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Parent of grown adult DD issue
Old 04-26-2020, 07:55 PM   #1
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Parent of grown adult DD issue

Well, today did not go well. It had all the makings of a good situation, but in the end, DD is pissed off and I'm looking for some help to process this. Thankfully, it's not a huge deal, but I've found myself in this situation before, and would like to not have it happen again.

DD and I have been talking about baking cookies. We've texted back and forth about me coming to get them (she lives an hour away) but with the stay at home order, she would have none of it. And I totally respect that.

Today, me and DW get a text from DD that says look in our mail box. DD lives an hour away. She baked cookies and dropped them off without letting us know she was here. DW called DD. At first confused because we hadn't gone out to the mail box yet. But while on the phone, DW figures out what happened and (this is the problem part) instead of saying how cool it was for DD to drop off the cookies, DW questions DD on why she didn't say hi. In fact, we were out in the yard and she said she saw us but just dropped the cookies and drove off. DW is on the phone, but of course the peanut gallery (me) is in full swing asking the same question. Why didn't you stop? We could have stayed far away from each other (again, I respect that), but at least we could have seen her. FWIW, we haven't seen her since the holidays. Anyway, DD abruptly say she's gotta go and that's it. She hangs up, obviously pissed. In fact, DW says that DD said something like "no thanks for the cookies?".

I sent her a text saying how the cookies were a great thought, but that we miss her. No response. I'm sure this isn't a major issue, but as I said, it seems to happen regularly. Me and DW miss the "obvious" fact that we should have been excited for the gesture and insert our disappointment of not seeing her. Generically, we don't see the good through our lenses the way we should seem to.

Anyway, it sucked to ruin a good day/gesture. I'm sure at the moment, her feeling that she's missed (loved) isn't winning the day but hopefully it will. I'd just like to 1) Find a way to not have this happen and 2) Make sure she knows we love her so much - before we pass.

P.S., I thought about not eating the cookies in protest, but that feeling went away very quickly She's a good cook/baker.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:12 PM   #2
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Bummer - sorry this happened. No good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:29 PM   #3
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My daughter came today on short notice, to borrow pressure washer. I turned a drive by into 30 minute instruction and trying to find various pieces. Later got pictures of cleaned up siding and back yard. Great job, says I in a text.

Your daughter wants you to acknowledge she did everything right.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:36 PM   #4
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Is my DD doing double-duty with another family behind my back? What you describe sounds like a pickle that I would get in.

I'd frame it as a "miscommunication" and thank her for the cookies and driving an hour to deliver them.

Maybe send her flowers with a nice note... or drop the flowers off on her doorstep, drive away and call her without visiting. Just kidding on the last part.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:39 PM   #5
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Maybe send her flowers with a nice note... or drop the flowers off on her doorstep, drive away and call her without visiting. Just kidding on the last part.
That's exactly what I was thinking of doing. Hell, getting out of the house for a drive wouldn't be bad. I was thinking, that's all she was doing. I'm sure she's been in the house too long. She has even been doing grocery delivery (and admonishes me for going to the store).
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:43 PM   #6
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What a drag. The best thing to do is let it go. I have a DS with whom the relationship isn't what I would want.

Like me, you have what you have. Try not to be hostile and try to work toward making the relationship more like what you want.

You haven't seen DD since the holidays. Do you talk on the phone? Do you video chat? Start small. A weekly phone call with only positive vibes.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
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I could see her frustration. All that work, but then suggesting she did something wrong, when I think you know she had your best interest at heart.

Maybe apologize for getting the order of the conversation points backwards to her.

-gauss

p.s. I have no kids, but I sure as heck use to get into feuds with my DF.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:48 PM   #8
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IMO our adult children especially the women are so stressed out worrying about us .My daughter insists I call her or at least text everyday .They feel stressed because we are the so called targets of this disease . I would drop off some flowers at your daughter's house and just appreciate how much she cares for you .
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:56 PM   #9
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You haven't seen DD since the holidays. Do you talk on the phone? Do you video chat? Start small. A weekly phone call with only positive vibes.
We do text or talk pretty regularly. Not weekly, but often. It's just that seeing her would have been very nice - even at 20 paces.


