Your daughter is ever more her own person now.
Much or all of her life is lived away from your home.
She has a family of friends and colleagues who populate her life.
She gives you glimpses of the woman she is becoming…
… and flashbacks to the child she was, and sometimes still is.
She needs you, and she doesn’t.
She wants your opinion, and she doesn’t.
She seems so sure of herself, and then she doesn’t.
You know that you need to trust her to make her own decisions now, but sometimes you can’t quite.
You know it’s natural that she make her life her own, but sometimes that makes you feel like you’re losing her.
Invite your daughter on a date. Regularly. Monthly if you can.
All relationships need feeding. Do not take your relationship with your daughter for granted – make a space for her, outside of the everyday interactions you may have, where you make a special effort. Even when she is still living at home, schedule treat-time together. Especially when she is no longer living at home, find ways to stay in touch.
Just at a time when it can seem like her life is filled with other things, keep the space open for her.
Invite your daughter to the cinema, cafe, day trip, sale, mountain bike ride, rock climbing, sauna, belly dancing class.
If you live far apart, arrange to watch the same programme and then call afterwards; or handwrite her a letter; send her cuttings from magazines/newspapers that you think will interest her (no hidden agenda); set a time to skype and each open a bottle of wine or brew a pot of tea and eat cakes (send her the cakes!)
At this time in her life it will be important for her to feel that you are revising your relationship with her, allowing her to become the woman she is, and no longer treating her as the little girl she was.