Sylvia and her daughter Heidi

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For Sylvia, controlling her 34-year-old daughter's every move is easier than watching her make a mistake. Sylvia says of her daughter, "Heidi is needy—emotionally, financially—and I'm always having to pick up the slack." Sylvia also thinks her daughter's boyfriend, who has tattoos, no college education and is 10 years younger than Heidi, is wrong for her. Although Heidi admits she feels afraid to stand on her own, she also says, "My mom and I are extremely close but I think it's an unhealthy kind of closeness that has sort of paralyzed me from being a fully independent adult. … I think she should be able to let me go."

Maria says even though lots of people were rolling their eyes at her relationship with former bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, her mother Eunice kept any reservations she had to herself. "She never said, 'Don't do that,'" Maria says. "She just said, 'I trust you have a good opinion. I trust your judgment. You go for it.'" And Eunice always encouraged Maria to do whatever scared her most. "If you stay afraid, you stay paralyzed," Maria says. "That's something I think women do a lot. They want to be perfect. They don't want to make a mistake. And the only way you learn and grow is if you make mistakes, if you take risks."

"You cannot talk a woman out of a man that she believes she's in love with," Oprah tells Sylvia. "You just have to be there for her when it doesn't work out. You have to be—Dr. Phil always says this—her soft place to fall."
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FROM: Maria Shriver and Her Mom, Eunice Kennedy Shriver: Their First TV Interview
Published on April 08, 2005

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