Why are some mothers critical and controlling even when their children are adults?

Question by : Why are some mothers critical and controlling even when their children are adults?
I am an adult and have children of my own and yet in my mother’s eyes I am doing everything wrong. Don’t get me wrong I love her and I am grateful for everything she is done but how is it she can make me feel so inferior? Why do they do this and how can I avoid being like her?

Best answer:

Answer by Jason
First she probably always was a little bit, you just didn’t notice it ’cause you were a kid. Second, you are no longer her little kid, so she is deprived of being the good mother now and is resentful. Third and last she’s just getting older too and may be becoming a little grumpy.
I wouldn’t worry about becoming her, it’s your life. You may or may not be close, or have a lot in common, and some traits are past down. Just keep being your wonderful self w/ confidence, everything will work out.

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3 thoughts on “Why are some mothers critical and controlling even when their children are adults?”

  1. well you are an adult now. Trust your own judgement. Fact of the matter is she DOESN’T know everything, and neither do you. But it’s better to follow your own instincts and not hers. She was in your position too, and do you really think she was a “perfect” parent? No. Everyone learns on their own. Good luck.

  2. Just because you grew up does not mean she did.

    How can I advise in a short note? You control you. What I mean is she can have opinions, but it is up to you whether or not to take them as gospel. If you value her opinion and think there is truth, ask her for some specifics. I suspect you do not share her opinions, but allow them to creep into your psyche because you feel unsure about yourself. If this is true and she is full of it and it is hurtful (how can’t it be), you should could tell her that it hurts when she criticizes you and that you wish she would only say such things if she feels that the life of your child is in imminent danger (like, Angie, you should not let Baby Sue touch the flame with her bare hand). Tell her you are doing your best (if you indeed are) and that you would like a little relief from the armchair quarterbacking. What you need from her (say this) is a little bit of affirmation. What are you doing that is worthy of praise. tell her you will get along better if there is less tension and concentration on your skills. Tell her you want to enjoy her, not dread her. Does she like it when others criticize? She can learn to control her tongue.

    here is the thing. You know why she does it, because SHE does not feel good about herself. I know weird! Keep that in mind. meanwhile when she doles it out, ask yourself if it is true. If your immediate answer is no, then you MUST discard it outright and never let that criticism creep back in. If it tries, you pinch yourself, say cut the crap Angie and banish the thought and think of how well you controlled your temper that morning when your child decided to fling her cheerios across the room.

    It is the small victories.

    You avoid being like her by actively making sure every day that you do not criticize. Not to your children, your husband, your friends or your forlorn old mom.

    Good luck. Remember no guff from her or your own conscience.

  3. Most parents never quite get over the idea of their children being adults and not needing them; it’s just a matter of how they handle it.

    With that in mind, some of her critiquing could be an effort to benefit herself more than you. She wants to feel needed, so by pointing out the things you’re doing wrong, she gets to correct you and try to lead you like she did when you were a child.

    Another possibility is sheer selfishness. Once in a while, there is a person who doesn’t feel confident in themselves, and that drives them to the point of insulting others to make themselves feel more superior. This is the category my dad falls under. Usually this is more of a subconscious thing and they don’t realize they’re doing it, and if she’s anything like my dad, she’ll deny it and claim that she’s doing nothing wrong.

    While I believe my dad’s major problem was #2, my grandma always tries to tell me that it’s more of an “approach to parenting”. According to my grandma, my dad constantly critiqued me and told me I wasn’t doing good enough because he wanted me to keep trying my best. In other words, he though that telling me I was doing good would make me settle where I was at and stop trying harder later on.

    Whatever the reason may be, I know it hurts, and it can drive you away. It drove me away from my dad. You shouldn’t have to put up with it, but she is your mom…It’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to put up with, and if you ever reach that point, it’s up to you to decide how you want to deal with it. You can limit your time with her, you can try to stand up to her and tell her back off (they are YOUR kids), or you can try to learn to just shrug it off.

    But in all that I suffered from with my dad’s treatment, I was able to learn what I DIDN’T want to become! It helps that my husband was able to meet him and see exactly what he did, and while I’ve never gotten to that point, I know he’s there to point it out to me later on if I ever start acting like him with our children. But like I said, I haven’t reached that point yet, and I think I understand and despise my father’s behavior enough to keep myself away from turning into him…and I’m sure you are too.

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