My daughter is growing up too fast and I'm having a hard time dealing with it. Any advice?
My daughter is 13 and all of a sudden she is a stranger to me. I understand that this is part of growing up, that she is starting a new phase of her life, but this is a new phase for my life too, and I guess I need some pointers on how to handle things.
It used to be that I could take her to the thrift store to pick out her clothes for the new school year, and we had fun--yes, fun--doing it. I never have had much money; I work as a tattoo artist, and it's tough being a single dad. Lacking all of the money to buy her the fancy styles all of the "better off" students got to start off the school year with, I tried to compensate by making what I could afford seem magical. She would find a pair of pants, say, that had a patch over a worn spot with a picture of a pony on it, and I would tell her they were special pants:
Me: "Emily, look! These pants have the badge of the Order of Pegasus on them!"
Daughter: "They DO????"
Me: "Yes, these must have belonged to a princess from the fair woods of San Bernardino, as only one from the royal blood line can wear such a badge."
Daughter: "Really?! A princess??? Can I wear them, then...?"
Me; "Emily, I have kept it a secret, but I have reason to believe that you might have some of the royal blood in you. At least, that note that came with the basket you were in when you were left on the porch said so..."
Daughter: "DAD! I wasn't left in a basket!" (laughing)
Me: "No, but you ARE a princess, and I have been charged with being your knight, forever at your service."
Me: "Sweetie, longer than that."
For the moment at least, the princess and her knight/servant-in-waiting were proud to march up to the register with regal bearing, to buy the pants that her royal blood entitled her to wear.
Gosh, I'm rambling, but that's how I get when it comes to my daughter. Well, I guess I never stepped back and thought about how stupid I've acted, just trying to polish up old junk with fanciful stories, in lieu of things my daughter needed, but which I could never afford. As it is, this year, she will have nothing to do with the thrift store. This year, in fact, it seems she wants nothing to do with me. Maybe I was able to fool her when she was an 8 year old, maybe I was able to convince her that she was a princess and her old man was a knight, but now she sees that she is a young lady stuck with a poor ink-slinger for a dad, a mobile home to live in instead of a castle. And me? I see that I am an embarrassment to her. I'm not glamorous, I'm not a knight. I'm a roughed-up guy who thought that he could be both a father and a mother. Damn, I wish her mother were around; she's at a time in her life when she could sure use a mother.
I think she's growing up too fast, but maybe I'm just growing old too fast.
Well, folks, I don't know why I needed to spill my guts on here. I don't know you people, and I don't imagine anything is going on that isn't normal--kids outgrow their parents, and I guess I'm still saying, "Hey, wait. I need you to need me still." At any rate, thank you for listening to me, and maybe some of you can give me some advice. It's funny, I have always felt like *I* was being strong for *her*, a little girl who lost her mother too soon, but I am discovering that I don't know what my life is, what it should be, if I'm not still that knight that my daughter used to believe me to be.
- Anonymous8 years agoBest Answer
i feel for you and her I'm her age and yes i do live in a ritzy neighborhood and kinda live lavishly but the thing is i thought of this little sequence in my head " everyone has a cinderella story just for some it is played backwards" so for some they live the life of ritz and then fall into rags or emotional heartbreaking storys like many people out here near me (people hiding millions getting divorced paying no child support taking out of college funds since they don't like the children anymore) its a hard world and I'm grateful for all i have and its hard looking at what others have because you feel like you need what others have to be "cool" or "popular" and it's not i have stories about people like that. The perfect way to dress on a budget is by getting maybe a black sweatshirt colored tank tops jeans and stuff like that maybe she can take a shower then braid her hair and go to sleep and in the morning untie the braid and see amazing wavy hair! hey its FREE and CUTE and gives her a little confidence in the day besides clothing you seem like an AWESOME dad coming from a 13 year old girl lol and i think a bit of a money talk will help she just may not understand why she can't get everything so it will set her straight just say this"listen honey i wish i could get you so much but we also need the $ for other things and i love you just as much even more! than the others kids parents who get them everything but for now i can't and i love you to bit and pieces like you would never understand but for now this is what it is" then hug her yes she may tear a little bit but this is what i would like to know if my parents were in a money jumble. STAY STRONG! <3
- 8 years ago
Unfortunately from about that age, 13, until 17-18 sometimes even longer, kids want little to do with their parents.... I think you can find some comfort in knowing that by being a great dad you've given her so many memories that she'll always have. I honestly don't think it would matter if you were a billionaire, she would still be acting like this.
socializing with her peers is the most important thing right now, which is hard because it means you know less about her and she spends less time at home. Its normal development thought.
The best thing you can do is keep on being a caring, involved, and concerned dad - hopefully she'll open up to you when it matters through these next few tough years.
- 8 years ago
She's growing up, yeah. You'll always be her knight, you'll still be the one guy that she will always love no matter how many guys are going to be connecting with her through the next 6 years. All you should do as her daddy is make sure she has her privacy, she can talk to you about ANYTHING even if you cant bare to hear it (be open minded) and let her take control of the part of her life that requires her to be independent and a young woman. Dont growl her for mistakes because she will change the course and do them more and more. Help her through hard times, cry with her, when she's angry NEVER leave her but try and set a good path for her to follow. Good luck.
- MDLv 48 years ago
Wow - you sound like the best Dad a girl like your daughter could have! Don't worry, shes just you average teen that wants to spend time with her friends, and I think you are just feeling a bit lost without her. She probably isn't drifting away from her daddy, she might be closer then you actually think. I'm 15 at the moment and there can be times when my dad and I have a little misunderstanding or an argument, but the anger doesn't last long til I bust up and it is as if nothing ever happened!
