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What do I do when my teen daughter tells me she is afraid of her father?

My daughter is 16 and her dad and I have been apart since she was 3yo. Her Dad has a very bad temper and up until recently she has never mentioned any problems. He has never hit her to my knowledge, but she has expressed her concern and told me she is afraid. She has found out about his past incindents and has questioned me. I have never told her of our past and she just asked me out of the blue. I have no Idea how to approach this new problem. Any advice would be helpful. Thanx

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mamma2all5

Asked by mamma2all5 at 3:49 PM on Jun. 3, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Well, she's 16 and she's asking questions. My sons father and I have a bad history, and he was convicted of rape after I left him. I've made the decision that when my sons are at least 16, when they begin asking questions, I will answer them truthfully, even if that truth doesn't paint him in the best light. I feel they deserve that, they can't make a good decision about what kind of relationship to have with their father without all the facts, both good and bad.

    I think if she's heard enough to make her ask questions and feel concerned, then she deserves the truth. If you lie, or even just avoid her questions, she may begin to feel that she can't trust you or she may make the issues bigger than they really are in her mind. I would tell her that you will answer direct questions, but don't give her any information she doesn't specifically ask for. Good luck!
    tropicalmama

    Answer by tropicalmama at 3:54 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • I would be as honest as possible. I say "as possible" because I'm sure there are some things you would rather not reveal. Also, if she doesn't want to see her father, at least not by herself, you can always take him to court for custody and she can speak to the judge herself.
    vnw1405

    Answer by vnw1405 at 3:55 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • okay this hits sooo close to home...i found out when i was her age for the first time that my dad beat my mom..they fought like grown men...and i only asked becase doing her hair one day i felt the scars...very scary..she never mentioned it to me before then (they were divorced never really saw him so it didnt matter) but she finally told me the truth..she let me ask the questions so i didnt know anything more than i needed or wanted...its sad..but if shes scared she deserves the truth..shes growing up...so i mean..she can handle it. just be gentle and i wouldnt sugar coat it too much!!
    sweetstkissez22

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 4:48 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • i agree with all previous answers. she's a young woman & something makes her very uncomfortable with her father so be honest with her about what she want to know. it doesnt sound like she trusts him. do you want her to feel the same way about you if you dont answer truthfully? if you dont tell her she can always find someone else who will. wouldnt you rather she heard it from you then if theres something really bad you still dont think shes ready to hear you can leave it out. other people she may go to for answers may not be as sensitive & tell her everything. has she given you a specific reason for her changed attitude towards dad or just something general? I'd try to find out the specifics. Good luck.
    3Dani75

    Answer by 3Dani75 at 6:31 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • Thank You all so much! To update....I have talked to her and I answered all her questions. She seemed to be satisfied. She told me the reason she asked is b/c her step brother's real dad (kinda confusing) has been digging up info. on her dads past and has a stack of court papers on his criminal and violent record. She also, expressed to me that she thinks her dad may be cheating on his new wife. They have been married for a yr. and she has overheard some suspicious phone calls and asked me for advice.She really likes her step mom and does not want to see her get hurt and since I've been in her shoes b4 she thought I could give her advice. I expressed to her how confusing it must be for her right now and asked her for some time to think of how she should handle it. Thats where you all come in - Help!! Should I tell her to stay out of it or should I tell her to secretly tell the step mom what she knows? HELP!
    mamma2all5

    Answer by mamma2all5 at 7:00 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • She should not get invoved in their situation.This is a signal for a red flag!!! She must have alot of emotions kept up inside her.She is in a postion that , i think, she should talk with a counsler , and you by her side, if she wants you their..Someone outside of the family who deals with teens.You as an adult also must make it very hard on you too.You want to keep her safe, and yet be able to trust people etc.Put yourself in her position and think of yourself, how you were at her age.How would you want someone to explain it to you so you could understand.it is good that she did come to you.It shows she is mature enough to know whats going on.
    kitkat1988

    Answer by kitkat1988 at 7:45 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

  • If I were you I would go to his house and kick his ass so hard his mother feels it.
    MammaBella

    Answer by MammaBella at 8:51 PM on Jun. 3, 2009

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