Growing up


Q: Masters, I am becoming worried for my daughter. When she was young she was very sensitive and always came to me when she failed at anything. She is now in college, and I have noticed that when she is unsuccessful with something, she becomes depressed and goes within and shuts me out completely. What can I do to help her?

A: You are witnessing your daughter growing up. In the past you have taken all of her problems and made them go away. She never had to deal with the consequences of her actions. You told her that everything would be all right and to forget about the problems, that they couldn’t hurt her.

Your daughter never received a sense of limits—what she could accomplish and what was not a strength. You fought even the tiny battles of childhood, the traumas of adolescents, and if given the chance you would insulate her from the big bad world of adulthood. You thought that was the duty of parenthood.

She is taking control of her life and examining her possibilities. Since she hasn’t had much experience, it is not an easy thing for her and she has to go within to see how she feels about things. All she is used to hearing is your voice giving her counsel, and see needs the quiet to hear her own inner voice. It may appear to be a depression but it is only contemplation. She is taking the first baby steps of assuming self responsibility.

You both will get through this. You will have your daughter back, but the grounds rules will be different: she will be making her own evaluation of  situations.