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My daughter no longer wants to be a part of the family business.


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12 minutes ago, ConcernedMom said:

My daughter has long graduated college, LootieTootie, and is now working. And her job is WFH and when she was still living at home and working (same job), again she has a very low-stress job and she could take many breaks throughout the day so she is not that busy.

Well that's good she has free time but why is there an obligation to spend her free time on your business? If you believe that children should help parents then I think your daughter has done that already a lot in the past. In a sense she's repayed you.

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14 minutes ago, ConcernedMom said:

DancingFool, if anything were to take off we would like to retain full rights so we are pursuing self-publishing. And most published authors are pushed to the side and neglected by the agencies in favor of a select successful few, so many published authors find they have to promote and market their books on their own too. We've researched this decision a lot and feel confident in it.

Right. So what will happen to this big dream of yours if your daughter truly and fully walk away and you can no longer use her?

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We would have to rely on my son to edit and help with emails or get an editor which would be the second choice. And my husband and I would keep going -- maybe these books are nothing today but maybe they will turn around in the future, even after we pass.

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14 minutes ago, ConcernedMom said:

We would have to rely on my son to edit and help with emails or get an editor which would be the second choice. And my husband and I would keep going -- maybe these books are nothing today but maybe they will turn around in the future, even after we pass.

Why not do your work yourself? 

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I can sense in your posts the passion you have for your business and that's great! If you and your husband are managing financially and you enjoy it then why not keep it going, I agree with that. Also nothing wrong with your children helping you but only if they WANT to. If they don't want to then I think it's not fair to ask this of them. I know it's really important to you so maybe you feel like your kids should understand that. 

For example, let's say when your daughter was a child and she loved ballet lessons. Just an example. So you paid for all her ballet lessons and you took her there. Now maybe you feel that because your business is your love, your "baby", that your children owe you something towards it. But the thing is I don't think that's really how being a parent works.

You do everything for your kids while they're kids but when they're older, yes they should help you but to a degree. For example, your son might help you carry a new couch you bought or put up some shelves. Maybe you go away on a trip and your daughter looks after your pets. Things like that. But helping with your business is an ongoing thing and requires commitment. And in particular if you sense your daughter isn't really interested in it then it's not right to pressure her.

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30 minutes ago, ConcernedMom said:

I will be the first to admit my husband and I are creators not English teachers 😁 We can get by, of course, but my daughter is better at it.

If you want to write books you better be good at grammar and spelling etc and not rely on other people. You don’t seem to be getting the point . 

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6 hours ago, ConcernedMom said:

She is turning 25 very soon.

Ok. She does need her own place, paying job, friends, interests and life. Skip the "family business" stuff and just be a mom and dad.

Find others to get involved in your endeavors. If you want editors, pay people.

Perhaps you and your husband could find some other paying jobs in the meantime to finance your "family business" and whatever employees you need to hire. Your children are not supposed to be your unpaid labor. You and your husband need to prepare for retirement with real jobs.

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I find this post completely triggering.  You are not entitled to how your children live their life.  You are not entitled to dictate on how they should spend their time.  Your children help(ed) support YOUR DREAM.  But they have every right to chase theirs.  Be supportive of what your children want.

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Respect and honor your daughter's wishes.  Be proud of her financial independence because this is what we raise our children for.  I'm a mother.  Think how you were as a young lady.  I'm sure you had aspirations, hopes and dreams for your future whether it was education, career, meeting someone, eventually marrying, perhaps having children and a life separated from relatives.  This is how life should be.  We raise children to fly away from the nest and be on their own.  This is reality.  When children grow up, they're adults and sometimes you'll only see them when they have time off from work or just holidays.  It's the way it is. 

You are fortunate that she's only 30 minutes away.  Millions of families are separated so far that inconvenient, expensive traveling by airfare is required or long distance travel by car or rail.  You are incredibly blessed. 

Concentrate on your business with your husband.  Your daughter has her own life now so step away and let her live it.  It will improve your relationship with her when you back off and realize she is her own person. 

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My parents owned a business.  There is no way I wanted to be part of it.  I went my own way and fast forward.  I met my husband and he's a superb father of my two great sons.  We live a very established, settled, stable and peaceful life in the suburbs.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.  🙂

  

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It can be hard to separate the practical from the emotional, but you'll need to do that to avoid harming your relationships with your kids.

I loved writing papers in my first years of college. By the end of my master's I resorted to drinking screwdrivers just to complete my work.

Overdosing on even the best of things is unhealthy, and once a loved thing becomes a heavy OBLIGATION, it's no longer FUN.

