So, now she's home. It's been kind of hard and it caught me off guard. Here's how I see it: DD is struggling. She left all her friends, her boyfriend (he lives about two hours away), her own place, her very busy routine. She's looking for a job, is living back home with us as an adult (she left as a kid!), and she's not in touch with any of her HS friends so she's bored. I know she's stressed about finding the right job, or if she'll even be able to find a job. It was so much different than when I graduated a million years ago. Job were knocking at my door.
What I'm finding annoying is her attitude, and this is what's throwing me off because we've always been buds and I'm not sure where my sweet daughter went. Do they come back from college knowing everything? She's so negative. She puts things down and it hurts my feelings. Examples: "We should have real dogs, our dogs don't play." "I'm really not loving townhouse life, I wish we had a house" (we downsized to a townhouse before she got home from school so we could move back to NY, the area that we AND THE KIDS both love), "Mom, you really don't have to hang things on every wall, it looks cluttered". And, yesterday I drove her to a community lake that you can cheaply join in our town (I was thrilled and we love to go to the lake together). I wanted to show her. Her response was, "It looks skeevy".
Is she so worldly now that H and I know nothing and our measly life here is no longer good enough for her? Like I said, this is an awesome kid who is my heart and just writing this makes me want to cry because..... who is this child?
It's a huge transition for all of us. H and I have been having a rough time, too. We realize that we never argue unless it's about the kids and that's been a little scary for me. Thankfully we've been talking about it. Friday night there was an issue and I was feeling very, very frustrated and sad and Saturday morning H brought it up and we hashed it out in a very good way, with good communication and it made me realize how so very far we've come.
This got lengthy but basically I guess I wanted to ask if anybody else who has college kids back at home is dealing with similar issues?
I did not live at home straight after college but I have seen and heard people who are going through the same thing.
I think it boils down to being focused on college. You are technically suppose to get a job and house, marriage, etc.
It is scary when you hear of people in college getting top jobs and here you are followed the rules and can't find a job. It is frustrating. She is taking it out on you and what else isn't going right without looking inward would be my guess.
The thing is when you don't have a job looking for a job should be your job. Also helping more around the house and networking and letting friends and family know I am looking for an opportunity.
You can't get her a job and shouldn't because it is her responsibility but you can help guide by suggestions which she may accept or not but that is her choice. As far as treatment hold her accountable and tell her either her attitude is not helping or ask her what is going on but I wouldn't when everything is up in the air with her life lessen or accept less than behavior from her because keeping her accountable will help her.
Also if there is a field she is interested ask her to check out/research and go ahead and take the test for grad school. I think the scores are valid for a few years and she has a better chance now than waiting with her skills and experience taking a test. After working it is a lot harder to go back and take tests.
She will be ok but she needs to work at it and that includes with her parents.
Just my few cents. Good luck!
As far as a job, I see her every day applying for jobs like crazy. We told her that if something full time doesn't kick in soon she has to get something locally part time so she has money coming in. She had a phone interview last week that seems to have gone really well.
I hear what you're saying--- I graduated in January, had a full-time teaching job and got married in February. H was working full time by then, too. Things are so different now.
Thanks for the feedback.
Have you told her that she hurt your feelings? That was the wake-up moment for our son; when I decided not to "just smile" and instead call him on his rudeness. The next time he said something that hurt me, in a low, calm voice I told him that his comment hurt me very much. Then I changed the subject and didn't make a big deal about it. His behavior changed dramatically after that. I think he just didn't realize what he was doing.
She is a good girl and she is scared. That doesn't mean she gets to treat you poorly though.
I am a believer that sometimes we talk things to death. Sometimes a simply placed sentence or two that cause them to think can have a huge impact.
Good luck to her on her job search.
Have you told her that she hurt your feelings?
Thank you for your very helpful post .
If she has student loans, there is an additional stressor. She is missing her friends and her boyfriend and her old routine. And not just bored, but I am sure she is lonely for her peers.
So she is dealing with a lot right now. But it doesn't give her the right to be rude to you. Have a talk with her, tell her you understand she is going thru a lot right now, that she misses her old life, that you are there for her, but that you also need her to relate to you a bit more respectfully....
I will talk to her, thank you.
It's so hard when they're not your little babies anymore, but they still need you to set an example for them. It's just another phase of life. I know you'll both navigate it with grace.
Is there an easy phase? Please tell me there is.
It's annoying but I know I was equally insufferable at that age. I was just figuring out who I was as an adult and felt the need to separate myself from the things I grew up with. I often want to say to one sister in particular when she's complaining about everything in my parents home, "You know, that may be true but considering your entire existence is subsidized from these people …your car, your clothes, the roof over your head etc.. I'd knock that chip off your shoulder". . I mean it's all well and good to complain about what's for dinner but not so much when your stuffing your mouth with the free food in between complaints.
