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Old 04-27-2020, 12:05 PM   #21
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The OP's story reminds me of something that happened years ago with an now ex-girlfriend.

I had just retired and she was still working long hours. I decided to make her dinner one evening. I met her at her house after she drove home from work. I had brought ingredients for a dinner I planned to make for her. After all the work was done, the dinner eaten, and I had finished cleaning up the kitchen, she complained that I had used to many pans in preparing the dinner.
Damn! That is harsh. Is that what prompted the status change from GF to ex-GF?
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:33 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
I'm guessing your DD went something like this:

Has idea to make cookies and stealth surprise you with them
Spends hours making cookies, driving, dropping off - is giddy at doing this and happy about the idea
DW calls DD (before DW even knows anything) and DD is expecting the "oh you shouldn't have!" but the call goes wrong because, confusion, and then "but why though..."
DD now feels a bit silly she didn't think to visit, and wounded that the entire convo wasn't gushing thanks for her thoughts and effort.

Ultimately, she had a very sweet idea to surprise you and it didn't go at all as she thought it would, so she's a bit gutted.

Reading between the lines, maybe DD and DW have a bit of a strain in their relationship, so it was "worse" that mom chastised her than if you did? Guessing, and is DD not yet 30? So, both of those will work out in the next few years.

Yes, send flowers, and/or a very sweet card, something. Not with an explanation. Just we love you, we miss you, and the cookies were wonderful.
+1

Although I don't know anything about you (the OP) and your family, I'd say I think Aerides got it right. On a personal note - being an adult DS, I spent a decent part of my adult life wishing that DM would give me some kind of validation. I think many, if not most, adult children never outgrow the need for validation from their parents. While I don't think you intended to withhold that validation, your DD probably wanted to hear how much you and your DW appreciated her efforts without any, "why didn't you..." or "you should have..."
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:55 PM   #23
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...found myself in this situation before
...we were out in the yard and she said she saw us but just dropped the cookies and drove off.
...we haven't seen her since the holidays
...I'm sure this isn't a major issue, but as I said, it seems to happen regularly.

Sounds like CookieGate reflects a bigger issue, and your comments above appear to indicate you're aware of that. Is your time together normally contentious, and not enjoyable for DD? Do you normally criticize, and does she normally have a short fuse? (ie: no response to your apology text).

The idea that following "Social Distancing" after driving 1HR doesn't allow a quick hello standing in the yard 15' apart (even wearing masks) sounds a little wacky. No time for a conversation is also a lame explanation. Cookies could have been mailed.

If conclusion is correct that your conversations/interactions frequently take a bad turn, then assume that you should be able to identify what the normal triggers are and address them.

Good relationship with your kids is so important to a Happy Life. I wish you success achieving that. You and DD care about each other -that's a good base to build on!

Good Luck on Your Mission!
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
I'm guessing your DD went something like this:

Has idea to make cookies and stealth surprise you with them
Spends hours making cookies, driving, dropping off - is giddy at doing this and happy about the idea
DW calls DD (before DW even knows anything) and DD is expecting the "oh you shouldn't have!" but the call goes wrong because, confusion, and then "but why though..."
DD now feels a bit silly she didn't think to visit, and wounded that the entire convo wasn't gushing thanks for her thoughts and effort.

Ultimately, she had a very sweet idea to surprise you and it didn't go at all as she thought it would, so she's a bit gutted.

Reading between the lines, maybe DD and DW have a bit of a strain in their relationship, so it was "worse" that mom chastised her than if you did? Guessing, and is DD not yet 30? So, both of those will work out in the next few years.

Yes, send flowers, and/or a very sweet card, something. Not with an explanation. Just we love you, we miss you, and the cookies were wonderful.
DD is 34. Otherwise, you pretty much have the scene described.

The real question is how to not do this? This isn't the first time. For example, while in college, DD moved into an apartment. I'm sure she was excited, but my initial reaction was that it was a dump. DD's boy friend's Mom came in a was all excited and said how great it was. I'm sure she's either blind or she's learned this lesson. FWIW, within a month, DD heard a rat in her walls, it died, she had to fight with the management to rectify the situation . . . It was a dump, but being right didn't make me feel any better. I want to stop focusing on the negative, but it is who me and DW are.

