I raised strong kids, and now they hate me.

Dear Harriet: I feel like my children are losing my respect as adults.

When your children are young, they look to and rely on you for everything. My children are all college age and older. They are leaving the nest and not looking back. They project their bad childhood memories onto me, saying I was manipulative and a liar.

But parents, we know what it’s like when kids get into trouble or when they get into trouble as a teenager and they just don’t listen. I did what I needed to do to raise smart, strong kids, and I think I succeeded. All I want now is to enjoy a mature relationship with my children, but they want nothing to do with me.

I feel like I gave my life to them, and now I’m hated and alone. Was I a bad mother?

Miss My Kids

Dear Miss My Kids: For some families, intimacy between parents and adult children requires time and separation. Without knowing your particular situation, I can say that it takes a long time for many young people to leave home and make their own decisions.

On the one hand, they have the lessons and values ​​that you have instilled in them. On the other hand, they have personal agency and need to act independently. This can cause friction for some young people and can trigger strong emotions in both parent and child.