Such a thing as "too" detached?


Well-Known Member
I've wondering about that lately. Especially after one of Daughter's outbursts over the weekend. She doesn't deal well with disappointment.

Big meltdowns over the years when something didn't work out the way she expected. One comes to mind when a friend's Mom canceled a Bar-B-que that she was looking forward to. That was a bad one.

So, her latest was over (it gets kinda dicey), but she was suppose to go to a fast food restaurant with a neighborhood girl. This girl's family is a bit odd. They are the same ones I had the seatbelt issue over. Anyway, she comes home and gets some money. The girl comes with her. Then, she goes back, and helps the girls brother with some computer related thing, and the girl and her Mother leave Daughter behind. No, they didn't go in and say "Hey, we're leaving". They just left. Daughter comes storming home extremely upset.

I try to be calm and tell her that the girl and her family are strange and do strange things. Anyway, Daughter gets more upset and says, "I'm going to get a knife and kill myself!". I'm like, "fine, whatever".

Daughter says, "Oh yeah, I'm gonna do it!". I hear her rummaging in the kitchen and she comes to my room with a BUTTER knife.

I just kinda roll my eyes at her, so she declares she's running away. It's 10pm. My reaction: "okay, fine, run away, but don't expect the door to be unlocked when you decide to come back"

(My intention being I would allow her to stew a bit before letting her in)

However, a few minutes later husband comes home and she comes into the house with him. More arguing and finally it gets dropped.

I've told her that if she tries to pull any of this after she is 18, she will have to live elsewhere. I won't have it and I mean it. I have major PTSD after years of rollercoaster living with my DAD and all his drama that lasted well into my 30s. I want peace! I will fullfil my obligation to both of my difficult children, but I'm NOT going to be manipulated, used, and called an abuser, in my home ONE second longer than I have to.

I love my children. I advocate, protect, and provide a secure home for, them. But, I sometimes wonder if my detachment from them is more than what is necessary, or dare I say, normal?

Any thoughts?



Active Member
I don't think there is a normal with our kids. Normal detachment issues are the first day of school, leaving for college, getting married, getting a drivers license. Our kids force us to re-write the book. If it works for your family go with it.


Well-Known Member
Are you feeling a bit guilty because you didnt get more upset when she started the hysterics? If so, I dont think you should. I think you handled it just fine.

I have told mine many times to feel free to leave or what have you. I think I offered to help Cory pack a bag when he was 6.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I can't imagine you can become too detached with a manipulative difficult child. You played this one out - difficult child took it up with dad because you weren't giving her the reaction she was looking for.

I bow to your ability :bow: - I'm impressed.

As to being too detached; I become so very weary of all the "antics" detachment is the only way to survive.


Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think you handled it fine. That family does sound strange-very rude to leave her behind. I don't think you were too detached. It's interesting-my difficult child will often get more upset when I don't react the way he wants.


New Member
You need to take care of yourself. I think you did what you needed to do at the time in order to not get dragged into her meltdown.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #663366"> okay, feeding her dramatics would have only made things worse.

warning them that if they behave how they are behaving now....and possibly even worse....will mean they will be looking for lodging elsewhere being too detached? no, i don't think so. it's placing the responsibility where it squarely belongs ~~~ on their shoulders.

i'm thinking that if, when they reach 18 or so, if they are well behaved (well relatively lol), working/going to school & not causing major ruckus all the time you would have no problem with-them living under your roof. am i right or wrong about this?

a big part of our job as parents ~~~ esp of teens ~~~ is to prepare them for the future. telling them if they stay the course their future will be elsewhere is nothing less than doing your job of preparation.

</span> </span> </span>

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Honestly? I think you handled her drama just fine.

I dunno about being too detached. Everytime I start to wonder if I'm having that problem something comes along and shows me it isn't a problem. :rofl: So I've stopped worrying about it.

Maybe it's more that you've become experienced enough with difficult child's ways that you can pick up on whether or not the situation calls for your full attention.

in my humble opinion, I think you handled the situation well. We can't be sucked into every dramatic situation that difficult children present us with. We'de have nothing left of ourselves... WFEN


I think there's such a thing as being detached from the hysterics versus being detached from the pain your daughter is feeling. This is just my opinion, but I wouldn't roll my eyes or say, "fine," when she says she's going to kill herself. I would empathize ("I'm really sorry the family left you behind. That must have really hurt your feelings"), and then I would not react to the drama of pulling out a butter knife. At a calmer time, I would recommend sitting down with your daughter and exploring appropriate ways she can cope with sadness and disappointment. That's what I'm working on with my kids.


Well-Known Member
Adding my 2Cents worth here... not only did you do fine, but I'm taking notes so I can learn something from you!
Also, I'd seriously consider working on alternative friends for your daughter. Those neighbors sound strange. No one needs "Friends" like that, and with-a difficult child, as you can see, it only gets worse. I'd suggest that she find herself terribly busy all of a sudden whenever this family calls. FWIW.


Well-Known Member
Thank you all. That question has been floating in my mind for a while. I don’t know, I suppose I thought I might be causing some sort of damage that would affect Daughter later on as an adult. I know it sounds rather silly, but hey, I live with difficult children and my reality is just a TAD warped at times. I needed to do a reality check and make sure I’m not over-detaching (if there is such a thing).

As for the neighbor, Daughter was very angry. Even deleted her from her “friends” list on MySpace. Though, Daughter had a consequence for something she did yesterday and got her computer privilege removed for a week. She mentioned this afternoon she wasn’t as angry, but still wasn’t ready to forgive. I have had numerous conversations with her about this friend (not a very good one, IMNOHO). I have had conversations with her about the family. Basically, they are good people, but have weird issues and do some odd things. However, they have done some things that have hurt Daughter. Still, because of Daughter’s few friends living so far from us, this is someone she can hang out with that lives close. I always caution her when things look like they are getting a bit chummy. I’m polite to friend, but she can sense I don’t like her.

I’m fairly black and white on that issue. You hurt my kid: I don’t like you. Nice to my kid: I like you.

Daughter does have plans to attend community college, locally, after high school. Then, transferring to a university after two years. So, of course, she can live at home rent-free as long as she is a full time student and is passing her classes. But, if unnecessary drama starts, I’ll probably be showing her the door.

She and I talk a lot. She’s not one to keep any secrets and I do talk to her about how she might handle things better in the future. Of course, I have to wait until she calms down. Honestly, she has come a long way from when I first came here. I guess I feel the PSTD whenever she starts with the histrionics and I feel the protective wall go up emotionally.

Okay, well, I feel better.

Again, thank you.


Well-Known Member
I'm glad you two talk. That's half the battle. Of course, you don't need the drama, but it's still better that she can come to you. :grin:


Well-Known Member
I usually wait until difficult child calms down, too. But sometimes when I am feeling extremely relaxed and she is not getting to me, I calmly tell her just how inappropriate her reaction is and what she might do differently to get a different result. Sometimes it makes her go to her room and slam the door. Other times she doea actually stop and think (this did not happen before turning 15, I would say). Either way - I get peace again!