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Help For My Adult Daughter's Anger

by Connie

My daughter is married to her high school sweetheart, and they have been together for over 18 years in total. They grew up in the same town, and went to the same church. Now, they are a happy family with a little girl age 4 and little boy age 1.

Both my daughter and son-in-law have always worked hard, have been good hearted, and honest. They would do anything for friends, family, or a stranger. My son-in-law is a very calm, kind person. My daughter is a wonderful woman, and is loved by many.

My concern is what my daughter's anger may cause. I don't think she realizes how hurtful she is to her children or her husband. She gets angry and lashes out, saying things that I am sure she doesn't mean. The sad thing is, she cannot take them back. I can see the distance growing between them, and the sad look on the grandchildren's faces.

Please advise me on a good way to approach her. There is a good chance she may get angry with me, and I am willing to risk that for the sake of her wonderful family.

Best regards,

Connie (Always a mother first...)

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Nov 06, 2014
What You Can Do To Help
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Connie

I know it must be very hard for you to see your grandchildren sad, and to see your daughter's marriage hurt by her anger.

These are the healthiest options you have, from my viewpoint:

1) Talk to her about how painful it is for you, when you see her anger and the pain it causes. Tell her that you don't want to be around it, and you're afraid you may have to spend less time around her if it continues, and you don't want to do that. (If you approach her from a parental viewpoint, you may actually make her anger worse, and not better. The only person who can deal with her anger is her, and she may not feel that it is a problem. The only choice that has integrity is the one I described above, where you're speaking about your own emotions.)

2) Keep your distance, and trust your daughter and her husband to work this out. Trust her to find her way, and to learn to deal with her anger, without your help. Be around her and her family when things are upbeat and positive, and when your daughter's anger shows up, politely excuse yourself

You signed your submission with, "Always a mother first." That could actually be a problem for you. Your daughter is grown, and your role of parenting her is over. But you are her mother, you love her, and you are a part of her life. So, it makes total sense for you to tell her how her anger affects you, but it is not healthy for you to try to get her to change or get help.

She's a smart person, as you've pointed out. Trust her to take care of this. Hold her in the highest possible regard, and shift your focus to your own life, interests and pursuits.

I hope you find this helpful.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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