I would offer daughter work-free visits to come do her laundry while I feed her fabulous meals or no-obligation meets at her favorite restaurant or fun walks or activities--just to bond--even while I'd remove the pressure of forced labor immediately and hire a professional to do what they are trained to do.

I think you will thank yourself later, and maybe your family will enjoy some happy brainstorming while sharing board games and good laughs during holidays well into your future--as opposed to estrangement as guilt and pressures break the love apart.

I'd vote for family bonding without implied contracts any day! EnjOy!

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I don't understand why writers would forego some quick, easy lessons on grammar, spelling and sentence structure in favor of trying to guilt or obligate their adult child to do these things for them. Do you intend to never learn these things and just rely on your daughter to do them for you forever?

Lessons on just about anything you can think of are available online. Try Skillshare or another platform. Low cost, easy and an investment in your own career. And it'll take this burden off of your daughter (and son) so they can do what you hopefully raised them to do; have their own happy, productive lives doing what THEY choose to do.

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2 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

she's needlessly breaking away from it.

She needs to follow her own life, goals and dreams, not yours.  Same with your son. You and your husband need a better business plan and part-time help that you pay. You also need day jobs to save for your retirement.

Set your children free. Isn't the point to get them to the edge of the nest so they can fly on their own? Be grateful and proud you were able to do that.

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2 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

Can you understand my perspective a bit?

Not really, because your perspective relies on an awful lot of "ifs" and "maybes".

And let's say your books do take off. Why does your daughter have to be involved? Why can't you take some time to learn proper sentence structure, grammar and spelling? What is preventing you from doing this yourselves? Why wouldn't a professional writer WANT these skills?

And finally, you (and all parents) don't get to dictate how our adult children choose to spend their time. It's not for you to say she should be willing to dedicate this or that much time to YOUR dream. That dream is yours. She's not obligated to contribute to it.

I don't understand why you aren't proud of your daughter for being an independent, productive member of society.

I don't think your daughter is the one being selfish here, TBH.

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32 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

Hello everyone, this is Concerned Mom but I was locked out of my account so I had to make a new one. I guess I just want her to think long term, because we are trying this all for our kids and you never know what could turn around. That has happened many times, people discover books way in the future and they become successful. Hell, in my wildest dreams, an executive sees the books (and our very professionally designed book covers) and wants to make a TV show or movie about our series. This could happen after we pass and my children are well into their adulthood and it becomes something major for their future families. You never know. And her help is a big part of making that happen.

In my view, family members should support each other's projects! I bet if my daughter completely dropped the business, she would still expect us to pay and come to her shows, buy any future albums she releases, etc. While not supporting us in return. And we would still go to shows because that's our daughter and we love her, but overall, how is that fair?

We have been in the trenches for this for 10 years, and there's no reason to leave when I know she doesn't spend that much time on editing. It can be a small part of her day for a few weeks, and we're willing to wait longer for it. We really depend on her (she knows our discomfort with sending proofreaders who are strangers our electronic copies and how expensive they are) so this feels like selfish abandonment.

So many families have nothing to bring them together and we have this beautiful thing and she's needlessly breaking away from it. And I want her to think long-term! If this succeeds, this can set up a great financial legacy for her future family and her children's children in the future. She's a direct part of that succeeding, and she is walking away from it.

Can you understand my perspective a bit?

I think you have a bit of an old fashioned mindset in regards to this. I know 50 + years ago, if a family owned a business, they expected their kids to work in the business. Also parents expected to influence their children on what education they got, who they married, etc. I think these days most Western parents have a different approach in where they allow their children to make their own decisions when they're actually adults. 

To be fair your business actually isn't that financially successful. I'm not trying to be rude but this is what you said yourself. But even if it was successful, if your daughter lost interest in it then that's actually her choice. Just because you own a business doesn't mean your children have to want to be part of it. The important thing is that they have a job in life and they support themselves.

The example you gave about going to your daughter's shows isn't the same as her working in your business. You would probably only go to her show once in a while. And it's not a job, it's just going to a 1 - 2 hour show. I'm sure your daughter would go to events that are important to you too. Here you actually expect her to work unpaid and it does take more time. 

Also I don't think it matters why she's lost interest, the fact is she has. And her life probably will become different in future too, like for example getting married and having kids. Then she might move further and only visit once a month or something like that. I think you need to work on accepting the situation.

I don't think it's "selfish abandonment". You are making this all about you. You actually don't seem to care what your daughter wants. It's all about what you get out of it, and that's free work for your business. 

There's nothing wrong with having dreams but we all don't know what the future holds. You can keep working on your business but you don't actually know if it'll become successful or not. So far it hasn't made much money. That's why it's important that your son and daughter have their own career. That way they will be financially secure and can provide for themselves and their family in the future. Doesn't really make sense for them to put time and effort into a business where they earn nothing when they can actually earn real money in other jobs. With that money in future they could buy a house etc. You should care about their future too and not just yours.

