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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I get understanding from my daughter?

    I'm 44 my daughter is 24 and married with a little boy, I was a single mother and addicted to heroin served a three yr gaol term when she was 18months, we have come along way and been through alot, I also was in a very violent relationship, where it took me years to see I was putting him before her, it breaks my heart now and I try so hard to make up for the past. But it feels like she is making me pay for the hurt I put her through I've tried to talk to her about but she shuts me down and tells me I'm self centred. Thing thing that made me upset today was, I got a txt from her saying, Mum txt me when yr scabs a healed so kobi can see you. I babysit for her wednesday as she works. I've had a sore of my neck for a number of weeks and she just noticed it last week. I don't know what they were it jst came up in a blister and I scratched and made it worse. So I rang her and said I can put a bandaid on it and she said no, and I say but why, she say's I sound like a kid, I don't know help..
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  • 1


    With a passion to see people move forward and break free from the barriers holding them back, Grant is a highly experienced counsellor with over … View Profile

    Wow, this is a tricky situation. Sounds like you are doing what you can but really the power is all in her hands, especially as you seem to have a desperation to be involved in her life. I'd suggest you keep offering to help when you can but also focus on getting on with your life. It sounds like you have spent a lot of time pleasing others (ex-partners) and now you  are trying desperately to please your daughter - this gives her power over you, especially given the guilt you are carrying. Write her a letter (if you haven' already) let her know you love her, you are sorry for all you have done and  seek her forgiveness. Bepositive toward her and support her when you can. Then look at what you want from life. Build a positive future for yourself, a life that will attract your daughter and your grandchild to you. The scabs may be a power play or simply a neurotic first itme parent. Either way respect her wishes. Get busy in your life so that you are fulfilled and your daughter stops taking you for granted. Good luck.

  • 1


    Grace Gonzalez

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I am a counsellor with over two decades of experience working with non-for-profit organisations, private organizations, secondary education, community health services, and private practice in … View Profile

    Hi and thank you for your question;

    Grant Dempsey, counsellor above made an important about the importance of building a life for you. This is not an easy thing to do at the best of times so you might need to connect yourself with others who can introduce you to new ways of thinking and viewing the world.

    From what i have read it I feel you and your daughter have lived a difficult life especially as children. This pain experienced by both of you can be a big barrier in how you both communicate with each other therefore any attempt might feel like opening old wounds.

    Weather you do this with the help of a counsellor or alone, working and proving to each other that you can be trusted  to support each other will be the focus of your journey, I feel. The journey is one that will take courage from both sides. Your past might pull you into being your old self sometimes and that is normal and expected so do not feel you have to stay in that ‘past’

    Back to the point about building a life for you, doing so might be a way of encouraging your daughter to start seeing things differently also in other words lead by example might be the best way to parent your daughter at this stage.

    Good luck and travel light into your new journey!

  • 1


    I am a Melbourne Relationship Counsellor and Family Lawyer who is skilful in helping people get out of the pain of relationship distress and create … View Profile

    Wow, you certainly have been through so much, and you have come through it to raise a daughter who is working and caring for a child. It sounds like you are in alot of pain right now and I suggest you seek some professional help to help you continue to heal. One of the hardest relationships to manage is the mother - daughter one as it has strong pulls and depends so much on our own past experience. That is why it would help to get someone neutral to talk these issues through with you. I can hear how much you want to be a good grandmother for your grandchild and it is important in doing this that you seek to understand your daughter's perspective. There is a saying which is true that if we seek first to understand the other person's perspective that can take us along way in a relationship. I'm curious about your daughter's comments and maybe you could try and ask her gently with an attitude of curiosity saying that you want to understand her perspective. Then after really listening to her you could ask her is it OK for you to tell her how you see things. If she agrees then you might have an opportunity to be heard by her. She may not understand but at least she may listen. We cannot expect to see situations the same as our children but listening to each other and being heard does go some way towards building a bridge. All the best!

  • 1




    Deborah Hill


    Ask yourself this question. Are you the person you really want to be, doing the things you’ve always dreamed of doing?Honestly … ask yourself, who … View Profile

    Great answers, all of them.

    Truth is, you can't change your daughter, that's her job. The good news is, you can become happy in spite of her, by learning how to change your response to her behaviour. How she's behaving is her stuff, not yours. You've got your own issues and sounds like you're dealing with them very well, even to come on here and ask the question with so much honesty takes courage, good for you.

    I believe the most difficult thing in the world is to let go of the dream.. one day she'll love me, one day it will be different. It might be…. and then again it might not. It doesn't matter though, you can let go of the dream without letting go of your daughter. She loves you, we always love our mums even if they drive us crazy at times, we still love them deep down *smile*.

    There's a saying: Hurt people, hurt people!

    She's hurt by the past, but there's nothing you can do about that now, so let it go!  If you could have done it better, you would have. That's the truth, so stop feeling you have to justify yourself to her.

    You can apologise for the past, but that's it. If she can accept it and move on, good. If not, nothing you can do about it. From what you're saying you're aware of how your life impacted on her but it's over.

    It's about a living amends from now on, by being the mother to her that she's always wanted. It may take time for her to come round, but You keep moving forward and build a life for yourself regardless.

    Gradually, as you keep the focus on yourself and do your own inner work, you'll become happier and more content as time goes by. 

    Good luck and just take it one day at a time, all the best

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