For those that do it well, do you just pause and never say anything negative? Are you just a glass 3/4 full kind of person? Me and DW spoiled a great idea of DD, it isn't the first time and I want to figure out how to stop.
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Old 04-27-2020, 01:39 PM   #25
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Parent of grown adult DD issue

As a fellow cookiebaker and a parent, maybe I can shed some light.
I recently made and dropped off cookies as a thankyou and felt horrible as I did it... What if somehow I passed a covid germ on unknowingly. It's a weird world right now.
I won't give my mom cookies for the far off chance something could happen. I have stopped selling any custom cookies for now.
Second there's an old saying “if you can't say something nice dont say anything at all.”. I try hard to follow this as I watch my children stumble around in the world as adults, but in addition , because my kids could tell if I was just silent, that I repeat to myself “there is good in evrything if you look hard enough.”

Later I can complain and lament with my spouse in private.

The otherthing I find helpful is to ask myself what my relationship was with my parents at 30, 32 , 34. or before for we had kids ..or when my kids were in school... how much extra time did I have?
During this corona time we have found different touches work better with different adult children, phone calls texting, facetime happyhours,
but I try hard to remember all that they are still balancing and ask ahead of time if they can put us in their calander during the next week.
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Old 04-27-2020, 01:59 PM   #26
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DD is 34. Otherwise, you pretty much have the scene described.

The real question is how to not do this? This isn't the first time. For example, while in college, DD moved into an apartment. I'm sure she was excited, but my initial reaction was that it was a dump. DD's boy friend's Mom came in a was all excited and said how great it was. I'm sure she's either blind or she's learned this lesson. FWIW, within a month, DD heard a rat in her walls, it died, she had to fight with the management to rectify the situation . . . It was a dump, but being right didn't make me feel any better. I want to stop focusing on the negative, but it is who me and DW are.

For those that do it well, do you just pause and never say anything negative? Are you just a glass 3/4 full kind of person? Me and DW spoiled a great idea of DD, it isn't the first time and I want to figure out how to stop.
I don't always do it well, but some things I find helpful to try to remember:
Mary Kay Ashe has a technique to help with this. Imagine everyone you meet wearing a sign that says "Make me feel important".

Researchers found the 5 to 1 technique was what made for happy marriages but it works for really any relationship - work teams, teacher - students, parent child. Have your positive vs. negative interactions be at least 5 to 1.

And all the usual, Dale Carnegie book ideas, be a good listener, ask open ended questions, ask for advice, don't give unsolicited advice, give sincere compliments, etc. There's lots of free youtube videos on these kinds of subjects.

I still screw up with our adult kids more often that I would like to, but when I remember these kind of techniques I can course correct and usually make repairs when needed. One of our adult kids bought an expensive gift I didn't gush over enough and let sit in the box for a long time, and I regret that. Have used it now and am sending pictures this week to try to make amends.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:19 PM   #27
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For those that do it well, do you just pause and never say anything negative? Are you just a glass 3/4 full kind of person? Me and DW spoiled a great idea of DD, it isn't the first time and I want to figure out how to stop.
IMO you have to decide how you want the relationship to be . I used to complain to my daughter about her money management and it would end up with us both feeling crummy .One day I just decided to let it go .She was a great thoughtful person and I was lucky to have such a caring daughter . My advice to you is let it go and just enjoy your daughter .
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:21 PM   #28
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One day I just decided to let it go.
Probably the wisest course for most of us.
Only offer criticism if you feel strongly that it's wanted. 95% of the time it isn't.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:45 PM   #29
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The real question is how to not do this? This isn't the first time. For example, while in college, DD moved into an apartment. I'm sure she was excited, but my initial reaction was that it was a dump. DD's boy friend's Mom came in a was all excited and said how great it was. I'm sure she's either blind or she's learned this lesson. FWIW, within a month, DD heard a rat in her walls, it died, she had to fight with the management to rectify the situation . . . It was a dump, but being right didn't make me feel any better. I want to stop focusing on the negative, but it is who me and DW are.

