Parenting Adolescents and the Father-Daughter Relationship

Parenting children is hard enough. Now your daughter has just turned fifteen and you don't recognize her anymore. Your sweet child has started talking back to you, is uncomfortable when you are around, and won't hug or kiss you before leaving the house. You have entered the world of parenting adolescents.

It is a very normal and common stage of development for a teenage daughter to emotionally distance themselves from their fathers. At first, most fathers are okay with this because they are feeling uncomfortable as to how to spend time with their teenage daughters.

In reading articles on studies conducted with regard to parenting guidelines, teens reportedly said that this distancing is the first introduction to rejection that teenage girls feel and that they carry this into their relationships with men. I don't believe it, and would like to see the actual clinical studies. It's not the distancing, its how you distance that can leave scars. I've never met a parent who didn't do something wrong while raising their kids, and I don't believe that not spending the same kind of time with your daughter is interpreted as rejection or betrayal-as this "study" would have you believe.

It is important to maintain communication with your daughter. She is feeling weird around the opposite sex right now and guess what? Through no fault of your own you are the opposite sex. Keep going to her soccer games, show up to take her to the movies, and let her know that you are still there and always will be. That's all you can do, bide your time and trust the process.

Daughters who continue to build a relationship with their fathers have higher self esteem and better relationships with authority figures, such as teachers and bosses. Parenting adolescents will keep you on your toes, that's for sure, but most of it is a natural process and both of you will get through it, in time. Father daughter relationships will grow in new ways, as time goes by, and how you approach your teenage daughter will create opportunites to be there for her in the times to come.