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


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The legacy? We would leave a glut of books and other projects completed that could turn around and become financially successful in the future, which would benefit my children. If in the future my children are searching for a creative project to launch (to make money, for fun), they can use our books as the endeavor, and perhaps they will know how to turn it around and make it profitable in their future.

Do you know why I say "us, our"? My husband pours his heart and soul into these stories. And he has done the very vulnerable thing of putting them in front of his family for multiple rounds of comments, critiques and suggestions, each and every book. He or I don't just have an idea and squirrel away to complete the idea in the way it's usually done. He has offered his books -- what usually is a solo endeavor -- as the way he will create something for the family. The business we dreamed of could have been anything: it's my husband who offered up and offers up his books as the vehicle to do something for our family. 

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What also hurts is that this clearly means our daughter doesn't believe in us anymore. Maybe she hopes we can do it, maybe she wishes us the best, but she doesn't truly believe it will be us who will get it there...

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1 minute ago, Parent10000 said:

What also hurts is that this clearly means our daughter doesn't believe in us anymore. Maybe she hopes we can do it, maybe she wishes us the best, but she doesn't truly believe it will be us who will get it there...

Please don't assume that just because she doesn't want to work for you at this point.  You and your husband chose to launch this business.  To make sacrifices.  That doesn't mean your daughter owes you or "the family" her working hours or her leisure time.  And, I mean, I have a son -and the truth is-our children don't ask to be born, right?

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You just keep repeating the same thing.

Bottom line? This is YOUR dream, YOUR hope that this project of yours will turn out to be profitable "in the future". But it's not now, and it's actually wise of your daughter to pursue other ways to earn a living.

If you insist on imposing your will on your daughter you can look forward to possibly having no relationship with her at all. Are you willing to risk that?

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It's a vulnerable thing to come to a forum like this, putting a sour spot in life up in front of an internet chorus. And it can be tough when that chorus starts singing a variation of the same tune, and not the tune you were hoping for. 

But if this exchange is any indicator, I can understand why maybe you and your daughter haven't found a way to talk about all this with more nuance, as you don't seem to acknowledge the many viewpoints here—how they may be relevant to your situation. There is your view, your way, your story, and anything that contradicts or complicates that seems to bounce off. 

Something to maybe reflect on. 

7 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

What also hurts is that this clearly means our daughter doesn't believe in us anymore. Maybe she hopes we can do it, maybe she wishes us the best, but she doesn't truly believe it will be us who will get it there...

This is awfully dramatic, no?

Doesn't believe in you, has abandoned you, is being brutally selfish: these are the sorts of phrases that editors dial back in writing, so what's communicated is more resonantly human, just as they're phrases that can be dangerous to fling around as humans. 

A few posts ago I asked you: Have you spoken to your daughter about all this? Have you asked her about how she feels about working on the books and listened to what she shares? It's a concerning thing, from the bleacher seats: all these words here, and very little in them that gives a sense that you are thinking, and caring, about your daughter as a human being independent of you and your dreams. 

 

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1 hour ago, Tinydance said:

You keep talking about leaving all this legacy to your children but leaving what exactly?

A trail of resentment for all of the emotional manipulation.

This course can be changed right now--it's a decision and a willingness to put your relationships with your kids TODAY above all else. You'll thank yourself later.

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Children are not an extension of ourselves.

We have the privilege of influencing them while they are young but whether you like it or not, they will become an individual.

Different thoughts, opinions, desires and aspirations.  

Reading your words seems so backwards to most of us.  Especially those who have launched young people into the world and encouraged them to chase their dreams and then going to sleep every night praying that wherever they end up that they feel fulfilled and happy.

She doesn't want what you want.  It's not wrong.  It's only different.  And the mention of her different desire is some how in spite of you?  How on earth did you get here?

Honor her individually.  Or not. . at your own risk.