One day she'll need you, and you have to be there for her, as her mum isn't. Sometimes a dad can be the closest friend a girl could have! ever heard the phrase "Like father like daughter"?Source(s): 15 yo girl
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- BloonsLv 48 years ago
Aw man.. Reading this made me tear up. You made me realize how much I really love my dad, I can say that for sure. I'm 14, by the way. Don't feel like you're not worthy. You are the only one she's got and like you said, you are being strong for her. Believe me, reading all of what you said makes me certain you're a great dad. If you weren't, I wouldn't even be typing this right now at 2 AM.
And you know, at her age, she begins that long journey to find out who she is. Whether it be through what she wears or how she acts, that's going to happen. Just show her that you love her everyday, no matter what.
Don't give up, you are the only one she has.
- 8 years ago
Okay, this kind of question makes me tear up. I have a twin sister and a single mother for a family and we really don't have a lot of money but we try our best to get through, my Dad isn't in the picture...sigh. :(((
What I'm trying to say is that your daughter is SO LUCKY to have a father like you. So. So. SO freaking lucky. She's not growing up too fast...she's just trying too hard. Do you pick her up from school? Sign her up to volunteer at somewhere with children that are...less...fortunate. Say, a soup kitchen. That might give her some perspective.
Also, see if you can get her involved with church or youth group. Volunteering and attending youth group is free, so no cost to you, but it might help out.
This is just a phase and your daughter will grow out of it and see how lucky she is to have a great father like you.
--Not Late One
- ?Lv 48 years ago
As I am a teen-aged girl myself (17 years old), I can honestly say that you sound like an AMAZING dad. Making the simple things in life seem wonderful and magical is part of being a great parent and it sounds like you've done that for your daughter. Also, I don't think she could be embarrassed/disappointed with her life. It's what she's known all her life. It's not like she went from living in a "castle" to a mobile home. That's what she's grown up with (I assume) so if she has nothing to compare it to, I'm sure she's very happy with what she has. My advice is to keep doing what you're doing. As she grows up, love and support her. Tell her she looks beautiful, talk to her about boys, help her with her homework, and give her some freedom (but not too much!) and I think everything will be fine between the two of you. Good luck :)
- SarahLv 44 years ago
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Your a little ahead of yourself! (: •First give her the sex talk. Then while your in the " awk talk" tell her about what a period is and what it is for. You don't need to tell her what its like. After you gave her the talks, have her go to a close "women friend" weather it be a family friend or a aunt or grandma. Let them give her the same period talk. Make sure they go into it randomly. They shouldnt sit her down like you did. While they are doing something like drawing or even just watching TV. •Make sure you let her know that you are there for her when she starts. It will be awkward for her. Don't take this offensively, it was awkward when I told my sister. Lol. Buy pads and maxi pads first. She isn't going to want a tampon at first. Let her get familiar with it. Also- •No, maxi pads can't be seen under cloths. Maybe a leotard? But nothing else. Even yoga pants! And some people say it feels like a diaper. I disagree. She will get used to a more "padded feel." •Tampons are a much harder thing to get used to. You personally can't really explain well enough, my mother tried but it didnt make much sense still. Look at the link below, it is how I learned how to get mine in. It's perfect! •She will know when she needs to change her pads. If not then I estimate about every couple hours or so. •Tampons are no more than 4-6 hours. •Cramps will very. I have only had about 10 cramps in my life and I'm 30. My sister is the opposite however. •In the first years she will be thinking "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING ITS NOT FAIR!! I WANT OUT OF THIS GIRL THING!" But don't worry! She will learn how to control mood swings, and she will get used to cramps. Exercising helps!! •When she gets her first period- Personally I didn't know I was even bleeding before I went to the bathroom. It really is impossible to miss! Lots of blood that you can't control. Bothersome! My sister was opposite! She had small red spots in her underwear. (She also started at 12 & I started at 14) ~By the way; I give you all of my respect for even attempting this with your daughter. That's hard for men. Props to you! :) *********************************
- Anonymous8 years ago
I feel your pain, Dad. I know how tough it is raisin' kids alone - and these are times of trouble, economically, for so many of us. Young girls nowadays want iEverything and won't settle for much of anything that doesn't come off the racks at Victoria's Secret.
Gone are the wonderful 80's when thrift store fashion WAS the fashion - before Madonna became a material girl and had to ruin it all.
Well, my advice is to head on outta those fair woods of San Bernadino and head on over to Hollywood. It's not that there's anything wrong with thrift store clothes, but you're gonna hafta keep up with which thrift stores are hip. Plus, you can take her out to lunch while you're out and about. She like tacos?
- Toke LoverLv 78 years ago
Quite the choke up...
Well, me & my pops had a ridiculously difficult relationship. So badly, that stupid song "In the Living Years" makes me cry every stupid time I stupid hear it.
We never really talked. In the 30 years I knew him, the 'real' conversations we had couldn't fill a paragraph. He was so sick, for so long, he was miserable & difficult to deal with. I honestly had expected to feel relief when he passed...I was wrong. I felt lost. 30 something & I realized I needed my daddy, I had always needed my daddy & we wasn't there, not before & certainly not after he passed.
My point is, someday, when the teen angst & whatnot fades, she will realize she needs her daddy still. All that time in & stories spun will mean something to her.
If it's any consolation to you, my soon to be 12 year old boy has had a similar upbringing, hand me downs & charity shops & he seems to think he don't need old mom much anymore either...it's hard.