Question: Dear Luise: I Have 2 adult daughters. They both hate me and I don’t understand why. I raised the by myself. No help from anyone, working 2 jobs when necessary. I grew up in the slums of Chicago and chose to give my daughters the best life in the the best atmosphere I could manage. I was a bit strick, but reasonable. I did spank them to maintain dicipline. I could not let my children grow up disrespecting me and everyone else. I have no clue why my eldest hates me. She purposly moved away and broke contact with me and her sister. After worrying myself into astroke, I realize there’s nothing I can do. I try not to worry about her and trust that God will look after her well-being. I learned that my younger daughter hates me because, according to her,when she was a pre teen I would beat her every morning before I went to work. For some reason she honestly believes that. The last time I touched her in a diciplinary manner, she was 6 years old and had some child in the house when I was not home. A definitely punishable offense. That was the last time because I felt so bad. I vowed then to use restriction rather than belts. I NEVER broke that vow! My daughter also accuses me of beating her with an extension cord. I NEVER did that. My younger daughter is really intelligent and at age 8 she read Mommy Dearest. I’m wondering if she somehow transferred that woman’s evilness to me. That’s the only explaination I can come up with. S.
Answer: Dear S.: If I had to guess, and that’s all it is, I think your daughter clearly remembers the strap. I have read that our whole make up is pretty well gelled at age 7 and we go from that foundation. I can’t begin to imagine how it would look to a little person from toddler to age six to see an adult advancing with a “strap.” And I doubt, if I had experienced such horror, that I’d expect anyone to be baffled by my future conduct. There’s no need to blame it on a book. A strap doesn’t engender respect, it brings only fear to small children and rage to adult children.
They are gone. You did whatever you did with whatever justification you had until you stopped. It’s time to move on without them because you obviously don’t have any choice and create your life being what you want it to be beyond parenting. Blessings, Luise