Irresponsible Adult Daughter Has Two Kids

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Dear Elsa,

I have gone through some really bad times with my oldest child: I had her when I was very young, her father left the picture, and I ended up leaving her in the care of my parents while I tried to get my life together. At least, that’s what I tell myself–but maybe it was because I was just too selfish to accept my responsibilities at that time of my life.

We started “our” lives together again when she was six years old and I swore to myself I would be completely honest with her about the situation I had created and tried hard to be as open and honest as possible. But I know that she has never forgiven me for leaving her and going into the military.

She started hanging with the wrong crowd when she was in high school, got pregnant and dropped out of school. I tried to break the cycle by telling her how hard it was for all of us involved to go down that road, but she did what she wanted to do anyway. She moved out of my home while she was pregnant, and now she has a second child and is barely making it. I keep trying to talk to her but she will not listen to a word I or anyone else says.

I love my daughter, but I hate the choices she is making and I don’t know what to do. She has turned into a very selfish and manipulative person (taking all she can from me and from other relatives and friends) and doesn’t seem to want a better life for herself or her children.

I don’t know what to do. I get so angry sometimes, wanting to stay as far away from the drama she causes as possible but also wanting to do what I can to help her get her life together. I know every person must run her own race… and she may not be meant to live the life I want for her… but I’m not sure what to do.

Do I keep supporting her in a lifestyle I know is wrong? Or do I tell her the bank is closed and she will have to do the best she can?

United States

Dear Mom,

You are within your rights to cut off financial support to your adult daughter and her children… your grandchildren. But it does not sound like you would be within your comfort zone, so you’re caught! However, I have a trick for you. Consider this:

First off, you have Jupiter rising and you are preachy. Don’t get pissed with that Aries Moon of yours. I just want you think about this like the Gemini you are. Think about how you preach to your daughter and think about how you try to control her (Aries Moon). And while you are busy doing all this, she doesn’t have to do anything. She just rebels! Get it? As long as you do what you do, she is going to do what she does… so how about you throw her a curve ball? Set some limits for yourself. I don’t know what you’re giving her – time, money or both. But how about you tell her what it’s going to be like this:

“I will watch your kids 6 hours a week and give you $200 a month and after that you’re on your own”.

But here’s the trick: You don’t get to say anything about how she uses the time or the money you donate. When you give something it is gone like a gift. And it’s her business what she does with her resources! And if you can restrain yourself from preaching and trying to control her, what will happen?

Well at first she will probably waste them, expecting you to come back in with your old tune. But if you can resist correcting her or interfering, she will have no choice but to stop and think,”Uh oh. Mommy isn’t acting like Mommy anymore. Could it be I need to grow up?”

And then she probably will. Because she has all your teachings and preachings already. So trusting that, get out of the way and give it some time and I think you may be surprised at the result.

Good luck.


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