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How can I help my daughter? Her dad doesn't follow through...
May 30, 2006
5:15 pm
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Randomwomen2
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Unfortunatly I think your child has to learn that her father is not dependable. Maybe next time you can remind her about his issues before he lets her down so that it doesnt come as much as a shock when it happens. How old is she?? With all of that disapointment due to her father not you she might could use a little counseling just to help her understand that its not her fault. There is only so much a mother can do and you are doing a great job sweetheart

May 30, 2006
5:46 pm
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gofigure
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Thanks RW. She's 11 (her sister who is 10 seems to have "gotten" this already). When we moved out 3 months ago and she asked why I checked on dad I told her he's not good at being alone and was lonely without us. She said, "mom, he deserves to be alone." She's on a waiting list for a counselor--I'm going to give it a little more time because this counselor seems really really good and about half of the people she sees are kids. But if nothing opens up soon I'm going to have to do something else. Thanks for your kind words--you are really a gem, you know that?

~go

May 30, 2006
7:18 pm
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Anonymous
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gofigure,

my daughter is this age, so I know how hard it is to watch this.

my daughter has learned that grandpa is also "unreliable" and has also learned how to play on his weaknesses - which I unfortunately do not stop - after all, if I can't get shit out of him, and she can - go for it.

Anyway, I think that you can't protect her from dad's destructive behaviour.

But you can teach her about "detachment" and "letting go" - you can use the books for guidance "codependent no more, language of letting go, etc" to teach her and yourself ways to "let go" and deal with his let downs.

I think the most CRITICAL thing you can teach her - is that dad's behaviour is NOT a reflection of how he feels about her or her worth as a daughter. If you do that, you have done the BEST thing a mom can do for a child.

Right now, at this age, the thoughts "what did I do wrong" "why doesn't he like me", etc creep into her head.

So, when dad promises to pick her up and doesn't show up - validate her feelings - tell her you understand how disappointed she is, and that is okay to feel that way....but make sure you tell her it wasn't anything she did wrong. Don't make excuses for him and don't bash him either. And teach her how to tell dad her feelings - unless it's unsafe too - use your judgement.

Support her, validate her feelings, don't bash dad, and don't make excuses - that's the best you can do.

May 31, 2006
11:29 am
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gofigure
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I asked the SC to delete my original post because I meant to edit names out but forgot. Here (if anyone is interested) is the edited version.

I am at a loss about what to do. Yesterday my daughter had asked
her dad if she could come visit him for a couple of hours. He
said yes and he’d call her when he got home from the shop.
A couple of hours passed and he didn’t call so she called
him and kept calling him (and when she asked me I tried
too) on and off for the next several hours but never any
answer. She was very upset and angry too and didn’t want to
talk to him when he called this morning. The thing is she
still wants to see him but I think she’s having a hard time
because she’s so mad at him. I don't know what to do to
help her. She knows he has drug issues and though I am
pretty sure he didn't call because his dealer must have
showed up I told her the story he told me (which wasn't a
whole lot better because the stuff he said he was doing
still was more important to him than she was in her mind
(in mine I know he is "sick" but that doesn't make me
respect him or his behavior). So what I;m trying to figure
out is how I can help protect her from all the
disappointment he causes her (he has promised her numerous
times to come over and often finds something else he HAS to
do instead). I've talked to her about addiction and
depression and how and why people act the way they do. But
it's all just words. What I;m looking for is a way to let
her dad know he has to stop letting her down so much with
as little anger and bitterness as possible (because at the
moment nothing would make me happier that chewing him up
and spitting him out) while trying to keep her out of the
fray and keeping her self esteem as intact as possible
(it's already bad as it is). Talking to him is tough
because (like this morning when I told him L was really
disappointed that he never called or answered the phone and
he accused me of trying to "shoot his week in the ass" by
talking to him about this. I just want to protect my babies
from his seeming indifference without telling them that dad
is a selfish SOB sometimes and is only concerned with
himself and how badly he's feeling. Thanks
((((((((((()))))))))))) ~go

May 31, 2006
11:31 am
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gofigure
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Thanks ali. I do try to validate her feelings and tell her often that her dad's behavior has NOTHING to do with her. As far as bashing him goes I try really really hard to not allow my bitterness to surface. I'm sure though I don't always manage it. Progress not perfection--right?

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