”My grown daughter is distant from me. Help!”
If you can relate to the complaint above, keep reading.
Before you get all worried and worked up about how you’re on a slippery slope with your grown daughter, be aware that this is an issue that isn’t peculiar to you.
It is a worldwide issue, and other parents like you have struggled with this reality.
Now don’t think it’s because you are a terrible parent or doing a poor job building a relationship with your daughter.
It may interest you to know that your parents probably felt the same way about you some time ago.
The cause of the distance is growth.
However, it becomes an issue of concern if your toddler or nine-year-old child is distant from you.
That should make you a little more worried.
But for teenagers or young adults, it is not unusual.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let us explore why you are thinking, ”my grown daughter is distant from me’.
My Grown Daughter Is Distant From Me: 4 Reasons Why
1. She is Growing
We already mentioned this but let us talk about it a bit more.
Growth is a big deal to everyone.
Notice that when you got a promotion, expanded your business, or even attained a new degree, you weren’t so free to do the same stuff you usually did with people you loved.
You stayed away from bed some nights; you got home later than usual, and all you wanted to do was shower, eat and sleep.
When your loved ones complained, you told them to be patient with you because you needed to adjust to your new level.
Now fix your daughter in those shoes.
Her body is experiencing changes, and so is her mind.
She is becoming more aware that she’s no longer a ten-year-old.
A lot is going on in her head and her body that she’s new to.
Therefore, she needs time to adjust.
If you don’t understand this, you will be constantly plagued by thoughts of ‘my grown daughter is distant from me’.
2. She’s A Girl
Before you think this is some gender bias talk, wait a minute.
Your concern isn’t about a son.
It’s about a daughter, so that’s the answer you should expect.
She’s a girl, a lady, a woman.
You will agree with me and any other person on this earth that women are more complicated than they appear sometimes.
You have a daughter, so you should expect she’d be a handful in some areas.
Girls have a lot of hormonal ups and downs that affect their attitudes, appearance, and emotions, especially as they mature.
You may think she’s keeping the world’s biggest secret, but she doesn’t want you to know that there’s a pimple on her cheek.
Girls have a different outlook on life and seem to become more enclosed and secretive as they mature.
In this phase, many girls desire privacy and want people to respect that.
And yes, that may include you: the mum who changed her diapers some years ago.
3. She’s Going Through Something
Part of the reason you feel your grown daughter is distant from you is because she may be going through or have recently gone through something unpleasant or painful.
It could be a failure, disappointment, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, bullying, a breakup, or some form of embarrassment.
These things shut young people up and keep them in a shell, so don’t be too quick to think you’re the problem or your daughter is just being too closed up.
There could be an underlying cause, and you can only find out when you ask with wisdom.
4. She’s In Love Or Has A Crush
You probably didn’t see this coming, and yes, this could also be a reason for a girl to be distant and so glued to her phone or diary.
There might be someone showering her with another kind of love and attention she has never seen before, and she has most likely shared her first kiss already.
Being aware that she’s appreciated as a woman can make her distance herself so she can bask in this newfound feeling.
It’s like she’s a different person.
Now that we have seen a few reasons why your daughter is distant from you, we should also look at some practical ways to help you.
”My Grown Daughter Is Distant From Me”: 5 Ways To Fix This
1. Understand Your Daughter
No two children are the same.
Understand and appreciate the uniqueness of your daughter.
Resist the temptation to compare her with your other kids, her brother, or even her twin sister if she has one.
She’s unique, so treat her differently and understand her.
Everyone has a love language.
Find out hers and speak her love language to her (You can get the book: The Five Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman to learn more about this).
2. Be A Friend And Not Just A Parent
Sometimes parents are moved by emotions and fear that makes them not to listen to their children speak.
Give her room to be free with you and express herself.
Share some of your experiences with her about your teenage and young adult life.
They will help her see that she’s not necessarily going through anything new.
Don’t judge her, don’t ask too many questions, and don’t interrupt her with a stern look or a judgmental sigh or shout when she tells you things she has done or things she’s going through.
When she speaks to you, listen like a friend, then help her as a parent.
3. Respect Her Privacy
While trying to win her heart and friendship, respect her privacy.
Don’t badge in on her, read her diary, go through her chats, trail her in school or at rehearsal.
Give her her space, but always be there.
4. Are you also distant?
Before you say she’s distant, ask yourself, have you also been distant and absent in her life?
How much of your presence has she had when she was growing up?
You cannot be absent through her growing years and expect to become her best friend when she has grown up.
So fill your part of the gap and then carefully allow her to fill hers up.
Otherwise, you’ll keep singing the ‘my grown daughter is distant from me‘ song.
4. It’s a phase
Most times, it’s just a phase.
It will pass.
Be patient with her; teenagers listen more to friends than parents, but soon they’ll grow and come back to your arms, as long as you keep them wide open and approachable.
Allow her to get used to herself as a growing woman.
Pay attention to her.
If she has been abused, or experienced a failure, help her get out of it and boost her confidence.
Never talk down on her, never shut her up, never give her room to think the whole world treats her the same way, be her new world.
5. Validate her
Studies have shown that the need for validation increases when a child becomes a teen.
That’s why many girls get caught up with social media or their friends.
Here’s why some of them would change their personalities to please strangers.
They want to know they fit it and they’re special.
At this stage, highlight all her strengths.
Tell her all the lovely qualities you love about her from her childhood days.
Add some proof if you can.
Show her pictures of when she displayed her uniqueness.
And lastly, tell her you love her until she gets it.
At this stage, she needs constant affirmations.
She needs to know that there’s someone who loves her unconditionally.
Tell her and show her the depth of your love, and you’ll close the gap faster.