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Mothers of young adults


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So, pondering here, how much to you butt in and give advice to your young adults? And do you ever give like deal-breaking advice (as in you better to things this way or else I won't be happy)?

 

I am just wondering, having a friend asking for input and not sure what to tell her as I also new to this field. The dd is interested in someone (we all don't do dating so things are more like courtship in our religion before an engagement/marriage fyi), he showed a strong interest but the parents did not want to pursue his heart's desire due to his young age. OK, the kids still love eachother, but understand they have to wait. This is the background and happened almost a year ago. Since then of course the girl is going stir-crazy, but wants to wait for him. She discusses every aspect of her relationship with her friends and her mother tries to advise her, to do this or that (towards him), She shares everything with the mother (and friends) -is that normal?? Anyways, the mother has begun feeling upset because of the way the boy's family totally has ignored the situation incl. the mother (she feels entitled to some correspondence/general friendship as they are in a smallish community to which she is slightly an outside). Most recently the girl has gotten some invites to some smaller girl-parties by people close to the boy's (where some mothers attend as well, btw, since our community is very family-oriented and no mixing of sexes). Well, the mother has not been invited and feels enraged and concerned with the pride of her family (and daughter). Think Arab pride kind of thing.

 

Sorry this got so long and convoluted. I have no clue how to advise this mother since I am still learning myself. In general, how much should a mother interfere without it seeming overpowering, and specifically, how much weight should the mother put on not being included in the social life if the daughter in a community that is family-centered?

 

I feel this sounds all silly writing it out, but in reality it is keeping the mother up at night!! The girl seems oblivious to not telling the mother everything and cannot see that attending parties where everyone is invited except almost for her mother does not put her in a good prideful position (and most of the people are related/close to the boy she is interested in/who loves her)....

 

I am stopping right now before I start going in circles!!!

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I think my answer won't help at all because I'm not in the same type of situation as your friend. We don't do courtship which involves some sort of control in your child's life, and I can't understand those dynamics. I mean, I'm not dissing the practice! I'm saying that if there is some element of control on that, then there must be some other elements of control in the entire parent/child relationship which would play a huge part in how much this mom feels she has the right to advise her daughter. Does that make sense?

 

I always tell my dd18 how I feel but every decision at this point is hers. Sometimes she asks for my opinion and sometimes I just jump in. But there are no harsh consequences for her not listening to me. I'll always be here if she needs me, even when she makes mistakes.

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I always tell my dd18 how I feel but every decision at this point is hers. Sometimes she asks for my opinion and sometimes I just jump in. But there are no harsh consequences for her not listening to me. I'll always be here if she needs me, even when she makes mistakes.

 

This. My dd shares almost everything with me, so I feel free to give my opinion. She is free to ignore it, of course. ;)

 

I can't even imagine a world where I'm expected to attend all social events with my adult daughter, though, so this is probably not much help to you or your friend.

 

ETA: hope that didn't sound disrespectful. I do respect it; it's just not a part of our reality. :)

Edited by Mejane
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Well, it is not really patriarchal like that and the girl's reputation is not on the line (nobody is thinking neither she nor the boys are crossing boundaries), but the thing is that she'll be considered easy, or less prideful, or something like that to the boy's family... At least the way her mother and I are interpreting the culture!

 

I understand what Night Elf is saying. That is my point, I guess. Yes, our girls are growing up, but their line of communication with the other sex (if considered for marriage) has specific guidelines and I guess that includes talking with the mother....

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It is normal for young girls to want to talk in detail about boys they love with their friends, to answer your first question. I would be concerned about how her mother isn't invited to these parties, of course, just as she is given the customs involved. You mentioned that her mother is from outside the community, but I'm not sure what that means. Are both mothers Arab Muslims? Are they from different countries or something? It can make it a challenge and I don't know enough to say much about this. I was a bit confused at one point. is your daughter's friend telling her mother everything and/or the boys mother everything?

 

I don't know how to suggest advice because I don't know enough to know why your friend wasn't invited, too, or if your religion forbids a girl to go to a girl party without her mother at that age (I'm assuming not.) It doesn't seem to bode well, and yet the fact that people close to this boy are inviting the girl suggests that they are interested in getting to know the girl he loves.

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Haha, Karin, thanks for at least trying to understand all this!!

 

Girl's mother is out of the group that her daughter is hanging with. Marginalized due to geography and present location (and also she does not have a history with the other ladies). I should add that the boy comes from a very, well, popular and important family in the community here (the parents and especially the father is quite well-known). One of the parties in regard is a bachelorette-party for this boy's sister, held by a family friend, and to which the girl got invited along with other peers. And other female adults attending of course, but no invite to the mother of the girl. The girl is dying to attend and show off (in a good manner) and make an impression on the boy's mother, but it just does not feel right that she attend this party (party of the year for the girls??) if the mother is ignored, yes?

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Haha, Karin, thanks for at least trying to understand all this!!

 

Girl's mother is out of the group that her daughter is hanging with. Marginalized due to geography and present location (and also she does not have a history with the other ladies). I should add that the boy comes from a very, well, popular and important family in the community here (the parents and especially the father is quite well-known). One of the parties in regard is a bachelorette-party for this boy's sister, held by a family friend, and to which the girl got invited along with other peers. And other female adults attending of course, but no invite to the mother of the girl. The girl is dying to attend and show off (in a good manner) and make an impression on the boy's mother, but it just does not feel right that she attend this party (party of the year for the girls??) if the mother is ignored, yes?

 

If the culture is that both should be invited, then yes, she should stay home to show that she is virtuous and respects her parents, which is hard to do if you're a girl in love. If it's not required or would not make the girl look bad, disrespectful or too easy, I wonder if she went once and made a good impression if things could change for the mother, particularly if she was picked up and driven there with one of the other girls' mothers.

 

Is this Arab culture or part of practicing Islam? Not that it changes things for the girl, but so that I can better understand, since not all Arabic people are Muslims.

 

ETA could she send a well written note thanking the hostess for the invitation, etc, that could help?

Edited by Karin
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