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My Daughter’s Throwing Away her Future for a New Boyfriend

Question:

Our daughter was forced to leave college due to alcohol-related problems. She has been attending a temporary college while completing her requirements. She has worked so hard and was so excited about returning. She has a new boyfriend and wants to stay at this mediocre college and then transfer somewhere. I believe she should have to follow through with her original plan, but my husband doesn’t agree. I feel let down and not supported.

Answer:

It's great that your daughter was able to turn things around for herself. As parents you did the right thing by being supportive and helpful during her time of struggle.

It sounds like you, your husband and your daughter had a plan worked out and since then both your husband and your daughter have detoured from the original plan. This situation comes down to a matter of control, and while you feel like your hands are tied, you still have a choice to make. 

As a parent you may not like or agree with the decision she's making, but if she is considered an adult it’s her decision to make. Instead of focusing on what you can’t control (your husband and daughter), focus on what you can control — your reaction to their decisions. You can allow her choice to frustrate you or you can decide to do something else.  If you and your husband agreed to financially support her or provide her lodging as long as she returned to her original college, then you get to decide if you want to continue supporting her or to cut her off.

It sounds like your daughter is still going to attend school and then transfer somewhere else, which is great. At the end of the day sit down and think about what's really making you upset — is it because she's making a bad decision or is it the fact that things aren't as you had planned them? Discuss your concerns with your husband and listen to what he thinks is happening. Listen to what he thinks is motivating your daughter to make her current decisions.

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