I have been divorced for ten years and have raised two daughters by myself. My youngest, who is 16, doesn't like that I've begun to date again. She tried to blackmail me by letting her grades go down the tubes. She told me that if I stopped dating, her grades would go up again. I decided not to let her blackmail me. I continued to see the guy but we're just friends now. I know he cares for me, but he's hesitant to commit because he knows my daughter disapproves of our relationship. What can I do to change things?
Please tell her that you think you know what is on her mind and why she has been acting this way toward you. Tell her who you know she is--your wonderful, delightful, caring girl--and that you will never lose sight of that, no matter how she acts toward you. Let her know in words and with some physical affection that you and she will always be the closest of mothers and daughters and that no person will ever weaken your relationship. Taking this dilemma to a family therapist for a few sessions might help you both be heard and figure out how to deal with this better. A therapist can help you and your daughter stay connected, close, loving, and unafraid of the future. It's not easy, but it's worth the work.