Sometimes I feel like I have to walk on eggshells.
HOWEVER, on the otherhand, Babyboomer parents have somehow projected expectations on to their children. The whole question of "being PROUD" of our chldren should be examined. Of course, the problem is society and economics right now are not allowing our children as many open doors as we had. For some it has been nothing but wonderful, but for others, not so much. Babyboomer parents have believed in pursuing careers that make one happy. Those haven't always been ones to help them be secure. In addition, divorce in the family has stopped many of our children dead in their tracks and it's our fault -"kid interrupted" comes to mind.
Maybe it's always been that way. I knew that my mother wasn't happy with my weight. When we went to pick her up at the airport or walk any where with her, she'd walk behind me. When I turned around, I could see her looking at my backside. She was terribly disappointed with me when we moved away, and would be weepy every time she called. She was a wonderful mother in my childhood, but when I became an adult, I couldn't feel close to her.
I expected that because I tried to avoid all these things with my own daughter, she would not feel criticized by me, but somehow, I think she does, and it breaks my heart. I am trying to separate myself from that feeling because it's not intentional on her part. She just needs autonomy and I need to focus on my work to create my own happiness. I don't know the solution. I hope someone answering this, Grace, does know because if we don't heal our relationships with our parents, the beat goes on, and society is lesser for it.