Divorced Father and Teenage Daughter: Making the Best of Trying Years

If you’re a divorced father with teenage daughters, you likely feel a little lost in translation sometimes. Especially if your daughter lives with their mother, you might feel like you’re missing out on some of the most formative years. Your child is figuring themselves out, starting to become an adult; their own person. So, how do you connect? It can be pretty trying at times, but doing so is a necessity. The bond of a father and daughter often faces disruption after a divorce, but you can get back on track.

Divorced Father and Teenage Daughter: Making the Best of Trying Years

Set Special Days…. Way Ahead of Time

You two need time to yourself. Time that is sacred, but also, that is set way in advance. Teenage girls can often feel like the busiest people in the world to themselves. They have friends, boyfriends, jobs, school functions, ‘hanging out’, and doing all the things they want to do at the forefront. Parents, unfortunately, often fall to the wayside during those teenage years. Especially when you aren’t seeing them every day.

Out of sight, out of mind is pretty prevalent in that younger group. So, next time you see her— set the next time you’ll have a special day. Agree on something that makes you both excited, set the day, and honor it. Doing this every time will be much easier than trying to organize it through mom, or a distracted daughter.

Lift Her Up, Empower Her Goals

It’s tough to get your teenager to open up. This is something we all know because, well, we’ve been there. For girls it can be a little bit different. But, when she expresses an interest to you— encourage them! Too many parents, friends, family, etc. stick to their classic ‘you’re a pretty girl’, ‘what a beautiful lady you’re becoming’, type of compliments and starting pieces. While increasing self-esteem is related to beauty in some part, there’s a lot more to it and, to her.

If she has an interest, a strength, or something about her that is unique to her— encourage that! Whether she’s interested in guitar, a fantastic swimmer, singer, or juggler… whatever it may be. Encourage her confidence by helping her learn to embrace her uniqueness.

Text Often, Call Sometimes

The great thing about our day and age is that our kids have their phones with them all too often. But, that means, you can send them a message any time you want. Don’t expect them to answer all the time, at the very least, they’ll know you’re thinking about them and to call when they get a chance. A divorced father can have it pretty tough, especially if he lives far away. But the key is to do what you can, and with time they’ll likely come back around. Daughters are tough, but man, are teenagers difficult to handle most of the time.

The key for you, pops, is to keep your head up high and know that it will come. It might take a transition, the strike of midnight when they turn 20, or a strong realization… But, either way— we’re rooting for you and wish you luck and patience.