Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at email@example.com and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is about problems in a Dad’s relationship with his daughter.
I am a dad with a 9-year-old daughter with who I tried to have a good relationship, but she doesn’t allow me to, she doesn’t want to see me because her mum is filling her with lies about me. I am starting to feel that I don’t care if I see her or not anymore and I don’t want to feel that way. What else should I do to fix our relationship?Separated Dad
Dear Worried Dad,
Firstly, I really feel for you. Separation isn’t easy on anyone and it is very sad when children are caught up in the middle of it all. Secondly, I can see you clearly love your daughter very much and want to ‘fix’ your relationship with her. Therefore I am wondering if family mediation is an option here? Or is there a family member who would be able to help mediate with you and your daughter?
Write a Letter
Thirdly, a letter to your daughter may help, whereby you can tell her how much you love her, miss her, and would love to spend some time with her. Most importantly, I would refrain from any form of attack towards her mother or trying to dispel the lies told against you in the letter. Your daughter may already be feeling confused, hurt, or angry by what she has heard from her Mother.
Maybe you could suggest some fun things that you could do together?
Above all keep communication going, even if you don’t get a reply or get knocked back. By showing your daughter that you love her, just want to see her and you aren’t going to give up, time may help here.
I am also wondering if counselling would help here. To offer you a safe, confidential, empathic, non-judgemental place to explore your feelings and to be supported whilst you explore your options here to regain a relationship with your daughter.
All best wishes, Debbie
Debbie is an experienced counsellor and advocate for children and adult’s mental health.
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