Should I let my 10 1/2 year old daughter contact her father?

Donna - posted on 12/12/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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We moved 1,500 miles away from her father 6 years ago, and his contact has been almost nothing. Months will go by and out of the blue he will call when she is either in school or in bed. No gifts, phone calls, cards for holidays or birthdays in 6 years. Last summer she started asking more questions and got quite upset after she spoke with him. I have to add my husband has been her dad and she has called him daddy for over 5 years and she has a little brother too.
She wants to send her father a homemade Christmas card, and her reasoning is that she wants to see if he sends her anything. She also mentioned sending him a gift. Should I let her?
I am very torn about what to do. When she talks to him (rarely) she is very confused, worrys about her (step) dad or myself being angry with her, worried about her father (whom she calls by his real name) being mad at her, and is very confused.She also wants to add the family last name to her name so she can feel a part of the family and her father has told her no, which farther confuses her since he doesn't seem to show any caring. Because his contact is so limited, when she does hear from him it really upsets her. Should I stop all contact?(I have to add that he is in his early 30's, can't hold down a job, still lives with mom, and life revolves around partying, playing video's games, and "hanging" out).
Thanks for any feedback.

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Macy - posted on 12/19/2011

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God commands us to honor your father and mother at all times. He didnt put any "buts" "unless" and etc, regardless of how far, when, and where they are. He also said a mother that forgets about her child, will also be forgotten..I said that to say that my son and I are in the same boat(little communication w/dad)..so we just go with the flow. Some things we cant control..But Im sure u'l make a wise decision"-)

Denielle - posted on 12/13/2011

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Hi Heather and Donna..I have a 17 year old daughter,and her father and I split up when she was 2..he and I were together for 6 years..(first love) we stil got along after we split until his new gilfriend (now wife) came along.
She was good to our daughter(at first) but after awile she was starting to show signs of jealousy...after awile his weekends with our daughter were over...He started to drop her off at his moms house instead of spending time with her!! I stopped that real quick.I wanted our daughter to see her grandmother but,I would rather have her on the weekends if he didnt want to see her!! Soon after he stopped seeing her altogether...this was very hard for my daughter to understand..I started her in counciling soon after because I wanted her to have someone to talk to about her feelings without her thinking she was going to make someone close to her feel bad......she went for a few years and she was doing great,till one day when she was around 10ish she asked if she could just call her daddy and see if he would talk to her..this just broke my heart because I knew what was going to happen,and she called him they talked for 2 min and then she came to me crying...he told her he had to go and not to call him again!!! I hated him for this,who could do this to thier own little girl??
Time went by and my husband and I decided to move south...about 800 miles from home...best move we ever made!!
My daughter is 17 now and doing great,she is very close to her stepdad (who has been there since she was 5!!
now we are able to have conversations about her biological father and she is ok with what happened and understands its nothing she did...I was so worried about her teen years and how she would act.
She is still in contact with her grandmother and her aunts (who stopped speaking to him after he did this)
I am so proud of my daughter and the woman she is becoming!!!...his loss!!!
I know this might not help but I can say that I totally understand and feel for you and your children:(

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7 Comments

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Klara - posted on 12/22/2011

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wow.. sounds complicated. Bottom line, if you cut off contact, she may resent you for it later. I honestly think your best approach is to let her send it, but talk with her about that he may/may not return it, and how that will make her feel either way. Its too bad he is so irresponsible, but if he was super involved, that might be hard too with the distance. could be he is angry you moved, but he is the adult and needs to get over it. I would also (as long as the step dad relationship is positive), continue to encourage him spending time with her to be that male role model she seems to be looking for. He needs to make sure she knows he wants to be a part of her life, but that he isnt trying to take the place of dad unless SHE decides she wants him to.

Donna - posted on 12/14/2011

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Hi Danielle,
Thanks for posting! I find it interesting that you said your daughter was around ten when she called, and my daughter is too. I think I will let her send him the Christmas card, but talk to her about the real possiblity of not receiving a card back, and/or how she wants to handle it if he calls. (I doubt he will he is on probation for child support and is now 20 days late....a whole other story!) Does she want to talk to him, or does she just not want to know if he even calls. Thanks for responding!

Donna - posted on 12/12/2011

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Heather....hopefully we'll get several opnions. It's almost like I'm dammed if I do, dammed if I don't. Family is mixed, but for the most part say cut all communication unless he starts proving otherwise...which we doubt will ever happen. She is very confused and now that she's approaching her teen years, I'm worried what this may result in.

Heather - posted on 12/12/2011

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I'm curious about the responses you get because we have a similar situation. My daughter's behavioral health doctors won't answer me, and her psycologist (I spelled that wrong I'm sure) won't give me a straight answer either.

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