 

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33 minutes ago, Parent10000 said:

The legacy? We would leave a glut of books and other projects completed that could turn around and become financially successful in the future, which would benefit my children. If in the future my children are searching for a creative project to launch (to make money, for fun), they can use our books as the endeavor, and perhaps they will know how to turn it around and make it profitable in their future.

Do you know why I say "us, our"? My husband pours his heart and soul into these stories. And he has done the very vulnerable thing of putting them in front of his family for multiple rounds of comments, critiques and suggestions, each and every book. He or I don't just have an idea and squirrel away to complete the idea in the way it's usually done. He has offered his books -- what usually is a solo endeavor -- as the way he will create something for the family. The business we dreamed of could have been anything: it's my husband who offered up and offers up his books as the vehicle to do something for our family. 

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What also hurts is that this clearly means our daughter doesn't believe in us anymore. Maybe she hopes we can do it, maybe she wishes us the best, but she doesn't truly believe it will be us who will get it there...

I think maybe you're struggling because your daughter has moved out and branched out on her own and that's normal. For example my Mum is very attached to me and when I tried to move out in my late teens and early 20's, she was actually trying to stop me from it. But at 23 I said my friend had a spare room for me at her place and basically that I AM moving out. She cried but over time she accepted it. Of course it's hard but it was going to happen eventually when your daughter (and son) became an adult. And surely you would want them to move out, get married, have kids? You wouldn't want them just living with you for years and years, not working and only helping in your business? Then their prospects at having their own family and life wouldn't be very good.

I think also maybe you need to think about the way you ran your business, your "baby". You and your husband are adults and this is your business but yet you basically fully relied on your teenage children who were still at school to help you float the business. If you're good at what you do and you think you'll be successful then why as adults you and your husband are not able to run this business on your own? What if you didn't have kids or had a disabled child who couldn't help you? Then you would have had time do all the editing either on your own or hire someone. I think you're in a bit of denial if you think you're very good at your business, and yet just because your daughter doesn't want to help now it's all fallen to pieces? There seems to be something wrong with this picture?

Also I don't think that just because your daughter doesn't want to help that she doesn't want to support you. Your loved one can still be supportive and root for you to do well but they're just not passionate about it themselves and they have other interests of their own. It doesn't even mean she thinks you won't succeed but she's just outgrown this and now she wants other things. It's not selfish at all. She started helping you when she was only fifteen years old and at school and now it's ten years later. She's moved out, she has a full-time job, her own friends, probably drives or gets around on her own. So in a sense now she's just living a different life and involved in new things. That's not necessarily personal towards you or your business but she just wants to live this new life, and she has the right to do that.

You say she has free time. I actually just Googled the definition of the word "free" and this is literally what comes up as the first thing.

Free

able to act or be done as one wishes; not under the control of another.

"I have no ambitions other than to have a happy life and be free"

Your daughter works so that free time she's spending as "me time". Yes maybe she is just walking in the park or reading on the couch but it's what she wants to do to relax and she likes it. If "free time" just means you need to work more then how is it actually free time?

 

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My son went away to college. I was very proud of him. But he'd mentioned several times that he was unhappy there. I didn't really want to hear it, so I was enthusiastically encouraging him to think about the next year, if he wanted to live on campus or off, if he would want to live with roommates, the places he could explore...in other words, I wasn't HEARING him.

So he ended up applying to a different college without telling me. He only told me after he'd been accepted and was making plans to move to the new college location. I admit, I was disappointed. I had wanted him to stay and get that "away at college" experience like I'd had. And then I stopped and really thought...did I want him to stay there because it was best for him, or because I wanted him to, for me? The answer was clear; I had been pushing my wants onto him and it wasn't fair. So I congratulated him and did what I could to help him.

It's not about us, not when our children are grown. It's vital that you stop thinking about what YOU'D hoped and wished for and start thinking about what your daughter wants for her own life. Can you do this, or would you rather risk losing her completely, for good?

