@Midwestmom I’m sorry for the delay responding to you about this – it sounds like it was such a stressful situation for you. How are things going now? I really hope all has improved.
I wanted to say how impressive it is that you were able to take a step back and look at what happened and reflect on your actions, and to have the courage to say you regret your response to the situation. Please don’t be hard on yourself – everyone is capable of doing or saying things in the heat of the moment that they regret later, and it sounds like you were feeling very upset and protective of your daughter.
I think it is great you can acknowledge that with the benefit of hindsight it perhaps wasn’t helpful to your daughter to respond that way – recognising those things is the first step on the path to better things in future.
In terms of working on the relationship with your daughter, there are two lovely resources here from our website on supportive parenting and how to say 'sorry'. The second one is directed more at young people, but it has some great tips on how to apologise that might be helpful. I’m also wondering if there’s any chance you might consider something like accessing some family counselling with your daughter if she’s open to the possibility? Or if not, whether individual counselling might offer you a chance to talk through your feelings with someone objective who can help you to work out your plans for a way forward.
I really hope things have improved with your daughter since you posted this, but please feel free to post here any time you need somewhere to share what’s happening for you.
... View more
Hi @Midwestmom ,
My heart absolutely goes out to you reading this post I'm also a mother, my oldest daughter is a little younger than yours, so just on the verge of those tricky teenage years.
I am hearing so much guilt from you - and I really do understand those feelings! Mother guilt is unlike anything else I've ever experienced, from the moment my children were born. It comes from a place of immense love, and I know that I would literally take a bullet for my children.
That being said, I would really encourage you to try and treat yourself as you would treat your best friend - with compassion, kindness and understanding.
What I'm hearing from your post is that things got quite complicated for you when you realised that your daughter was in love with someone who quite possibly was toxic - or at least ,it wasn't the relationship you'd want for someone that you love so much. My daughter isn't quite at the dating age yet but we do have a lot of conversations about respectful relationships, consent, and making sure that she knows that she can always come to me if she needs support, no matter what.
I really love these resources to frame these tricky conversations with our young people:
Help teenagers have respectful relationships
Help your teenager develop boundaries
Building skills to help your teenager through a breakup
Your daughter knows that you love her unconditionally, and though I don't know either of you personally, I can hear that you are a strong and loving parent. I suspect that forgiveness will come, in time.
I just want you to know that you're not alone- parenting is absolutely the hardest 'job' I've ever had in my life.
Do you have much support for yourself @Midwestmom ? You truly do deserve to know that you're not alone, that you haven't ruined things - and that we all make mistakes. I make mistakes with my kids ALL of the time - but I always try and model for them that I am human, that I love them, and that if I stuff up, I will try and fix it.
I will also tag some other parents who've experienced similar challenges - you are not alone, and this community is a really safe and supportive space to get support
... View more