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56 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

n my view, family members should support each other's projects!

Why-because they are related? What's the should about.  How about parents should support their children's desire to spread their wings and leave the nest? Anyway I support my sister's post-divorce career - by listening to her, by cheering her on, by referring business her way (because she's so darn good at what she does!!) - but she never asked me to help fund her new career (she had to go back to school in her 40s for it) and never asked or expected my "support".  I gave it because I adore her and am proud of her.

When I was in my early 40s I had lunch with my aunt and uncle and told them that my bf and I were very serious and that I planned on relocating from our home city for his career were we to marry - and at that point that likely would be about 800 miles away.  My uncle said to reconsider moving so far away from my parents. 

My parents knew one of my life goals and dreams was to get married and start a family.  They loved my bf/now husband.  They were going to miss me for sure but they never dreamed of asking me to reconsider  - despite knowing how much harder it would be to see our future child, etc.  Because they are supportive parents -they supported me spreading my wings.  I sure hope and plan to do the same for my son (who is 13 so..... not quite yet!!)

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45 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

In my view, family members should support each other's projects! I bet if my daughter completely dropped the business, she would still expect us to pay and come to her shows, buy any future albums she releases, etc. While not supporting us in return. And we would still go to shows because that's our daughter and we love her, but overall, how is that fair?

I don't think this analogy quite works, for a few reasons, and at least encourage you to try to see it from some different angles.

Going to a show, buying an album—that is support. As would be: going to a book reading, buying a copy. What you are asking from your daughter, right now, would be more like her asking you to produce her albums, correct the sound, edit the liner notes, coordinate the tour, drive the van, whatever. More than support, in short. More like employment.  

But more critically, I think this hypothetical you've offered as "unfair" is fair because you and your daughter are not equals. In choosing to have her, you chose to support another life, hers. But a child's job is not to support a parent, but simply to live their life, grow up, and grow into their own unique selves. What's unfair, I'd say, is for a parent to expect a child to support them as part of the unwritten bargain of getting to be alive.

1 hour ago, Parent10000 said:

Can you understand my perspective a bit?

I think I understand your perspective. It seems to me that you really, really want your daughter to remain super involved with the books, and you really, really want this to be The Big Beautiful Thing that connects the family, and are right now getting the sense that your daughter does not see things like this, does not share the exact same view as you.

And that, for the moment, feels like abandonment. That's tough. But a feeling is not always reality, you know? Your daughter has barely been alive as an adult, has very little experience figuring out who she is, what she wants. I think if you can find a way to work through your feelings about all this, and support her by letting go of the expectation that she mold her life around your dreams, you will find a lot more beautiful things that will bring you together: some yours, some hers, a potluck of sorts rather than a menu written only by you.  

 

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1 hour ago, Parent10000 said:

In my view, family members should support each other's projects! I bet if my daughter completely dropped the business, she would still expect us to pay and come to her shows, buy any future albums she releases, etc. While not supporting us in return. And we would still go to shows because that's our daughter and we love her, but overall, how is that fair?

I reread this and frankly, I'm disturbed by the concept or belief that having children and parenting is a quid pro quo arrangement. That our children OWE us for choosing to have them and providing for them. Or that we have the right to withhold our emotional support if they don't do the things we think they should do when they become adults.

Just wrong, IMO.

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I think the bottom line is support and actually working for someone (unpaid) are two different things. Support is usually emotional and I'm sure your daughter does support your passion for your business in the sense she's happy for you that you enjoy it. The key word being YOUR business, not hers.

Also abandonment usually means leaving the person completely, no contact, no interactions. This is not at all what happened with your daughter. She lives only 30 minutes away, she keeps in touch. Isn't it a bit dramatic to use the term "selfish abandonment"? 

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It's wishful thinking on your part and you can't force your daughter to be part of the family business against her will and desires.  She has her own life.  You and your husband raised her and now it's time for her to be financially independent so let her. 

Keep in mind that there's something to be said about becoming smothered from too much togetherness which often occurs from working together at a family business.  Family members can get on each others nerves from being together at work or tethered online.  The dynamic suddenly changes from being a family to tensions as family working together.  There are no boundaries and space. 

The only selfishness here is you as the parent.  Let your daughter take her wings and fly away because this is the natural course of life. 

You are lucky.  She is only 30 minutes away.  Most families do not have this luxury and only get to sit down together for a holiday meal once or twice a year if that.  Sometimes traveling is expensive and inconvenient and millions of families are unable to be together every year.  Count your blessings. 

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