Life Advice



A Mother Retaliates to Daughters' Snubs

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: Are you aware that, according to experts, approximately 25% of adult children do not speak to one or both of their parents? I'm in that situation. I gave my two daughters everything they wanted that I could afford to give them: dance and music lessons, dive and soccer teams, trips throughout the U.S. and overseas and expensive private schools of their choice. While my daughters wore designer clothing, I bought my clothing from discount stores. I never beat them or spoke unkindly to them or about them. I was always very proud of them.

Now my daughters are in their 30s, and neither one of them speaks to me. The last communication was a phone call I made to my 32-year-old daughter who, when I asked her what I did to deserve to be treated this way, said she wanted us to go for family counseling so we could have an "ADULT relationship" (emphasis on adult). I told my daughter to make an appointment with a counselor and I would be there. That was 1 1/2 years ago and was the last I ever heard from her. I finally took her off my phone plan last month. Isn't it ironic that the person who wanted an adult relationship with me allowed me to pay her phone bill for an additional 1 1/2 years?

Instead of doing what I did in the past, waiting for the rare text (regarding going out to dinner one time while they're in town) and appreciating what I had, I moved on. I'm currently packing up all of their belongings that they left in my house when they moved away, and I am putting it all outside for them to pick up while I'm out of town. I changed the locks on my house so they can't get in. Then I'm changing my will.

I'm surrounded by people who love me, want the best for me and treat me with great respect. Those are the people who are going to benefit from my estate. -- Ungrateful Daughters

Dear Ungrateful Daughters: What you are is hurt by your daughters, and so you are trying to shut them out as a way of retaliating. That might make sense on the surface, but it is not the best thing in the long run. You can't control their actions, but you can control how you spend time with them.


You are angry at their inability to grow up. Don't let that anger totally destroy your relationship. They are your daughters. Why don't you take the initiative in setting up family counseling instead of being angry that your daughter proposed it but failed to follow through?


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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