“My daughter avoids me like the plague. It seems she can’t stand the sight of me.”
“I can’t have a decent and respectful conversation with my daughter. She’s so mean to me.”
“Each time I try to suggest anything to my daughter, she yells at me. I feel so afraid of her.”
”Why is my grown daughter so mean to me?”
Do these statements sound familiar?
Do you find yourself thinking of the adorable little girl who couldn’t take a step without holding your hands, and you wonder why she has become so mean?
You didn’t raise your daughter to be mean.
She was a sweet little girl who grew up to be a beautiful young woman.
But now she’s all grown up and angry at you for one reason or another.
And she’s taking it out on you by being cruel, sarcastic, and downright mean.
So what’s going on?
Why is your grown daughter so mean to you?
I need you to know that it isn’t always about you or that you are a terrible parent or a horrible mom.
In fact, there is a high chance that your grown daughter’s mean and disrespectful words and attitude aren’t about you.
I will show possible reasons your grown daughter is mean to you.
Why is My Grown Daughter So Mean To Me?
She’s trying to assert her independence and adulthood.
Every parent always has the instinct to want to guard, guide, and protect a child.
This is so even if the child is grown and independent.
Most parents can’t help wanting to know everything about their grown children’s private life, jobs, and relationships just because they want to guide and guard and protect them.
What if your instinct to always look out for her, to protect and guard her, are in the way of exploring her life and learning new things, advancing in her chosen career?
Don’t you think that as much as you mean well, she would do everything possible, including being mean to you, to get you out of her way?
She’s an adult.
She’s still your child.
But she needs to be free to explore her world, make mistakes and learn from them, learn new things and meet more people, and your parental instinct may be in her way.
2. Her coping mechanisms are unhealthy.
She may be going through stress, a traumatic experience, or dealing with challenging emotions such as anger, loneliness, depression, or anxiety.
She may be under pressure at work, having an identity crisis, or struggling with the responsibilities and challenges that come with adulthood.
If she doesn’t know how to manage those internal and external situations, if she tries to ignore, suppress, and avoid her emotions, challenges, or stress, she may likely take it out on you and other close people around her.
If she lacks adequate support or comfort in her challenging times, she would most likely be mean to the people around her, including you.
3. She may be crying for help.
Adults cry for help too, not necessarily by shedding tears but by lashing out and using mean and insensitive words on the people around them, including you.
Her meanness could be a sign of an underlying issue that has been ignored for long, a past experience, or childhood trauma that has not been processed, which points to the fact that she needs to feel her pain, process her hurt, and heal from them.
So yeah, your daughter may have some unresolved issues that may have nothing to do with you personally, but she has transferred them onto you because they’re easier to deal with than her problems.
She might also be using these feelings as an excuse to get back at someone else who hurt her in the past — like an ex-boyfriend.
4. She lacks good communication skills.
Yelling at you, lashing out at you, and using mean and insensitive remarks may be the only way she knows how to communicate.
Many people don’t know how to communicate effectively, and this lack of skill can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
This is not good, but it may be one of the reasons she’s mean to you.
5. Your parenting style was toxic.
Your grown daughter’s mean attitude and words may not be about you, but it could have a lot to do with your parenting style and how toxic and controlling you were as a parent.
Your daughter is an adult, and she has learned one or two things about parenting, mental health, and behavioral patterns, and she now sees how your parenting style has negatively impacted her.
She feels unable to make a single decision for herself because you made every decision for her and never gave her any chance to be herself, and now, she resents you for how you raised her.
6. Your relationship with her has always been strained, and she’s tired of putting up a pretense.
You may have abandoned her due to personal or marital issues, and she grew up without you.
Even if you were there physically, you didn’t carve the time to be available for her and to nurture her.
Now, you want to establish a relationship and build a connection with her.
Of course, she’s bound to fight back, show resentment, and resist you, which could translate to being mean to you.
Resentment is a deep-seated feeling of being wronged or mistreated, making us feel bitter and angry toward the person who caused it or the situation itself.
And when our children are little, we don’t have to worry about their resentment.
They’re too young to know what it is or how to express it.
But when they grow up… well, things get tricky.
7. She blames you for something.
Your daughter may be acting mean to you because she blames you for something.
Maybe she feels like you made her life harder by not allowing her to date a certain boy when she was a teenager.
Maybe she feels like you were too strict or maybe too lenient.
Maybe she feels you should have been stricter with your other children, and she feels they got away with more than she did.
She may even blame you for marrying her alcoholic father, who emotionally abused her and made her life hell.
She may blame you for her deadbeat father, who was never there for her, thus leaving a vacuum in her life she’s been trying to fill with something else.
She might believe her life would have been better if you had made better choices.
Now, being mean to you is a way to make you feel guilty or pay for her experiences.
If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, all hope is not lost.
The relationship you share (or want to share) with your daughter can improve.
It can evolve and be the best you’ve ever had if you stick to one or more of these ways: –
What To Do If Your Grown Daughter is So Mean To You
Create time and a safe environment and talk with her.
Talk about your feelings, past mistakes, her mean words, your toxic parenting style, and anything that needs to be addressed.
Sweeping them under the carpet and pretending they don’t exist won’t help.
Talk, talk and talk.
Try not to be defensive.
A good conversation happens when parties feel heard, valued, and respected.
Show respect with your words and encourage her to share her feelings and talk about everything she wants to talk about.
2. Listen to understand, not judge her or defend yourself.
It’s not about the intention behind your actions.
It’s about how your actions affected your daughter and how they made her feel.
Listen to her and offer your sincere apologies when the need arises.
3. Your daughter is a grown lady and an adult; you need to accept this and start seeing her as one.
You are still a parent, but your parental responsibilities and relationship change as your daughter grows.
As an adult, she would have boundaries and may make certain choices you don’t approve of.
You have to resist the urge to control her choices and decisions and learn to respect her boundaries and choices.
You can only give your opinions and pray for her while she makes her decisions.
4. Commit to offering support as much as you can.
This may involve listening intently as she shares her challenges with you, offering a kind word, resisting the urge to give opinions, or booking a session with your family therapist to help her cope with her challenging emotions.
Your support and encouragement would go a long way in assuring her that she’s safe, and it would reduce the tendency to lash out and be mean to the people around her, including you.
5. Consider getting professional counseling from a licensed therapist or psychologist.
There’s no shame in seeking help from a professional when dealing with a difficult family situation.
You may feel like it’s too late to seek counseling for your daughter, but that’s not true—it’s never too late to get help.
If you are concerned about your daughter’s behavior and want to discuss it with someone who can help, talking to a licensed therapist or psychologist can be one of the most helpful ways to address this issue.
They’ll be able to help you figure out what’s going on with your relationship and how to move forward in the best way possible for both of you.
6. Join support groups.
You can also try joining a support group for parents whose grown children are being mean to them.
This will allow you to talk about what you’re going through with others who have similar experiences and learn strategies for dealing with the situation.
The relationship you share with your children is one of the most important relationships in your life.
So every effort to make it work is never a waste.