Why is it my daughter whose early 20s feels she must always be center of attention and pick fights


Posted by mom183150, 28th April 2016


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  • i think she needs to be reigned in. If it’s not done now, then it will continue



  • I’d say she’s probably not feeling very secure and needs reassurance and to build up her self esteem. I’d have a good heart to heart with her to see if you can find out what’s causing her to behave this way.



  • Some years have passed by since you posted this question. How is it going now ?



  • We all develop our identity in different pace and get shaped by incidents, experiences and people around us. It might not be necessary to confront your child with this, people around her and peers might do this. Up to us to love our children unconditionally. Giving attention when she doesn’t seek it in a negative way might help.



  • It could be a case of her thinking since she’s 20 she should be treated as an adult and the only way she knows how to do it is to draw attention to herself.



  • Could be a phase, perhaps she is upset about something. You could consider counselling, speaking to an outsider? Hope everything will be ok for you soon.



  • I use to do it, it is about pushing boundaries and also struggling to work out who i was becoming…

    I have two daughters so i am scared!



  • I can recall myself as a 20 year old and also my 2 daughters. Each one of us was determined to be treated and respected as an adult, while at the same time fearful of our status within the family if that did happen.
    I suggest your daughter is asserting her independence in what she already knows is a child like fashion. I remember my mother doing her best but my behaviour was “difficult” to say the least. When my two daughters reached that age I discovered how difficult it was for my mother and strove to recognize and respect their desire to be treated as an adult whilst they feared no longer being part of our family.
    Its much like when they were two and no doubt had melt downs, only now at 20 they are much more verbal. Be assured it will pass and in time she may well experience the same behaviour from her own 20 year old daughter. The only advice I can give is to determine not to rise to the bait when she’s attempting to start a fight, instead divert the attempt by mentioning something you find positive about her, and that even though she’s no longer a child she will always be a valued member of your family. Warning though, practice this beforehand so that you don’t sound condescending or patronising. Remember, it takes at least 2 to fight, so try not to engage her when she does “lay the bait” either ignore it or have another subject readily at hand as a diversion.



  • Oh goodness….hard to say without knowing more but I do know of someone who was the only daughter and grew up as Daddy little girl. She was always the one to get her own way and was indulged by Dad and Grandma who had always wanted a girl so when she had a female grandchild that little girl was indulged. Ive noticed over the years that if anyone is suddenly getting more attention then she will suddenly do something to have the focus placed on her. Sometimes the lengths she will go to are quite amazing.
    Best not to take her bait when shes in the attention seeking mood.



  • One reason could be she still has not grown up yet there for displaying this child like behaviour. it can be very tiring for the parents. Or she will just be one of those people who likes to be the centre of attention. Good luck with dealing with it and maybe if it is getting you down it may be worth talking to a professional to get some advice on how to manage the situation.



  • This sounds like my sister. Can you speak to someone in confidence that doesn’t know both of you.



  • Is there another relative or friend who will respect your confidentiality who may be able to find out what is bothering her. It may take time otherwise she may be suspicious of the other person’s motives, clam up and say nothing. I know a boy who will discuss things with his Grandparents and Uncles but will not talk to his Mum or Dad about anything. They may be able to help where you won’t be allowed to.
    Is your daughter being harrassed by a person she associates with, somebody she works or studies with, is she being pressured to take drugs or do something she knows isn’t right?



  • I hope for your sake it’s just a stage she is going though and she will come out the other side soon for you



  • Early 20’s can be a difficult time of figuring out who you are and where you are going. In the 20’s people are trying to assert independence but may still be dependent and this can cause friction. Best to not engage in the arguments.



  • I think it’s a stage they all go through at different times. I hope it settles and you can talk about it


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