I think there is a humility and lessons that come from REAL life. School is a very big step, but rent and bills, and juggling responsibilities as a grown up generally makes you appreciate your parents a lot more. By the time I had kids I wanted to call my parents and apologize every other day.
However, it doesn't give her a reason to disrespect you - and that is what she is doing.
I don't have any advice other than to tell you your house so your rules. Be very clear about what you expect and if she can't live with it, she is free to find other arrangements for the time being.
And suddenly I see...what I lost ain't no loss.
-Richie Kotzen, "What I Lost"
I received a call last night from her crying, saying he's being a brat and they just cant' get along and he needs to move out now. not july 1st. I had to resist a chuckle, namely because at age 25 and 22, they still want me to referee sibling disputes. Secondly, because my son has no idea how to live with a woman. I did give him some pointers and of course 10 seconds later she texted me a picture of a wedding dress she likes. No, she['s not even dating anyone but I guess that fight blew over fast.
When he moved in with her Memorial day weekend they should have had some conversations about how this would work. They did not. Boy, have they both learned a lot from this. They both say they're never getting married.
I guess I kinda t/j this. sorry! I know the move back happens. While we didn't have one move back from college we did have one move back after he got out of active Army. That was... interesting. However, military ppl make great house guests!
"The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it." - Brene Brown
Interestingly, today she woke up with a good attitude and we had a lovely morning together.
I'll keep all your suggestions in mind for future use though (I'm sure I'll need them), so thank you. And, thank you for the hugs .
today she woke up with a good attitude and we had a lovely morning together.
DEFINITELY set boundaries. I had to sit with DD and have a "come to Jesus" talk. Her attitude did change and she's respectful of the others in the house now.
Oddly enough, DS18 just graduated from high school and DD21 is also home for the summer. The first thing H and I did was to have a family meeting to lay out the ground rules. They're both adults and though they may not work, they can (and will) contribute to the household or find somewhere else to crash.
I dont expect to come home from work to find them lounging on the couch and a sinkful of dishes, etc.
So far, so good....
[This message edited by GabyBaby at 12:44 PM, June 16th (Monday)]
WH#2 (SorryinSac)- Killed himself in our home 6 days after being served divorce docs.
XWH #1 - legally married 18yrs. 12+ OW (that I know of).
I edit often for clarity/typos.
On the job topic, has she considered an Americorps position as a way to gain experience? They have jobs all over the country doing tons of different things. My youngest DD is finishing her second Americorps year in July and will be a full time "real job" employee with her Americorps placement company the next day. It's her dream job with her dream employer. It's worth considering and they might have positions in your area/region. The educational benefit can help pay off student loans - my DD will pay off 2/3 of hers this way. Also, her loans are in forbearance (don't have to make payments) while she is serving with Americorps. Some of the positions provide housing, some don't. In general they also offer a small living stipend so you're still living like a poor college student. Sorry to t/j!
[This message edited by purplejacket4 at 6:50 PM, June 16th (Monday)]
My attitude lasted exactly three days. My mom -- very sweet woman, puts everyone before herself -- finally said, "you will NOT be disrespectful if you are living in this house. Be respectful or move out."
I got with the program.
And then a got a waitressing job so I could move out and live with a college friend.
I would tell her what you said at the start -- how you feel for her situation, and why. But that does not give her license to be an a$$.
Seriously, the snottiness has to stop. She needs to act like an adult.
That said, it's okay to call her on her attitude. She's an adult now and she needs to understand her words hurt ...and that when she's getting room & board, it isn't cool to be dogging out the amenities, decorating, and choice in canines.
Sounds like she's stressed & unhappy and is lashing out some...time to communicate clearly that though you empathize with her losses (leaving friends, etc.) and stresses, you don't need her being a little black rain cloud on your parade.
Good luck, I know it's no picnic to have 3 adults under one roof! (((an)))
My daughter is 20 and will be a junior in college this fall. And to a point...she has a similar attitude at times when she comes home.
I don't know if it's my own bent or my engineer background...but I'm highly pragmatic about it all.
I get...I totally get...that they are at that age and position in life where they know absolutely everything and we are simply stupid (apparently our college education's statute of limitations has expired).
I just chuckle at it and when required throw it back at her with a laugh. I reckon it's as much a phase as when they went thru teenaged-ness. My mother was quite good at telling me I wasn't nearly as smart as I thought I was.
Honestly.....I just enjoy the entertainment value and don't take it personally. Because let's face it, they WILL over estimate their "smartness" and it WILL act as an object lesson. Lord knows I was there once.
[This message edited by Kuwaited at 10:24 PM, June 16th (Monday)]
"At some point in life, everyone has gambled on a fart and lost." -- Tad...from Craig's List
"pain is God's way of letting you know you are alive"