Is your daughter not talking to you?
A father-daughter relationship is an endearing one but can sometimes run into a challenge, especially if she’s in her teens. How does a father manage this obstacle? Read on….
A middle aged person came in to see me. He told me he did not know why he had come in to see me. He was curious about counseling and so wanted to meet me. In order to build rapport with him, I started to question him about himself. What work he does, his family, what are his passions and goals. While answering, he casually mentioned he has a daughter, and it has been a year since they have spoken.
She is a teenager.
He appeared quite casual with the situation. I wondered how a parent and child, living in the same house, not communicate? When I asked him how this was possible, he told me his wife was the mediator. Why did she only carry messages, why did she not try to rectify the situation?
He told me he felt she (his daughter) will come around. He has to wait. But it has been more than a year. And she avoids all communication with him.
I asked him if this situation bothered him? He said it does, but he has no choice.
I asked him if he could gently request her to speak to him? He needs to express his desire to know what is bothering her. How it hurts him, how he misses her and how could things improve? Unless he knows what she wants changed, how could he attempt change? His wife could be the mediator, she could be in the same room, but not direct the conversation. The daughter needs to be allowed to reveal her feelings.
He said he would try this.
In contrast, another father rushed to meet his daughter who was distraught. She had messaged she was feeling depressed and nothing was going right for her. He just dropped everything and rushed to her work place to be with her. She did not expect him to come, and was happy.
He reassured her he was there for her, she only needed to communicate.
A father-daughter bond is something very special. He is the first man in her life, and most daughters subconsciously want a life partner matching their father. And when the bond is strong, the love and affection flows unbounded between them.
One young girl and her father made fun of her mother who cried while leaving her (mother’s) father. The elderly gentleman was also teary eyed and he hugged his daughter tight. The young girl and her father teased the mother no end. They called her papa’s pet. The mother just smiled and did not comment.
Years later the young girl grew up and had to leave her home for higher studies. She wept like a baby, clinging to her father. The father too was crying. It was then she turned to her mother and apologized for teasing her so many years ago. She said she now understood her mother’s feelings!
Daughters do get spoiled by their fathers. No matter how tall, strong or strict a father he is, one teary eyed look by the daughter, and he melts. No man will be good enough for their precious daughter. All marriage profiles will be thoroughly vetted and these fathers can sometimes be blinded by their love.
I have seen many fathers who enjoy the company of their daughters. They go on walks/cycling together, have animated discussion on politics/sports/arts/cinema, etc and who also cook together. There are artists, father-daughter duo. As also powerful leaders. Among the world father-daughter duos leaders would be Pundit Jawarharlal Nehru and his daughter Smt. Indira Gandhi.
So it did disturb when I met the gentleman who had withdrawn from his daughter. He had made attempts to connect, she was not forthcoming. So he let it be.
The father and daughter were missing out on a beautiful relationship.