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Angry 13-Year-Old Will Not Talk to Her Dad

Question:

I have a 13-year-old daughter who lives an hour-and-a-half away from me.  Despite the distance, we have been very close – until recently. I asked her to remove a post from Facebook, and she was still upset with me when the conversation ended. I then sent her a text regarding our disagreement, which she misunderstood as me saying goodbye. What I actually meant was that I would wait for her to call. Weeks went by before we talked, and when we finally connected she said that things felt different between us. Now she does not answer my phone calls or want to see me. What can I do?

 

Answer:

While we can’t be certain about what has caused such a rift in a previously strong relationship, it is good to be aware that age probably plays a significant role.  Teenagers, especially thirteen-year-old girls can be very dramatic. Nonetheless, there are some steps that you can take to rectify the situation.

First, talk to her mother if possible. Describe the conversation that caused the problem and ask her to intervene for you. Perhaps her mother can explain things to her more clearly and help her see that you really care about remaining close and in contact. If her mother is not willing to intercede on your behalf, maybe your mother or another close female relative could do so.

Do you think your daughter would be willing to read a letter or email from you?  Perhaps you could write her a brief message asking her to take your phone call on a certain day. If she answers that she will, call her that same day.  

Can you drop in to see her? Give her mother some advance notice that you might be coming by, and take this opportunity to talk to your daughter then. 

Lastly, if this miscommunication happened very recently, you might try giving your daughter some time – a week or two – to be angry with you. Eventually, she will more than likely take your calls once she has settled down.

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