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Stranger In The House. My daughter Is Turning 20. Update one year later.

Updated on September 23, 2016

Mother And Daughter Conflict.

Mothers are being cut out of their daughters' life.
Mothers are being cut out of their daughters' life. | Source


Even though we have read all the books, browsed all the websites, spoken to all the experienced parents on this topic. I don't think we are ever truly prepared for the psychological pain our kids can inflict on us, in their bid to exercise their independence.

Especially when they suddenly started lending an ear to their peers who feels as if they have been wronged by their own parents.

But take heart, if you have been good to your child they will realize that you were and will always be their home.

She won't talk to me!

I tried to ask her what was bothering her but she said that she can't/won't talk to me
I tried to ask her what was bothering her but she said that she can't/won't talk to me | Source

Parent/Young Adult Conflict.

Has your young adult child used this method to exercise their independence?

See results

Stranger In My House. Can't talk to me!

Lately I have been spending the day alone and worrying about my daughter. The reason being -

  • She would wake up and stay in her room, only coming out to eat or use the washroom or go out with her friends.
  • She would either be sulky and hostile when she is at home or be deliriously happy when she has to go out with her friends.
  • She seemed to be angry with me all the time, and I didn't know or understand why.
  • She wouldn't want to go anywhere with me, when I asked if she wanted to go with me when I have to go somewhere. Her negative answer would either be yelled or sullen.
  • She would snap at me when I talk to her. When I say something to her her reply would either be "barked" out loud or I would completely ignored.
  • I began to feel as if I had done something wrong, yet, I didn't know what it was.

I tried, repeatedly, to ask her what was the matter but she won't let me know exactly what's bothering her.

Then one day she said, "I can't talk to you!"

I couldn't fathom when or how I became the difficult person that she couldn't talk to.

That hurt, I always made a point of listening to her!

I was hurt! Hurt and shocked!

I have always been verbal with my family and I don't mean that I was abusive. I have consciously kept my words positive and I always let my children know how much I appreciated them.

I would always throw my support behind my children because I am very proud of them. I have once thought that I was raising some very positive people, that is, until my daughter "slammed" me with, "I can't talk to you".

I tried to think back, what exactly brought that "about turn"?

I may never know, I was shut out of her "life".

I felt as if she had turned into a stranger, I didn't know her anymore.

Would you be kind enough to point out to me, where I went wrong?

My Heart was Broken.

There was a pain that threatened to overpower me when I think of her words, and I felt as if I coun't breathe.
There was a pain that threatened to overpower me when I think of her words, and I felt as if I coun't breathe. | Source

My Heart was Broken.

From the time she was born, she was the focus of my world. I grew her up with the dignity and respect a child ought to grow up with.

I haven't played favoritism between her and her brother. I love them both equally. How could I choose one or the other?

I didn't want them to grow up with the damaging sort of sibling rivalry that splits families apart for generations. I worked with them to help them to grow up loving each other the same way I loved them both.

I focused on growing them up to be happy, loving people. I always take the time to explain "things" to them so they would have a good understanding of life.

I thought that by telling them about life on both sides of the "coin", that they would understand issues that "pop up" in their life. If I don't know I'll say that I don't know.

Oh! I could go on and on! Bottom line is that I tried to be the ideal parent. I thought that I had failed in my daughter's case.

I always stressed the importance of verbal communication, so I felt betrayed and confounded at the same time when she told me that she can't talk to me.

Even though I knew that something was not right with her it hit hard when the "floodgates" finally opened.

Worried Mother


Sweet and Loving Child.

She remained this sweet loving child with no stress from me or her father. Through her teenage years, I made allowance for the usual teen behavior pattern.

I didn't push too much to get the messy room cleaned up or to get straight A's at school or to curb the tendency to stay up late at night.

I talked about it with them and I talked and talked some more until my patience ran out, then I'll yell at them. They will clean it up then, to my dismay. With all the talking and explaining, I didn't think that would need to yell at them to clean up.

I explain stuff to her when she needs to know, going for patience and understanding. I made it a point to tell her how precious she is to me. Basically, I was making sure that she doesn't grow up with the stress that teenagers usually experience with family members.

I was getting disappointed that they weren't responding to my approach to raising kids with patience, but other than the cleaning problem my daughter is a good girl, both my kids are.