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OP when I was in my 20s in the 1980s and in college there was more pressure than there is now for women to enter more female professions like teaching in order to be able to work easier hours/leave work to be a SAHM once married.  I knew many women who did that.  I did love teaching for a few years for my own reasons but I knew I wanted financial independence and I had other professional dreams that started when I was 14.  Looking back I had a very contentious relationship with my late father.  He had a mental illness.  It was a struggle. But there was this - he was born in the 1930s and yet when I expressed my professional dreams -he was all in. 

He encouraged me, was proud of me, insisted I live rent free during the years of grad school in my mid 20s so I wouldn't have the burden of that many loans.  He even offered me an "allowance" for expenses during that time.  He'd (cringe) brag about me on the bus tours he took with my mom (as she recounted).

My mom was not opposed but I think was so worried I wouldn't settle down/marry/motherhood like my older sister.  She was supportive but not as much of a cheerleader as my dad who I was not even close with -the irony! (I was extremely close with my mom).  In hindsight -wow. 

He knew also I was risking not landing a good catch in my 20s (I didn't! Not until age 39!) - risking not being a mom (I got pregnant by some miracle at age 41) - and this was important to him too -but he'd sacrificed tons to pursue his professional dreams in the 1950s and he saw the fire and spunk in me and wanted to help any way he could even if it meant putting aside his grandpa of my child dreams.  For this I am so thankful. 

I didn't totally realize it in the thick of it but looking back - yes I thanked him back then, yes I was appreciative - but when you write about how you want your daughter to sacrifice her dreams for yours and your not recognizing her as an independent adult - by contrast it makes me appreciate my late father so much more. 

Please consider this and what you want your "legacy" to be.  Now it helps me even more to pass this on to my son as he starts to talk about what he may want to do.  

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13 hours ago, Parent10000 said:

our daughter doesn't believe in us anymore. 

It's manipulative to expect your children to  carry on your money-losing hobby. If your husband wants to retire and write for a hobby, fine, but it's not a business it's a money-sucking hobby.

Don't expect your children to be interested in this or pretend that they will inherit this as a "legacy". Or convince yourself that this pile of unwanted unsold books is some  sort of inheritance you can manipulate them with.

Since you can't find backers or editors or make money, it sounds like your children aren't the only ones who feel this book thing is a fool's errand.

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If your business is not able to cover fixed assets, rent, property tax, insurance (if one dies or you need to buy eachother out), etc, then you cannot cover variable assets, such as admin salaries. And if you cannot cover your fixed assets, there is no profit. And since you are already running lean where you, hubs, and kids were doing it yourself, your profit margin should be high.  But if there is no profit, time to call it a day.

Your business is not the legacy you are hoping to pass down.  It could be anything else. 

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What part of your daughter not wanting to partake in the family business don't you understand?  You can't force it.  Figure out how you and your husband can move forth with the family business without your daughter.  Buy editing software. 

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I know two women who thought they were planning for their future and that of their children, one who invested thousands into Beanie Babies and the other into Precious Moments figurines. Twenty years later and what do they have? Instead of thousands of dollars in an interest bearing account, they have garages full of almost worthless toys.

I get that this is your life's work and therefore more emotionally valuable to you than figurines or stuffed dolls, but you're banking on a very unlikely result AND expecting your children to bank on the same unlikely result to fund their futures.

But most disturbing is your low opinion of your daughter, who you view as a betrayer, as selfish and as someone with low character. If she's all those things, where do you think she picked up those qualities?

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19 minutes ago, tattoobunnie said:

If your business is not able to cover fixed assets, rent, property tax, insurance (if one dies or you need to buy eachother out), etc, then you cannot cover variable assets, such as admin salaries. And if you cannot cover your fixed assets, there is no profit. And since you are already running lean where you, hubs, and kids were doing it yourself, your profit margin should be high.  But if there is no profit, time to call it a day.

Your business is not the legacy you are hoping to pass down.  It could be anything else. 

