How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood. This month, learn about teen coping…Read more.
How is Your
My name is Joeseph and I am a 46 year old divorced dad living in Wisconsin with two children, ages 10 and 12. I have been divorced and
separated for more than two years and this past year has been the most
difficult for me with my 12-year old daughter. She has been experiencing
extreme mood shifts and high levels of anxiety associated with her school work
and pending test dates. As for her grades, they are above average and her
teachers say she is attentive and an overall good student in class.
I have a respectful relationship with my ex-spouse and I
have brought up my daughters outburst and they are not happening at their mom’s
house. I have talked with my daughter about these experiences and she acts like
there is nothing wrong when I offer to bring her with me to a doctor who can
offer both of us some help. She has refused to see a doctor and tells me that
she doesn’t remember her anxiety or the events I share with her.
I know I am not crazy and god as my witness, these anxiety
attacks do exist. I wanted to post my
question to SingleDad in hopes that other Dads would relate to my story and
share their advice. Any insight you can offer is appreciated.
As a Father of three daughters, you are not alone. I too
have gone through this type of behavior and I can relate to your story.
Although I am not a medical doctor and I am not giving medical or
psychological advice, (disclosure given);
I can share with you my story and see if any of my stories can offer insight
and support for you.
Don’t Rescue or Fix
Sometimes the best course of action is to use the ratio of
ears to mouth by just offering to listen to your daughter’s worries. As
fathers, we don’t like to see our children suffer in any way shape or form. Our
duty is to protect our children from harm. This can also be understood as
"fixing or rescuing" the situation which is exactly the opposite of what a teen
daughter wants at the time.
In my situations with all three of my daughters, I learned
how to become a better father by just listening to them share their thoughts of
worries and anxiety. The act of listening without fixing or rescuing allowed my
daughters to export their feelings and get them out in the open. After these
conversations, they seemed to have a level of relief and found the space in
their minds to relax and have a better perspective of the situation.
I think if you start your conversation with, " You Dad wants
to just listen to your thoughts and give you all the space you need to share
what you are feeling without judgement…." Is a good introduction. Just sit back
and listen and see what happens.
Good luck and keep me posted.
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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”