Archive for January 26th, 2006

January 26, 2006

Daughter uses your column to call me controlling…

by Rod Smith

Q: My daughter (15) has read your columns in the newspaper and on the Internet. She says you’d call my behavior toward her controlling. If I suggest she do homework or tell her she cannot go out whenever she wants or that she can’t stay at a friend’s house then I am accused of being controlling. I tell her I am being a good mother. Please address this.

Response: Telling a teenager when to be home, expecting homework to be done or monitoring teenage activities is not controlling behavior on behalf of a parent. Parents are uniquely anointed for the task of guiding and disciplining their children. It is essential that parents express clear expectations and demands upon their children.

Your daughter has correctly observed that I regularly address the problem of controlling behavior, parading as love, among adults. I believe it remains true that love and control cannot coexist within the same relationship.

But if making clear demands on your daughter is something the child considers controlling, it is not you, the mother, who is displaying controlling behavior. Your daughter, through rather unsophisticated and naive means, is attempting to control you. Do not let her succeed. Such success will not serve any young person’s highest interest.

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