Dads dealing with dating teenage daughters

Avoid statements like, “John is always selfish and controlling with you,” even if you know it’s true.Your child will shut down if you start by attacking their friend.If it’s a serious relationship that might be heading toward marriage, you may want to give your child these Before You Say “I Do” Premarital Questions.

That was certainly my reaction as my two daughters entered their teens, and it prompted a research project that led to my book, Many dads check out when their girls hit adolescence. Here are snapshots that testify to the importance of the father-daughter relationship.

Wendy’s parents divorced when she was four; she lived primarily with her mother until high school, then with her dad. Tara, on the other hand, had a workaholic, emotionally distant father.

At first, it was a disaster: “I was pretty mean,” Wendy admits. “When I was 12, he said, ‘I can no longer hold your hand.’” Tara tells her brother, “Hug your daughters at every age. I felt like nothing I did was good enough for my father.”TK remembers bringing home good grades and feeling really excited, but her father would say, “What’s with the B, what’s with the A-minus?

Being a good dad takes time and effort—sometimes exhausting amounts of both.

If you feel too tired or discouraged to stay connected, remember that your decisions will echo throughout your daughter’s life. I need to lighten up on him.’” Thirty years later, they have a close, loving father-daughter relationship because he stayed involved when it was hard.

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