I was sure that diligently paying attention, encouraging and guiding her when she asks, was what would make these years easy for for her, until now. I don't know how to handle this or maybe I should just let it run it's course.

What do you think I should do?

I Understand That Children Do Get Angry.

Getting angry at your parents is normal, but it doesn't lessen the pain we feel.
Getting angry at your parents is normal, but it doesn't lessen the pain we feel. | Source

Parent-Child Estrangement

Are you a parent who have been "divorced" by your children? Well, please say, "Welcome to the club" to me. I thought I was prepared for this eventuality, but the pain was nowhere near my expectation when it happened.

It felt like eternal misery.

It was not something that I could have easily dealt with and I felt lonesome most of the time. My husband didn't help, he says that I was driving my daughter away and that he didn't want to do the same.

I was trying to figure out how and when my relationship with my daughter went "south", but I couldn't figure it out. So I turned to the internet and the good writers on Hubpages to help me figure it out and what I found was a surprising phenomenon.

Some of my fellow hubbers had really genuine hearts of "gold". Even though I was in emotional turmoil I took their hopeful words to heart and when my daughter came to me for understanding I was able to accommodate her, with the understanding that she went through a difficult period too.

Several articles from these websites had me wondering about the future of the Family as an institution. They do have some advice for parents to use "weather the frost". Here are the ones that I have read -

  4. Tina Gilbertson Counselling.

when she was a little girl
when she was a little girl | Source

This Heartbreak is Over!

So now my daughter and I are best "buds" again and even though she never said sorry for the pain I was in over her words and actions a year ago. Throughout this past year she has been the daughter I once again recognize.

The pain I thought would never leave is gone, I don't know when it left but I am a happy that it did. It has left me a wiser mother and I am using the knowledge to consistently "head-off" any other similar problems.

Each individual has a mind of their own, even in a family. We should never stop striving to understand those minds. In our society there is always the constant lure of external influence.

At different stages in life the "grass might look greener on the other side", but it is not always so.

I want to thank all the writers who commented on this hub when it was previously published. I was consoled by your empathy for my plight at that time.

I want you to know that I understood and pay heed to your words.

Thanks to you we are a happy mother/daughter duo again.

I do hope my experience help other parents who are or would be experiencing a similar or the same situation now or in the future.


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    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Canada

      Oh I do hope mine stay close in future, it was a suffocating situation at the time.

      Thank you for sharing Jackie.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I had the same problem with my daughter starting at about 14 and it was a real nightmare and although we did get close for awhile with the births of grand kids it is off again with me not even able to see them, so you really are lucky it is over. I think my daughter has deeper problems that will never be resolved and I have accepted it because I have to for my own peace of mind. I always gave her everything if it meant doing without myself so I know she has no reason to be the way she is. It really is heartbreaking because she is my only daughter. I do have a son though who has a son, so I am thankful for that.

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your comment vespawoolf. I wrote this hub at the time when it felt as if my troubles were suffocating me, with the hope for guidance from my fellow hubbers.

      I was in pain then, I was so happy to get some good sound support from a few caring Hubpages writers, it was enough to calm my mind.

      The reason I'm keeping this hub up is, as you mentioned, for other parents who are experiencing similar situations with their kids to have faith that it will be alright after the "clouds clear".

      Seems, both my daughter and I had some growing up to do.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      3 years ago from Peru, South America

      There are definitely growing pains as children grow up. Of course, there are other ways to assert independence but it is a confusing time. I hope this Hub helps other parents dealing with this difficult stage. Thank you for sharing!

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Hi missmarykate, thank you for your insightful advice. I will heed it.

      You really set my mind at ease with these words. They were the answers I were looking for and I will look forward to age 23.

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      My daughter wanted to leave, but my husband spoke to her. I was too hurt to say anything on that subject, actually. She is still in college and she knows that she needs my support.

      I do need my baby around but the relationship between is not the same. I still smart from her behaviour.

      Thank you for your comment Lori. I do hope the situation between you and your daughter gets resolved soon.

    • profile image

      Lori Robinett 

      5 years ago

      I can't believe I didn't find your blog sooner. My heart aches for you. I went through a somewhat similar situation, in that my daughter seemed to flip a switch 4 months ago. Only instead of closing me off from home, she left. I was hurt, stunned. I look forward to reading more of your blog. Feel free to stop by mine - here is a post I wrote after she left.

