my daughter and I are too close of friends and if I pull away she feels unloved what do I do?

by Casey Smith
(Boston, MA)

I have been a single mom since my daughter was 2yrs. My daughter 13yrs old and I have developed a friendship and at times she tells me too much of her personal issues.

I think its ok to a degree but she needs to talk to her friends her age about these things also. When I tell her this she feels I am pushing her away or rejecting her. I just feel that some of the subject should be peer related and she would know she is not the only one with issues.

She wants to be perfect or have no issues in her life. I get to emotionally drawn into the issues and it effects me.

I do not know how to bring space in our relationship without her feeling rejected. She has self esteem issues as it.

Comments for my daughter and I are too close of friends and if I pull away she feels unloved what do I do?

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Too Close for Comfort
by: Sara

Hey Casey!

Thanks for writing!

First...let me say that I applaud your recognition of this issue, and your desire for your daughter to connect to her peers. Bravo! I see so many women create a codependent relationship with their children in order to fill their own needs. You are a very good mom!

You have correctly identified that your daughter feels safe with you, and because of this, she doesn't feel compelled to reach out to her peers.

Because she doesn't reach out and make those peer connections, she doesn't experience success with those relationships, and her self-esteem suffers. This is the core issue.

My advice is to help your daughter identify peers with whom she can begin to build a connection. Are there 2 or 3 classmates that she would like to invite over, or out to a movie? Discuss how her interactions occur throughout her day, and guide her to begin to make connections with others. Some people will become close friends, and some will just be people she chats with in a particular class.

What are her interests? Help her to connect with others with the same interests. As her skills grow in areas she enjoys, the relationships will come along.

As she begins to connect with others, the conversations she has with you, will begin to transfer to her peers naturally.

My best,

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