Dilemma: my daughter is bossy

Jo Brand / 23 December 2016

A reader feels her daughter is bossy and disapproves of her lifestyle. Agony aunt Jo Brand advises.

Dilemma: my daughter is bossy

My daughter is now in her forties and is becoming increasingly bossy and intolerant of me – from pushing me to downsize to criticising me for not being vegetarian, as she is. I am not a doddery old lady – I’m 69 – and want her to back off. But on the other hand, I don’t want to row with her as I love her dearly.

Jo Brand's advice

Poor you! I think you are suffering from a problem many women ‘our age’ have, because you have arrived in that age bracket that the rest of the population perceives as ‘old, ancient, incapable, in our dotage’, etc and therefore they feel entitled to start telling us how to live our lives.

Now, I know you love your daughter, but if you want to maintain equal status with her you are going to have to be firm at the very least. You need to talk to her, playing good cop and bad cop at the same time.

Something like, ‘I love you very much dear, but I am not prepared just yet for you to become my carer. I have all my faculties and am determined to continue to live an independent life. Oh dear, pardon you! Must be all those nut roasts.’ I am being slightly childish here, but if you mix humour, love and assertiveness you should be OK. If your daughter takes it badly, leave her to cool down. Stand fast and don’t feel guilty.

The (gentle, nice) fight back has begun!

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