Reply To: I asked my daughter on Thanksgiving why she didn’t tell me she’s no longer vegan

Home / Forums / Advice & Chat / I asked my daughter on Thanksgiving why she didn’t tell me she’s no longer vegan / Reply To: I asked my daughter on Thanksgiving why she didn’t tell me she’s no longer vegan

Avatar photo
Lucidity
November 26, 2023 at 1:08 pm #1126837

You want your daughter to feel like she can tell you anything. So, be the kind of person she would feel comfortable sharing with. Listen without judgement, respect her decisions, demonstrate unconditional love. Don’t ask for explanations, second-guess her motivations, express judgement, or dismiss her feelings.

When she casually mentioned the roasted chicken, you could have said “oh – you’re no longer vegan? I’m glad you felt you could share that with me. I know I can be pretty intense about my passion for veganism,” (maybe with a little chuckle), and then dropped it. You could have added “I hope you know that I love you, no matter what you choose to eat.” She would have felt seen, respected. I’m sure she would have been pleasantly surprised. Dinner wouldn’t have gotten awkward and she would have hung up realizing that her fears of telling you were misplaced and that she might actually want to talk you to more about her life and choices!

With the book thing, you could have accepted her answer when she agreed you should get someone else, and then just dropped it. That’s how most people would have handled this. I’m sure there were a lot of factors that contributed to her taking her time on that last project, and she told you some of them. Choose to believe her. You made it into A Thing when it didn’t need to be. If you have a habit of blowing things that shouldn’t be issues at all into big Things that require uncomfortable conversations, then you are absolutely difficult to talk to.

Speaking of – you disagree with her statement that you are not easy to talk to. That is her experience, and by dismissing it, you are saying that her feelings don’t matter. When she tells you things, like how she experiences communicating with you, or that she was too busy to get the book thing done, you seem to have a pattern of not believing her. Of course she doesn’t feel like can share with you. Of course she is guarded. Of course she is pulling away.

If therapy is accessible for you, I encourage you and your wife to attend. It could completely transform your relationship with your daughter, if you are willing to put in the work.