For those that do it well, do you just pause and never say anything negative? Are you just a glass 3/4 full kind of person? Me and DW spoiled a great idea of DD, it isn't the first time and I want to figure out how to stop.
In my experience, DW and Ihave learned to count our blessings and be patient. Our adult children may not be or do all the things that would be "optimal" in our view, but they are alive, healthy, communicating with us in various frequencies that we accept, and are, or are seeking, independence. We have friends who would kill to have their adult children just drop something off, let alone talk to them.

Sometimes you just have to not try and "fix" things but, as I did as a young adult at times, let them make their mistakes and trust they will eventually learn from them. We had an extreme case of one child who dropped out of college, fell in (or created) the wrong crowd of friends, got angry when we refused to co-sign an apartment lease the same day he told us about it, and went down a path that let to Federal prison for a couple of years and refused to speak to us after that. Long story short we were patient and eventually he contacted us, wanting to have a relationship. We have never brought us his past (though he has in his volunteer works), only focused on how he was moving forward. He is married, has a very good job (where he has been open about his past and has been accepted), gotten his degree, and is trying to help others. The short term pain has been worth the long term results we see. In light of what happened before, our current differences do not even register.

Another adult child had a similar apartment issue, though it was with friends who we observed were not very neat and tidy, but we said nothing as they were focused on getting their own apartment. We just figured it would be a learning experience. Sure enough after a year the child, who leans more towards Felix Unger than Oscar Madison for cleanliness and neatness. found another apartment with a different group of friends that more matched them in that area.

DW and I realize that we are not perfect, and as much as we want to make things easier for our adult children, sometimes you become an adult by dealing with difficult circumstances. It is not a question of never saying anything negative, but asking open ended questions as was mentioned above, and ultimately letting them know it is their choice and their responsibility.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:54 PM   #30
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DD is 34. Otherwise, you pretty much have the scene described.

The real question is how to not do this? This isn't the first time. For example, while in college, DD moved into an apartment. I'm sure she was excited, but my initial reaction was that it was a dump. DD's boy friend's Mom came in a was all excited and said how great it was. I'm sure she's either blind or she's learned this lesson. FWIW, within a month, DD heard a rat in her walls, it died, she had to fight with the management to rectify the situation . . . It was a dump, but being right didn't make me feel any better. I want to stop focusing on the negative, but it is who me and DW are.

For those that do it well, do you just pause and never say anything negative? Are you just a glass 3/4 full kind of person? Me and DW spoiled a great idea of DD, it isn't the first time and I want to figure out how to stop.
This is why I asked about age, and giving it time. At some point she'll figure out to meet you half way, and that getting upset at your nature is a waste of energy.

And I say this as an adult daughter of a mother who can't fake she likes something or someone if her life depends on it. But yes, you are going to have to fake it till you make it if you can, and as well practice the "if you don't have anything nice to say" kinda thing.

As the brits will say, keep schtum.
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Old 04-27-2020, 03:04 PM   #31
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Thinking of how tired I used to be after getting home after work, I can see that she might have been even more tired and crabby after the dinner-making process. Not that it excuses such a churlish remark.

I used to turn down after-work dates in my 20's! All I wanted was to eat, write my letters/pay my bills and go to bed.

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The OP's story reminds me of something that happened years ago with an now ex-girlfriend.

I had just retired and she was still working long hours. I decided to make her dinner one evening. I met her at her house after she drove home from work. I had brought ingredients for a dinner I planned to make for her. After all the work was done, the dinner eaten, and I had finished cleaning up the kitchen, she complained that I had used to many pans in preparing the dinner.
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Old 04-27-2020, 03:07 PM   #32
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Perfect response.

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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
IMO you have to decide how you want the relationship to be . I used to complain to my daughter about her money management and it would end up with us both feeling crummy .One day I just decided to let it go .She was a great thoughtful person and I was lucky to have such a caring daughter . My advice to you is let it go and just enjoy your daughter .
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Old 04-27-2020, 03:17 PM   #33
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I have had quite an issue including heated discussions with DD over coming to see my new grandson. She wanted me to visit. I did not want to take a chance on COIVD issues. She won. Sunday our state changed to a more lenient approach to staying safe and I used that as my excuse to travel the 2.5 hrs to her place. She was right. Getting to hold the very little guy was totally awesome. She got pictures of him and Grandpa which is what I think she really wanted.
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Old 04-27-2020, 03:24 PM   #34
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A lot depends on the kiddo and the parenting style.

