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I feel very depressed and angry with my children because my love has turned them into monsters of selfishness

heart to heart About the Questioner
Philosophy: I would describe myself as an agnostic who is interested in searching for the truth in terms of human existence and some major philosophical issues.
Hopes and aspirations: To contribute to a better world for me, my family and the rest of the people. To be able to enjoy the simple things in life and to be loved.
I have two grown up children, a son 26 years old and a daughter at 19. It is approximately 9 years that my son has been studying abroad and since he left my daughter, who had been very fond of her brother, entered a very difficult puberty. She has been very rude and hostile to me, she does not accept rules and once at the age of 16, when her father asked her not to spend too much time with her boyfriend because she did badly at school, she left home for two days. The situation goes on the same for years. My husband is very fond of her and does not react fearing her reaction. Her brother takes her part and he does not speak to us anymore. I am desperate because all the attempts to approach both my children have no results. It seems like we speak different languages. I have spent a lot of time and energy for my children's upbringing, they have been the top priority in my life. I feel very depressed and angry with them because my love has turned them into monsters of selfishness. Could you suggest to me a way to tackle the situation?
Reply by Coach Phil Evans
Phil Evans It is my strong feeling that your daughter is reacting to her surroundings and the amount of rules being made for her, and how they are delivered.

Teenagers, younger children, and often adults too, can develop anger and rebellious behavior because they don't feel heard ... listened to ... acknowledged for how THEY feel. Without saying or suggesting anything judgemental here, I would suggest that you try to stand back from the situation a bit, and look at it differently. Try to see it from your daughter's point of view, if you can. This is not about you and your feelings just at the moment; it's about doing your best to connect with how your daughter is feeling - and why - and starting to do things differently. If you do things differently; you will get different results.

Therefore I would recommend a different approach: if what I've already said makes some sense to you, then do your best to get your daughter to sit and have a conversation with you, based on you telling her that you really want to listen to what she has to say about the way that she feels; and that not only do you want to listen but you really want to 'hear her' - that you want to hear and understand what she is feeling - by consciously listening without saying one single word. Yes - that's right - please just allow her to speak - and respect what she is saying - even if you don't agree with it!

Even though she is only 19 - and your daughter - she deserves to be shown respect. And that is often one of the biggest hurdles between parents and their children; that the parents demand respect from the children but don't show any respect 'to' the children. They are people too, regardless of their age. And I am hoping that this explanation and suggestion to you is not taken personally - because I don't wish to offend or judge you. I dearly wish to be of some assistance to how you are feeling - and to help you and your family to find some inner peace and harmony. This response of mine might seem quite harsh to you - but I must say it as I see it - based on my experience with situations like the one that you have described. If I have mis-interpreted or mis-understood this situation - then please forgive me for that. You did mention that you are angry with your children and I would guess that they are feeling that anger, and reacting towards it by their behaviors. I sincerely do hope that this loving and caring challenge of mine does help all of you.

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