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They feel stressed because we are the so called targets of this disease.
This is true and drives me nuts. I'm 59 and in good health. Sure, I could do better with my weight, but no issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, or anything else. On zero medications and see a Dr. regularly. To be viewed as at risk means the same to me as OLD. That sucks. Sure, 60 seemed old to me at one point, but of course, not any more. I hope when I get to 80 (God willing), I don't think that's old yet either.
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:04 PM   #10
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I would have handled the situation exactly as you did. Sure, it was a nice gesture on her part to bring the cookies to you, but I think she should have stopped and visited for a while since she saw you in the yard and especially since you have not seen her since the holidays and she lives an hour away. You could have maintained a good social distance from each other of course. I find her behavior a bit odd.
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:26 PM   #11
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I don't know you, your wife, or your DD. But I'm a sandwich generation where I have adult kids of mine (so I'm a parent and can see your side), and I have my Dad and had my Mom until four years ago (so I'm the child and I might see your DD's side).

So here's my theory. It's confusing because there's multiple things going on here. Some of the things all three of you want, some things only she wants, and some things only you and your wife want. These latter two categories create conflict, but the first category's existence makes things confusing.

In category 1: You all want her to make cookies for you and your wife. And you all want you and your wife to stay safe in the pandemic.

In category 2/3: She didn't want to stop for a visit. You and your wife wanted her to stop for a visit.

There's a million reasons why she might not have wanted to stop for a visit. Plenty of good ones, plenty of bad ones. Plenty that relate to you and your wife, and plenty that don't. So I wouldn't assume that her reason(s) were good or bad, and I wouldn't assume that they had anything to do with you or not. I also wouldn't try to guess the exact reason - there are too many.

It's pretty hard for a young adult to tell their parents that they don't want to visit. They know we want them to visit. They know it would be considered a nice/proper/good thing for them to visit us, and bad/evil/selfish of them to either decline to visit, or cut a visit short, or just not want to visit, or choose to do something else rather than visit.

One of the things I struggled with with my Mom was that she always tried to get me to stay longer any way she could - continuing the conversation, giving me things, asking me to help with stuff around their apartment, whatever. It would take three or four "Well, I'd best be getting going" before I could extricate myself. I love my Mom, and she was great, but this dynamic was problematic. First, it was counterproductive for her goals because it made me less interested in visiting. Second, it was a burden for me because I'd have to start the leaving process before I was actually intending to leave, because I knew there was a 15-30 minute lag to account for. We never really resolved it.

So I explained to my kids that I didn't want them to be in that same situation, so I've told them if they need to or want to go, then just say "Gotta run" and I'll respect their need to go on and do whatever it is they're going to do. No 15-30 minute lag, no guilt trips...I'll just reply with "OK, see ya, have fun, love ya, drive carefully" or whatever.

Who knows why your DD didn't want to stay and chat. If it is a good reason and it does have to do with you, though, you might see if you can find a way to get her to talk about it and then maybe you find a way to address the reason. Maybe you go on about the stock market and she's decided the market is boring or not for her. Maybe you ask about when she's going to get married or have kids or go to grad school and she feels pressure because she's not going to do any of those things because she doesn't want to or can't do them. Maybe you argue with your wife in front of her and she doesn't like the conflict. Maybe you try to extend the visits and that's enough of a hassle that it outweighs the benefits of a visit.

It is especially hard for kids to bring up these things to their parents. Parents don't want to hear that there's a problem with them. It's easy to dismiss it as the kid being wrong in their opinion or point of view. Kids are afraid of their feelings/opinions/thoughts being dismissed, or of being scolded, or losing their parent's affection, or being guilted into something, or of being misunderstood.

Or maybe she just had another commitment that gave her just enough time to drop the cookies and run, and a 1 minute conversation didn't make sense to her.

Again, not saying any of this is accurate - I repeat, I don't know you or your wife or your DD. I'm just projecting based on my own experiences with my own parents and adult kids and trying to empathize with both points of view.

HTH.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
Well, today did not go well. It had all the makings of a good situation, but in the end, DD is pissed off and I'm looking for some help to process this. Thankfully, it's not a huge deal, but I've found myself in this situation before, and would like to not have it happen again.

DD and I have been talking about baking cookies. We've texted back and forth about me coming to get them (she lives an hour away) but with the stay at home order, she would have none of it. And I totally respect that.

Today, me and DW get a text from DD that says look in our mail box. DD lives an hour away. She baked cookies and dropped them off without letting us know she was here. DW called DD. At first confused because we hadn't gone out to the mail box yet. But while on the phone, DW figures out what happened and (this is the problem part) instead of saying how cool it was for DD to drop off the cookies, DW questions DD on why she didn't say hi. In fact, we were out in the yard and she said she saw us but just dropped the cookies and drove off. DW is on the phone, but of course the peanut gallery (me) is in full swing asking the same question. Why didn't you stop? We could have stayed far away from each other (again, I respect that), but at least we could have seen her. FWIW, we haven't seen her since the holidays. Anyway, DD abruptly say she's gotta go and that's it. She hangs up, obviously pissed. In fact, DW says that DD said something like "no thanks for the cookies?".

