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Wedding Woes

The girl may need help, but this guy is helping nothing.

Dear Prudence,
I am a father of two incredible children, but my older, a 10-year-old girl, is having emotional troubles. She is temperamental, angry, argumentative, and emotionally volatile. I am worried that it is my fault. When my son was born he had medical issues that required multiple surgeries over several years. My wife and I were worried, not sleeping well, arguing, and not creating a loving, peaceful home. I eventually had to have anger counseling because I couldn’t cope at work. That was several years ago, and while I have been much better, there are times when I slip. I am harsh and cold, I yell and am abrupt. I think I have been emotionally damaging to my child. I am worried that she is entering young adulthood being too demanding of others and unable to cope with conflict, among other negative traits. I’m an introvert and don’t really have friends, so I am very concerned that I haven’t been a good role model for her, and I know how hard life can be for a young woman. I want her to be prepared, safe, and confident, but I feel like I failed.

—Lousy Father

Re: The girl may need help, but this guy is helping nothing.

  • Enh. The first sentence sounds like a 10-year-old girl, IMO. Bacon gets PMS, just like I do, and yes, those hormones start making everything awful right about that age. 

    If he's really concerned, he should take her to a therapist for some targeted sessions about dealing with feelings and not hurting other people. But I think he's giving himself too much "credit" for having an almost-teenager. 
  • My exact thoughts, bmom.  I was like, "Uh this sounds normal for a tween."
  • Heffalump said:
    Y'all, I am not looking forward to this stage.  At all.
    Oh...yeah.  It's not fun. It could kill you.  Or you could end up taking her out. ;) 
  • Good lord, that sounds like neighbor kid.  I told him to his face that he was being an asshole the other day and to please stop or leave.  Scared the crap out of him, I think, but he stopped.  I know the struggle is going on at home too.

    Go get some therapy if it's that big of an issue.
  • Ugh - IMO - The only person he can change is himself - start being the man he'd want his daughter to bring home when she's older.  Take her fishing...  Take her to the movies..  Take her on Daddy/Daughter lunch/dinners.  Most of all, model how a man is suppose to take care of and treat his wife and family starting now.  The past is in the past, start fresh and keep it up for the next 8 years.  Make the time to do things together and get to know HER and her likes/dislikes/hopes/dreams at each step along the way.

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