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Aster's avatar

How would you turn down your determined, dependent adult daughter?

Asked by Aster (18860points) March 27th, 2011

How would you put it, what would you say to a very difficult, unwell mentally, adult daughter who you feel is planning to suggest moving in with you for the sole reason of saving money and leaching off of you? As in, wanting to avoid working at any cost? I mean, the arguing, destructive, depressive kind who doesn’t easily take “forget it” for an answer but you still wish to remain very distant friends and not hurt her feelings?

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24 Answers

jca's avatar

I would say “No.”

But seriously, I would just be very firm and insistent that it cannot happen. It’s your house.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I would tell her no and explain why only once.
If she continues to bother you about it,continue to say no and only that.

Aster's avatar

All these answers will be greatly appreciated. I’d rather live in a cardboard box than face this.

Aster's avatar

So I should say NO but not why I’m saying no?? That would hurt her “feelings.” not sure how deep those feelings run, actually.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Tell her that it is time that she stands on her own. Tell her to get a job, stop whining about things, and deal with it. She may get upset about this easily, but I’m pretty sure that you’ll be the one that she goes to when things get even tougher. She can’t stay away forever.

laineybug's avatar

I agree with @lucillelucillelucille , say no and explain why only once. After that just say “I said no, and I explained why, now drop it.” if she doesn’t drop it then you’ve got to stay firm in your position.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Aster-Yes,say no and tell her why.Once After that just keep telling her no.She will get it eventually, ;)

Aster's avatar

@KatetheGreat she can’t stay away forever? Why not? A good friend of mine moved away from her mother from texas to seattle and got married. . She has returned to visit twice in 10 years. She adores her life up there, her husband and terrific job.
Another friend’s daughter lives in California; the other in Arizona and my friend lives in arkansas. She has to fly out there if she wants to see them. So I guess these are examples of sort of staying away forever, more or less. But , true; these women are not like my older daughter. );

optimisticpessimist's avatar

I would tell her no. Tell her that although this might be a financially beneficial idea for her, it would be a financially detrimental thing for you. You would like to see her independent and happy and have a feeling the relationship you have would suffer if she were to move back home.

KateTheGreat's avatar

@Aster You see, my sister sounds just like you’ve described your daughter. My mother went through the same exact thing with her. At first, she was a little pissed. Once she realized that she was out in the real world, she pulled up her big girl panties and went in for it. She realized that she can’t rely on people forever. Now, my sister and my mother are very close. It seemed to have brought them together.

bunnygrl's avatar

For the sake of your relationship honey, it would be best to follow @lucillelucillelucille‘s advice and to explain that you love her, but need your own space. That this is not a small or silly request, it is vital, for your health and wellbeing that you maintain your own space. That you treasure your relationship with her, and for that reason, she can’t live with you. Then as @lucillelucillelucille has said, if she keeps bringing it up, just be strong and stay firm and keep saying no.

The fact is (and I know about this, having done it) that even with the best of intentions, through time you will grow to resent her being there, and maybe even start feeling as if your home has been invaded (I did, I’m sorry to say) eventually this will put a terrible strain on your relationship and you’ll end up feeling even worse than refusing her now will feel. Trust me on this. I felt like I had no privacy, and I was ill at the time and… well it didn’t help is all (even though I love the family member who was staying with us.) I know you’re her Mum sweetheart but you have to look after you too. Sending mountains of hugs, this can’t be easy for you <huggles> xx

Aster's avatar

I can truthfully say that within ten minutes it’s a nightmare. Not eventually or a few weeks but ten minutes. “I need my own space” is excellent. Of course, she’d lie and say it would only be for a “few days.” Based on an old boyfriend of hers who lives near me and their ridiculous scramble to make it work when it was a disaster many years ago. This guy is not a bad person. he cannot help it if he has an IQ of seven. And , for a “living” trains chickens to fight. I’m not making this up. Cockfighting.
His stripper wife took their baby and left him. I think that speaks volumes.
What she does is “run through” the down and out guys in each town with disastrous breakups. It’s really too awful to go into but she has not, as of yet, come out and mentioned moving in. She is at her “I’ll start dropping hints to mom tonight” mode.
I know her. She will always be lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

