My 13 year old daughters have suddenly decided to move out from home and live with their father. They refuse to speak to me and don't want to know me. I'm worried about them but don't know how to reconnect with them and rebuild the relationship. Any tried, tested ideas that have really worked?
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Apryl - posted on 03/28/2012
Sorry you are going through this. If you are a parent who has alot of rules they don't like and are more of a rules than relationship person, rebellion is inevitable with teenagers but sometimes the way we respond as parents pushes that age group further from us.
I personally know that when I went through those adolescent years with my daughter, my rules were more about me having control than considering my child's needs. I learned to pray more, let go of the control, recognize that she was only on loan to me for a little while from God, that God loves her best and knows just what is best for both of us, and to remember that rules without a relationship leads to rebellion.
Teenagers will always test you because they are questioning everything they know about you and are trying to find out who they are. It is definitely a time for patience, a time to reinvent yourself in relating to them, and a time to still show you care regardless of how they act. Remember they are still children needing structure and wanting unconditional love even though they aren't always the most lovable.
I would still reach out to them in settings that they maybe more receptive to participate, and LISTEN to them more without always TELLING them what to do. I alot of time they don't believe we LISTEN to them and that starts the cycle of them not wanting to be around because they FEEL misunderstood. Don't GIVE UP on them...they need you even though they are acting otherwise. Best wishes and praying for you to RESTORE your relationship with your daughters! God Bless you!
Krista - posted on 03/22/2012
I think we're going to need more context here. It's not unusual for teenagers to prefer one parent over the other, but to refuse to even speak to you or know you? Something more is going on here. Can you enlighten us as to WHY they might feel this way? Otherwise, it's hard to know how to help you reconnect with them if we don't know why you disconnected in the first place.
E - posted on 03/29/2012
Thanks Apryl! They are all such great words of wisdom and sense. You've really given me something to think about and act on. I see what you are saying and it's all very true. I'm being patient and giving them space, not contacting them so they don't feel pressured, but what you say is all so true. Thank you so much for responding with such clarity, it's much appreciated and considered. Take care.
E - posted on 03/22/2012
Late last year they went overseas with their father as the girl's grandfather was unwell and dying. When they came back I took them on a planned break and they were unfriendly, had a bullying attitude, made life very miserable and had me in tears. Once we returned home, they packed their things and kept saying they were going to live with their father. When the date came for him to pick them up they had packed everything and that was that. I was emotionally exhausted by the attitude and bullying. Since that time my father has passed away, who the girls were close to, but during his illness (passed from cancer) they hardly came to see him and refused to see me, saying things like 'you are not our mother'. I expected attitude and mood swings, but not this. They are now with their father, his wife and their children who are 2 and 5 years old. They seem to have completely rejected my side of the family and claim that the issues are all with me. I am stricter than their father, and he has enabled them to continue with this attitude but what can I honestly do when he refuses to return them as he is saying they don't want to come back.
E - posted on 03/22/2012
Thanks Amanda. The problem is that they refuse to see or speak to me, answer calls, texts or emails. Wondering if I should just leave them be and have their space or keep trying which might just push them away even more, if that's possible.
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