Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-07-02

daughters behaviour

i am not sure if this is the right forum but i am extremely worried about my 13 year old. divorce 4 yrs now, and yesterday she got out my wedding pic' s and family photos and stuck them across her bedroom wall. it feels like she wants to live a her make believe world that her father is still in our life. he is remarried and doesnt care about them and doesnt really visit them much. When he does he takes them to his new family with step kids and i think she really wants her ' daddy'  but no matter how many times i explain this to him, he just screams at me. He refuses to see the affect on the kids and she wont go to a pschologist anymore. she went during the first year after div and when her father screamed at her for telling on him, she stopped. What do i do? plus medical aid is exhausted

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Dear Anonymous,

this IS Totally the right forum! :)

It is the hardest thing to face when one parent is irresponsible towards his children. You probably want to "fix" it all, but don't be too harsh on yourself. You are doing the best you can under the circumstances. You are also facing your young daughter entering her young adult years as a teenagers, when many emotions are loosing their way in this new phase of her life.
For one, don't be phased by it and mostly don't try to fix anything. Life throws challenges at you and the best way to overcome them is to let the process take place, so, what to do?
Just be there for her...when she needs it. Acknowledge her feelings, however hurt they may be. You can't change who her father is or how he behaves, but you can change your attitude with her. Follow your gut feelings. What is it at first that you see in her behaviour? You mention you feel like she wants to live a make belief life, so tell her: It looks like you miss the life we had when your father was home with us? You must be missing him very much. Allow her to express her feelings. There are no right or wrong feelings. Feelings are. Let her feel them and express them and then tell her you understand, unfortunately things are different and can no longer be this way. If you can support her through this hard time, allow her to feel her feelings, she won't need to go to a psychologist. Validate her feelings...and just love her.

Through counselling teens I realised that what was most beneficial was to coach parents how to address their teens as opposed to trying to "fix" them.
Trust in your motherly instinct. Nothing can replace this.

I wish you all the best.

SADSA | The South African Divorce Support Association

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: SADSA | 2009-07-02

You have another interesting point. Amidst all of this are also your own feelings and how hard it is for you and yet as a parent it is so important to address our children' s need. I can but encourage to help yourself. Go see someone, whether a professional or a friend, speak about it, but the input of someone insightful with no judgment would be precious right now for you and you would be surprised how, in this process, you will be helping your daughter as well.

Lots of Love
Nadia | SADSA

Reply to SADSA
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009-07-02

thanks Nadia. Feel like i am so failing as no matter how much i try to compensate she just wants him. i did explain to her last night that he is remarried and he wont ever come back. i try to ask her to spend time with him but i guess she knows he isnt interested. it is very difficult to walk home to wedding photos when a man cheated on you in your own house.

Reply to Anonymous

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