Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2015 Contents 9
www.mn.catholic.org.au Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
The family situation you describe is
sad and unfor tunately, many other
families reading this will be able
to relate to you. As a parent, we
spend a lot of time during our
children's younger years helping
them to fix their problems and encour aging
family as an impor tant value in life.
However, your children are adults now and
it seems as if your influence and concern
is not having the impact it may have when
they were young.
You have tried a variety of ways to
encourage improving the damaged
relationship between two of your
daughters. Counselling is an option some
adult siblings take but only if they are both
willing parties and do not feel forced to go.
I am going to suggest a strategy that
probably will not fix your daughter s' ill
feelings towards each other -- but you seem
to have already tried many without success.
I suggest now is the time where you take
a step back and let go. Although it may be
uncomfor table for you and your family, your
daughter s' conflict belongs to them and it is
up to them to decide if and when they will
do something to work on their relationship.
As their mother, you should let them know
you are ready and willing to suppor t them
anytime. You can let them know why you
have tried hard to help them resolve their
conflict -- because you care and you want
to see them happy. But do be prepared
to be told that your effor ts ar e not
welcome -- this may not be because you
are unwelcome a s their mother, but rather,
your advice may not be welcomed for a
number of reasons . It may be that they are
not ready to address their issues, perhaps
they do not want to address their issues
and even though this may be difficult to
imagine, they may not be as uncomfor table
with the situation as you are.
Please star t telling your self that as a mother,
you have done the best you could, you have
done your job in raising your children and
you no longer need to pick up the pieces
for your adult daughter s. Instead of focusing
your energy on "fixing" your daughter s'
conflict, consider spending time with each
daughter, maintaining healthy relationships
between you and them. Tr y not to engage
them in discussions about what is wrong
with their lives and talk with them about
the good. Sometimes, parents end up in the
middle and accused of inter fering in their
adult childr en's lives, which could create
Often as parents, when we see our children
str uggling, it is extremely uncomfor table
for us and our own discomfor t is what we
end up acting on. If you feel you would
like fur ther suppor t on how you can cope
with this difficult situation, you could talk
to friends or family. Or perhaps you could
consider counselling for you -- not for the
purpose of "fixing" but for the purpose of
suppor ting you in dealing with the family
situation you never hoped for.
CatholicCare's Counselling Team
Leader, registered psychologist
Tanya Russell, will address an
issue each month.
The advice provided is general
in nature and does not replace
ongoing support and advice
from your health professional.
To talk to someone about
counselling support, P 4979 1172.
Email your question to
write to Aurora-CareTalk PO
Box 756 Newcastle 2300.
I am a very tired mother of three adult children. Two of my daughters have struggled to get along all
throughout their teenage years into adulthood and I have tried to do all that I can to help repair their
relationship. Nothing has worked and their hostility towards each other impacts on all of us -- my third
(amicable) daughter and I end up being stuck in the middle constantly. I am considering offering to pay
for all of us to attend counselling to see if we can support them further. Is there anything else that would
be helpful in such a complex family situation? As a mother, it is so hard to see my children behave so
negatively towards each other and I just want them to be happy.
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