I sent her a text saying how the cookies were a great thought, but that we miss her. No response. I'm sure this isn't a major issue, but as I said, it seems to happen regularly. Me and DW miss the "obvious" fact that we should have been excited for the gesture and insert our disappointment of not seeing her. Generically, we don't see the good through our lenses the way we should seem to.
My family always gets bent out of shape if I don't visit while in the area, but I've traveled a long way and I have other plans. Everything I do doesn't involve them. It doesn't mean I don't care about them, I just have my own life to live. If I spend all my time visiting, I won't get anything else done.

Your daughter was trying to do something nice. I'm sure she didn't have any bad intentions, she just wanted to drop off the cookies and be on her way to take care of other things. It was a nice day, maybe she just wanted the peace and quiet of going for a drive. Visiting with family can be time consuming and stressful.

Don't take it personal, she showed her love for you. Just say thanks, and let her know you look forward to seeing her again when things calm down. She'll visit when it's a good time for her.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:42 PM   #13
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I would text or call that you get her point, you are both sorry and promise to do better in the future. Leave out the "but that we miss her." That comes off as defensive and negates the sorry part by trying to justify your initial criticism. Flowers or a card would be nice. This is probably not only about the cookies. It is about her getting criticized even when she is bending over backwards to try to do something really nice. I'm guessing from her reaction the cookies might not be the first time she has felt this has happened.

Related article: A true apology doesn't include the word "but"
Nine Rules for True Apologies
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...true-apologies
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:51 AM   #14
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The advice you've received so far is really good. It's clear you're glad for the connection with DD and didnt mean to hurt her by criticising her actions. Telling her this is a great idea.

If I can speculate a bit, my guess is you are a bit lonely (like so many of us in lock down) so missing the chance to connect with DD stings more than it normally would.

I wonder if strengthening your other social connections might help. Do you have other kids you could speak with more often? Can you do a virtual game night with friends or neighbors? Is now the time to catch up on old emails that weren't returned?

By strengthening those other bonds, you might be more resilient and less likely to criticize when DD doesn't connect in the way you want.
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Old 04-27-2020, 04:48 AM   #15
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What a drag. The best thing to do is let it go. I have a DS with whom the relationship isn't what I would want.

Like me, you have what you have. Try not to be hostile and try to work toward making the relationship more like what you want.

You haven't seen DD since the holidays. Do you talk on the phone? Do you video chat? Start small. A weekly phone call with only positive vibes.
+1 spot on.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:22 AM   #16
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Who knows why your DD didn't want to stay and chat...Maybe you go on about the stock market and she's decided the market is boring or not for her. Maybe you ask about when she's going to get married or have kids or go to grad school and she feels pressure because she's not going to do any of those things because she doesn't want to or can't do them. Maybe you argue with your wife in front of her and she doesn't like the conflict. Maybe you try to extend the visits and that's enough of a hassle that it outweighs the benefits of a visit...
It could be anything, probably none of the above, but something like that.

I'll add another one: Some older folks are not taking the whole stay-at-home, social distancing thing seriously. It really bothers the people who love them. Worse, it irritates those who feel they've upended their whole lives to protect old people from a virus which many younger people feel won't hurt them.

This thing came as a real shock to all of us. We're all reacting in different ways, and it's going to take some time before new social norms are established. Meanwhile, there is friction between people who haven't come to the same conclusions about what we should, and shouldn't be doing.
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Old 04-27-2020, 06:33 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 04-27-2020, 08:50 AM   #18
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I don't read a ton into this except that everyone is on edge because this has consumed 99% of our daily intake. Things get misconstrued by not having the ability to live one's normal daily life.

Was just reading Dear Amy that now has picked up the ball on Covid. Many of the same situations.

Sorry this went bad. See if all can do a "do over".
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:35 AM   #19
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OP. IMHO. Very simple. Daughter did a good "deed". Very "concerned" about "Virus".
Did not want to "risk", any contact with elderly parents. Wanted to "surprise"
you with a treat.


Your reaction. Criticize and complain. And point "fingers". It's no wonder you have
issues.

Again, Please do not take this observation the wrong way. (I assume you wanted
responses, other wise you would not have posted). Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:54 AM   #20
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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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