DEAR COACH RICHIE: I’ve been divorced from my ex since my 9 years. My 14 year old daughter spends weekends and hates going there. My daughter hates her dad. He loves her but has a temper and is very strict. He yells and screams at her but hasn’t touched her. He came close to hitting me once when he cheated on me and it got physical . She is terrified of him and doesn’t want to see him at all. I know i have to deal with this but I don’t know how as the she is over reacting and he may not even realize he is being this way .
He is a scary adult and I tried to help him have a relationship with her but I’m at a loss. He has respect for me so if i try to take him aside he will probably say its coming from me. She is scared for me to even talk to him anyway. I don’t honestly know what to do, any advise would be helpful. Thank you
COACH RICHIE: So sorry to hear about your daughter and the challenges she is having with your ex. When you say my daughter hates her dad has she always felt like this? Even before the divorce? Do you think it is our responsibility as parents to help our spouses have a relationship with our children? What do you believe your daughter needs the most right now? It is so unfortunate that there are parents out there that don’t get it. It sounds as though your ex must be overwhelmed with whatever he has going on in his life and unfortunately when we get overwhelmed and frustrated as adults we project this onto our children and they suffer the consequences of our inability to control our emotions. Does she have to visit him? If she hates him as you say why would she be obligated to go visit him? Just because our parents made us don’t give them the rights to abuse us, control us. Parents don’t own their children.
They are here on their own journey in life and our jobs as parents is to guide them, love them, support them and mentor them to the best of our abilities. When we let our own emotions get in the way. This creates a roadblock and makes for a very disconnected parent. When our children disconnect from us they will look elsewhere for support, guidance, peace, love and trust. They typically find that with their friends (Teen Tribe) which is another bunch of problems which make them followers of life instead of the leaders they are here to become. Have sat down and asked your daughter what she wants without pressuring her to have a relationship with her father? Each time she is there she may have a tremendous amount of anxiety and as parents we unfortunately most of the time fail in helping our kids allow them to display their emotions.
As a result they hold it in and when that happens it leads to depression, cutting, suicidal thoughts, drugs, alcohol and a long list of challenges that allow them to either retreat into their own world or find releases for those suppressed emotions. As a parent our job is to ensure our children are safe even if that means staying away from a parent that is exhibiting toxic behavior. In the end it should be your daughters choice so if you want to help her let her make that choice. Then maybe your ex will realize his behavior. But then again maybe he won’t. That is his journey and not yours. It is especially not our jobs to fix others. Even though at some level we may have feelings for our ex’s, may feel bad for them, want our children not to miss out having a relationship with them. In the end it is our children that must decided because they know more than we know what is best for them. You got this mom.
You are doing an incredible job in a very difficult situation. We just need to reminder ourselves that we are only human, we are not here to fix others and that every know and then we just need to sit back take a deep breath and let things run it’s course and accept everything that is. When we regret the past or worry about the future we miss the most important thing of all. Watching our children grow up and experience life front in front of us. Hope you find something here that helps. All my love and support on your journey. All my love and support. Coach Richie XO
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