You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
My daughter is 20 years old and she graduated from high school a year ago, which was a proud moment for both of us. But, ever since she graduated all she does is lay around, smoke weed and ask me for money or whatever else she wants. I tried to tell her that she needs to get motivated to get herself together but she doesn't listen. I will say she just started a job and on top of that she has taken in her little sister from her dad to try to raise her, which I don't feel is a good idea. What do I need to do to get my child on some kind of path to succeed without making her feel like I don't love her?
First, I would like to say congratulations on you daughter graduating from high school. Now it is time for your daughter to enter the real world and grow up! She is not listening because for whatever reason, she has not had to nor has she had to respect you as her mother. Anytime your child can lay around, smoke weed, and bring another person to live in your home without your permission, there is absolutely no respect.
As much as you may love your daughter, you are not doing her any favors by tolerating her behaviors and giving her money. In fact, you are hurting her and preventing her from dealing with real life by supporting and tolerating her behavior. You have become codependent and an enabler. Simply stated, you are catering to your daughter and putting her needs and desires ahead of your own needs. She would not be able to behave and do what she does if you did not support her. I am glad she has a job but she has moved her sister into your house. Really? Given that she can't take care of herself, how do you think she is going to care of someone else? She has no plans to and that is one more job that is about to be dumped in your lap. If she thinks she can raise someone else, then she needs to do it on her own time in her own place. You must step up and set some real boundaries and limits with your daughter in your home. This may be hard for you to do because it is new and I sense that you are afraid that your daughter may reject you or not love you if you anger her. Trust me, your daughter is likely to become angry and give you a hard time when you put boundaries in place. This does not mean that she does not love you but you love her enough to take a stance. I would recommend that you seek individual as well as some family therapy to work through unresolved issues regarding your daughter. This will give your daughter a chance to work through some things so she can get her life on track for success. – Dr. Sherry
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