Correct. I own my own business and it covers all its own costs , pays me and plus I employ my son. He doesn’t HAVE to work for me , he wants to. However, I won’t be leaving it as a “ legacy” he is getting work experience he probably can’t get otherwise due to disability. He has a non existent processing speed and working memory 1% , so despite his intelligence he would have problems being employed . I offered him employment and he was happy for it. 
 

My legacy with my son is teaching him HOW to have work ethic and showing him patience and love . My legacy is my relationship with him , our mutual love and respect for each other. Helping him to the best independence he can have. I don’t own him and he doesn’t OWE me. I had him , that was my choice not his. It is my job to give him the best skills I can and then let him go when he is ready. 

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20 hours ago, Parent10000 said:

she doesn't truly believe it will be us who will get it there...

Because she wants to pursue her own personal goals? This is abusive on your part; this is what a grandiose narcissist would say.  It doesn't matter if she believes in your work or not. Stop putting your dreams on her.

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4 hours ago, boltnrun said:

you're banking on a very unlikely result AND expecting your children to bank on the same unlikely result to fund their futures.

... at the expense of the freedom to develop their own lives as they see fit TODAY, and worse, at the expense of the relationship YOU could have with them if you were only supportive of their desires for their own lives today.

This isn't just about financial risk, it's about you deliberately thwarting your potential for a close and loving relationship with your own adult children in favor of acting out your own fantasy.

That's kinda sick, OP, I'm sorry.

I hope you'll wise up and see the light.

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I think that's terrific. I'm glad you've chosen to explore options.

Of course it's disappointing when your dream isn't turning out the way you'd hoped. Anyone would be discouraged. But I'm glad you see you've been projecting this disappointment onto your daughter and trying to make her decision to step back the reason for the lack of success. It's not, and I think you realize this now.

Your relationship with your kids is more important than anything.

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4 hours ago, Parent10000 said:

I can see how I wasn't fully considering my daughter and the place she is in her life, and no, I don't want to ruin our relationship over this. 

... And I think I have more reflecting to do overall.

Great work. Yes, keep reflecting. When you find yourself falling into the same rote arguments you kept repeating in this thread, consider stepping away to break that pattern.

You will thank yourself later, and so will your children.

Head high.

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On 8/10/2022 at 11:21 AM, Parent10000 said:

She knows our horror stories with past editors who didn't invest the time necessary to proofread correctly; or were dogmatic and tried to change our stories and writing in unwanted directions; my past trauma with one of my family members who showed another their artwork and had it brutally stolen from them, and thus, our reluctance to share our stories to an editor electronically, its most vulnerable state because it can't be copyrighted then, only after it's finished. And she knows my son is a full-time student, and we will most likely have to rely on him to edit after this.

Maybe these challenges and failures are telling you this business is not the one that will fulfill your dreams.

Maybe she can see that your  business attempts are unsuccessful. Therefore, intelligently refuses to continue to do the same things over and over expecting different results.

You might think your doing this for her. But you're really doing this for you and your dreams. You simply can't rope a person into doing what you can't, against their will. 

What she does with her time is actually none of your business. I wish you could read your words as an outsider. It's quite selfish and unkind sounding

 

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7 hours ago, Parent10000 said:

Hi all, 

I wanted to take a day from this and think about everything. If I'm honest with myself, I've been in a lot of pain about many different things: my daughter leaving the nest, my hopes and the feeling of failure in trying to reach those, etc. I can see how I wasn't fully considering my daughter and the place she is in her life, and no, I don't want to ruin our relationship over this. 

My husband and I will talk about different avenues we can explore regarding proofreading. And I think I have more reflecting to do overall. But thank you for listening and helping these past few days.

You rock for grappling with perspectives that don’t support your original stance and coming to terms with them. 
 

I think that insight about your feelings around her stepping away from the family business work being mixed up with your feelings around her leaving the nest is probably right on the money. One alone would be a lot to process.


You’ve got this 🙂 Accept what is and keep space for your daughter to see you socially. (And I think even if you don’t make money from book writing the books and memories are still a rad legacy). 

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