Parenting adult children is not easy! It's completely the opposite of when they were little and you were in control. Now they are in control and, depending on personality, some will distance from you rather than tell you what you're doing wrong. Sometimes it can be a little tougher between daughters and moms.

Adult children who love and respect their parents can still feel overwhelmed by what they interpret to be parental "disappointment" and stressed by parental "expectations" or "guilting." That's how they feel it even if you didn't intend it that way. So, you gotta ask yourself, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

I used to joke that I liked it a lot more when they were little and I could pick out their clothes and screen their playmates.

It hasn't been easy, but I've worked hard to change. I compliment. I don't criticize. I want them to look forward to get-togethers rather than dread them or avoid them. If I need to vent, I vent to DH and tease him that they must be taking after him and we have a good laugh. It helps that we have kids who have turned out well in spite of their very human parents.

If adult children ever want my advice, they will ask (I usually wait until they ask twice).

And unless there really is a wrong choice, my best advice is, "Either choice could work out. Which way are you leaning and what influenced you?" If there is a wrong choice, I'll likely say, "Well here's something you'd want to take into consideration as you make up your mind." There may be no greater relationship-builder than a parent's silent affirmation that the adult child is capable of choosing - and also of handling the situation if a choice doesn't work out as they'd hoped. This is hard to fake, but can be learned.

Adult children are to leave (and cleave). It might have been helpful if there were also a verse that says parents are to spend their time leading, and then they are to switch to cheerleading.

Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2020, 03:55 PM   #35
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A thought exercise that I sometimes try to do is to imagine treating a peer adult (like a work colleague or adult friend of mine) the same way I am treating (or thinking about treating) my grown offspring. If it wouldn't be appropriate for the former, it might not be appropriate for the latter.

So for example, would it be reasonable for you be mad or upset if a work colleague dropped off cookies but didn't stay to chat? Would it be reasonable for you to be judgmental and disappointed if a friend got a junky apartment?

Although they will always be our babies and that complicates things, the people I know who are happiest seem to move past that point, let go, and have their adult children become their friends.
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:09 PM   #36
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Jerry1 as I read your initial post I can honestly say I probably would have said the same thing given the same circumstance. Seeing her, even at a distance , was probably more important to you and your wife than the cookies. But the cookies and the magnanimous gesture of driving an hour to deliver them were what was important to your DD. She wanted to surprise you. And that was probably all she wanted to do which is really very sweet of her.

So she did surprise you. And in those situations our antennae are not guarded or we are not thinking that the "next words out of our mouths" might be interpreted as criticism." (because that is not what we would have meant) Ya'lls response was an honest and innocent one, even a predictable one since you had not seen her since the Holidays.

There are situations we know to be on guard with our opinions or statements with our adult children and then there are those like this that are so innocent we didn't see it coming.

I am often either in one or the other.

I like the idea of buying flowers or even making her cookies and you and your wife taking a drive to leave them on her steps.
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:32 PM   #37
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Damn! That is harsh. Is that what prompted the status change from GF to ex-GF?
Alas, no.
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:34 PM   #38
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I do not get the comments that suggest the OP needs to "let it go". They were rude and unappreciative of their DD's efforts. They need to apologize, acknowledge their lack of respect, and hope their DD is willing to "let it go".

If my parents or any other adults had treated me this way, I would be just as offended. And I would certainly avoid them in the future.

In general, I would not put up with anyone saying "That's just not good enough" after I have done something kind and loving for them. Nope.
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:52 PM   #39
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My daughter knows my wife and I have been quarantined for 5 weeks now. And she has been quarantined 5 weeks. We are all healthy and not had any illness throughout all these weeks.

I'm not expecting my daughter to come over and jump in my lap (like usual.)

But she could stop for long enough to be sociable. It wouldn't hurt to talk from a "distance" for a few moments.
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Old 04-27-2020, 07:31 PM   #40
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apologies in advance...we don't have kids but to me your daughter is acting like a small child. i don't see that you have anything to apologize for.
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