    • missmarykate profile image


      5 years ago

      Well the good news is you don't have to worry :) your daughter and her situation sound a lot like me when I was 20, and I'm sure most girls on here can vouch for that! I am now 23, and the tension has passed. Your daughter is 20, about the age when people start to worry about where their life will go, what path they will take, what are the best decisions for them, just as I went through! I became distant from my mother because I felt that I didn't want my life decisions to stem from my parents, I wanted to be sure I would make all my own decisions so I would have complete control of my life an be happy with my future, regardless of my parents wishes. The best thing you can do is to wait out the storm, your daughter has way more on her mind than you realize! You have to accept that she is at the point in her life where she expects you to respect her decisions as an adult, versus telling you what you think she should do. (As much as you want to!) it is only motherly to want to help your children make good decisions. The best way to approach this is to let her have her space, don't inquire too deeply about what she is doing, etc. your aim should be to appear to your daughter as someone she can always talk to about anything, no matter what, and you will not get angry. Just remember, if your daughter does something to anger you, that thing has already been done and she cannot go back and change it. So in this time frame you just have to be her "buddy" and stay calm and assist her emotionally in solving her own problems. At age 20 a daughter is no longer looking for an authoritative guiding figure, because she wants to do that for herself now. She now needs her mother to be her go-to friend for emotional and mental support. It's just a phase and as your daughter finds her way your relationship will evolve with it and everything will even out. Best of luck, you have nothing to worry about!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      Well you waited too long in raising her to be an adult and now you have your child. Set some ground rules and stick to them. Ask her why and lots of questions and she will come around. Make sure that she knows that you are not looking for a free-loader.

      I learned all this with my 2 daughters especially with my youngest who is now in her early 30's and out on her own and I am very proud of her. Letting go is the hardest thing to do. Raising them to be adults in an adult world is a lot of work. Kids should be learning responsibility, not play all the time. The need to learn that there are consequences to every action they take--good or bad. That doesn't get across when they are allowed to do anything they want and not have the responsibility handed down to them when growing up.

      Now you have to teach that and it is harder when they are as old as your kids are. If all they learned was that someone else will clean up after them, what do you think they are going to expect in adulthood?

      Sometimes they need to learn their own lessons and the parent needs to be assured that all they taught them will come through. You know the saying....While you live under my roof you will do such and such? This is where you set your boundaries of what you expect of them, not what they can get you to do for them.......

      Good Luck and hold firm...they will see the good in that when they have their own kids.

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      She is going to college. She is studying voice acting. Did the Fundamental of Arts last semester, but college is out for the summer.

      The problem is at home, we thought that they were too young and that we should make home life happy and comfortable for them, because we are the parents.

      My son is fine he knows what he wants and he understands when I try to make them see what's reasonable, when he doesn't understand, he would say so and so it becomes a discussion with him.

      I invite this sort of interaction.

      This is why I don't understand why my daughter won't respond the same way, she now "clams up" when she doesn't understand and for some reason she thinks that I would think that sh is stupid.

      Ohh! How can she think that?

      My husband and I don't do favouritism.

      This discussion is making me realize that I didn't ask her why she would think that. I was busy feeling hurt, I should attempt to ask at the very least. I need her cooperation to set a routine.

      Thank you for your support Deb.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      I was thinking this morning about you daughter and her future. Have you tried getting her into a tech school or college?

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you Deb, I just finish reading your blog. They do, do their chores, but I haven't made it a routine. So I need to get that part done with them.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      Do you have her doing chores and keeping up with them. She is no longer a child and needs that responsibility to you for all the work and love that you put into her. I wrote a hub about this but it was after they left and then come back home to live but it can be used for this too as well. I took it off of hub pages but I have it here:

    • skperdon profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      I quite agree with both of you. Lady Guinevere, I noticed that she was lagging in her job search. I did try to set boundaries the day that the trouble started.

      Heather, since I now know that she does need me I'll keep trying. I'm just a little unsure of myself with her, right now.

      Thank you both for your supportive comments.

    • HeatherH104 profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      I'm sorry for the terrible pain you are feeling. :(

      She needs you, even if she thinks she doesn't right now so it might be best to give her space and let her come to you when she is ready. She does need you!

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      She needs to get a job and you need to let her fly with the wings that you gave her. You also need to learn how and to stick to boundaries.


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