Question.

My daughter is 15 years old and recently been taking medication for ADHD. She has had great improvement in her grades for as far as I can remember she has always had bad grades up until this year. She tells me she doesn’t visit her father because she never gets to spend time with him and that he is always working or sleeping and she’s not comfortable being at his house because of his fiancé. He has always seemed to make an effort to be in her life and me and him just this past year put our differences to the side and starting getting along. She always tells me she gets upset with him because every time she’s around he compares her to his step sons and how great they do in school and puts her down about her grades. I’m in shock that she no longer want’s to visit with him anymore and it worries me as I know it can be a much deeper problem than what she’s telling me. I honestly hope to get an answer and to how to start counseling, not just with her and her father, but myself as well being that I have had a very rough experience with life altogether and hoping that by me reaching out I will be able to get help.

Laura,

I’d like to commend your actions in putting aside past hurts with your ex-boyfriend in an effort to make communication easier for your daughters’ sake. I’m also glad to hear that at some point your daughter’s attention deficit was assessed and was correctly treated. Great job mom!

I’d like to commend your actions in putting aside past hurts with your ex-boyfriend in an effort to make communication easier for your daughters’ sake. I’m also glad to hear that at some point your daughter’s attention deficit was assessed and was correctly treated. Great job mom!

It sounds like your daughter is undergoing the process of Individuation. Simply put, Individuation is a normal and healthy process by which a child begins to move from the oneness they have experienced with their mother since birth, and begins to develop and understand their own desires. It is when children begin a process of developing their own unique, separate identity. The process begins during toddlerhood but is usually “felt” by parents during early to middle adolescence and is usually characterized when your child begins to say “no”.

Your 15 yr old daughter expressing that she no longer wants to see her father is a reflection of not only her individuation, but of a need to protect herself from pain, be it rejection, neglect, or disapproval from her father. It is important that she continue to sense that you understand and appreciate her feelings, allowing her to continue to feel a sense of safety when talking and sharing with you. In other words, give her the space to decide when she would like to see her father again. Hopefully, her father will reach out to her to repair the fractured relationship and open up communication in how his actions hurt her. Forcing her to see her father will not only create strain in your relationship with her, but may create a pressure that she must do as you say, in order for her to feel approved by you.

In no way am I suggesting you move into a permissive parenting style by allowing her to make a decision. Continue to parent your daughter by providing guidance, protection, boundaries and rules in love, while giving your daughter freedom to express her emotions.

Like you suggested, family counseling would be ideal to facilitate a welcoming and safe environment for your entire family to share their hearts and work through the difficult dynamic of a separated family. After some research, I found Insight Counseling in Rockford, IL. They are “an association of Christian professionals who provide assessment and therapy with compassion and care.”

Praying God will bring healing, wholeness, and peace your way, In Jesus’ Name.

Vanessa Cruz, MA, LPC

About Us

About Us

Disclaimer

The contents of LiveRev.org are for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing found on our website is intended to be a substitute for professional psychological, psychiatric or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. LiveRev does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on our website. Reliance on any information provided by Live Revolution or by any person or professional appearing on our website is solely at your own risk. Live Revolution is not liable for any advice or information provided on the site, all of which is provided on an “as-is” basis. No warranties, either express or implied, are made on the information we provide.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This