bunnygrl's avatar

You need some support honey, its not fair that you should have to face this on your own. Do you have anyone who can be a middle person, or just be there to back you up if you need it? Help you to stand your ground? Your daughter needs to know that you need to be able to come home and close your door on the world and just relax, as you said, be in your own space. Everybody needs that to re-charge their batteries, I know that I do. I love my hubby more than life itself but I do cherish the couple of days I have at home when he’s at work all day, just to be on my own and chill. I so wish I lived near you honey so I could try to help, even if it was only to be in a cupboard so you could open the door whenever you needed a hug :-) Sending hugs anyway. <hugs> xx

faye's avatar

What about having other family members tell her outright not to even think of it, other kids? My adult children come in and out like it’s a revolving door, they have no money, I get no rent. They do put in for food, though and they help me tremendously.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d tell her no and say it’s a bit of you feeling after your years of experience, work, blah-blah (you fill in details) that you are finally comfortable where you’re at and hope she’s able to live her life and rack up experiences through independence that will eventually give her the same feelings. Tell her you now know how important and rewarding it’s been for you to live as you have and tell her you wish her good luck to find her own way.

Aster's avatar

@bunnygrl Yes!! Long as my husband is around he will support me and ward her off like a fortress. (or a brick wall). And he is nicer about it that I am. Thanx for your kind words.
Everyone. (:

Seelix's avatar

Yup, tell her that you need your own space. Encourage her to seek treatment or therapy for her depression if she hasn’t already.

Be honest but kind, and if she gets upset, let her deal with that. Think about it this way – mothers and daughters have arguments. That’s a fact of life. Those arguments usually get less frequent as a daughter grows up, but that doesn’t mean you’re not mother and daughter anymore.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

While she is now an adult, she still is and will always be your daughter. Some children find it harder to let go of the dependency that parents can provide. Just tell her the truth: “I love you dearly, and it is with your best interest in mind to say ‘no’ to your request to move back in. I believe in you and know that you can support yourself, and that you will be all the happier in doing so.”

john65pennington's avatar

I hate moochers, especially if they are your children. I am lucky, I do not have this problem.

My daughter and her three children and husband moved in with us, when he lost his job in South Carolina. They had no place to go. They moved in with my wife and I. The months passed and the food began disappearing. That’s seven people under one roof. We gave them plenty of hints on seeking a job and moving, but they did not get the hint. Finally, I used the classified section of our newspaper, to circle places for them to move. They finally got the hint and moved.

You have to be careful with your kids. If you act over generous, some will take advantage of you. Before your daughter comes to your house, have some ground rules in place and make her sign a piece of paper that she acknowledges them. Both date and sign. Include a line that states she can be evicted, without being served an Eviction Notice. This will cover you, if you decide to set her belongings out on the street.

Good luck. You are going to need it. jp

Sunny2's avatar

I disagree with @john65pennington as to making rules. I think you should not let her get that far. Say no for any true reasons you have: “I don’t think it would work for either one of us.” She’ll argue, but I’m sure you have counter arguments. Say that you have been thinking about it for a long time and the answer is a definite and final no. Then be prepared for a storm, which backs up all your counter arguments. And do NOT feel guilty.

jca's avatar

you and your husband should discuss with your daughter so that she sees that you are united.

AGRSAV8R's avatar

I’m sorry, I’ve read through all of these answers, and I just disagree…this woman is an adult, not a 16 year old child still learning the realities of life. You do not owe her an explanation. I would describe her life to her, in case she is blind to it, and then ask “So, would you let this person come live with you, and support her so her life is easier? You have done nothing to warrant my assistance except take and take and take, you constantly make poor decisions, and until you hit rock bottom, you will not change. It’s time that you got a second job and worked though your problems, like adults do.”
One of our daughters showed similar tendencies at 19, and tough love got her back on the straight and narrow- she is in her final year of veterinary school now.

People will usually act the way you treat them. Treat her like an adult, and chances are she will eventually begin acting like one. Treat her like a whiney child, and she will act like one of those, instead.

In the end only you know your daughter, so you have to make the choice that is best for you, however.

Good luck!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Aster Will you provide an update? Did the daughter ever ask?

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