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Helping daughter solve her own problems

Question:

My boyfriend’s 11-year-old daughter called him because an antihistamine that she had taken was making her shaky. He talked about it with her for a while, and he told her that its effects would fade when she went to sleep.  

She called a few hours later, saying that she couldn’t sleep and was afraid to go to her mother, who locks her door and does not like to be disturbed. So my boyfriend drove 20 miles to see his daughter and help her out. There must be a better way to handle this situation.

 

Answer:

Your boyfriend did the right thing by talking to his daughter and giving her advice on how to handle the situation. Perhaps he could also talk to her mother to let her know what was happening if she did not already know. 

When the health and welfare of a child are at risk, both parents should focus on the issue at hand. If he continues to drive over there and “rescue” her in her eyes, the distress calls will most likely continue if not increase.

He should develop a plan on how to respond in the future and present this plan to both his daughter and her mother. Then he needs to stick to it. He should also have a way to reach the mother whenever there is a medical or emotional issue that needs attending to.

For issues that are not as serious, he should help his daughter develop problem-solving skills. Written plans such as the SODAS plan are helpful. “S” stands for situation. “O” is for options; she should always try to find at least three. Then look for the disadvantages and advantages of each option before choosing a solution.  

Dad will not always be there to rescue her, but if he gives her the tools to solve her own problems he will be helping her for years to come. 

 

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