11 year old Daughter

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  • #43238 Report




    New to the forum and have only really read it from a distance.

    Im a single dad of an 11 year old daughter. I seen her 3 days a week and she stays with me 2 nights, sometimes 3. Her mum and I have a relatively amicable relationship although there are occasions when that isn’t the case.

    My daughter is going through the usual pre teen stage, moody, snappy etc. I have learned not to take it personally now. She is a mummy’s girl which I respect and would never try change.

    But recently, I have felt a bit of distance with my daughter. For example, I text her each morning wishing her a good day at school, then later at night il ask how it went. I get no answer, at most a “fine”. I try call her to see how her day was and she hits the reject button. I assume she is just chatting to pals etc which im happy with.

    I am just concerned this “distance” never goes away. I don’t have any relationship with my own dad so want to make the most of mine with my daughter. Im wondering if any guys have been in a similar position and how they found it? Her mum assures me that in a matter of years, roles will reverse and she will come to me for everything so don’t force something now that I cant control. That sounds fine in an ideal world but theres always that nag, is that true, will it get better or worse.


    Sorry for the long post.


    #43239 Report


    My teenage son lived with me and he never answered his phone or replied to texted messages apart from the occations he wanted to message me, because a: he didn’t hear, see, battery was flat, he was on the bike, had very important business to do or b:…..IT isn’t easy and it won’t be again as it was with the child, when this is over they will be grown ups and biologically able of having their own kids. I sense your fear and I admit it must be much more difficult for you as it was for me as she doesn’t need to come home to you for food and shelter. Stay cool. Reduce the phone stuff to the bare minimum but, suggestion for books, clubs, activities, things like dentist and stuff. If your ex includes you in that, the braces will be an 18 month thing to keep you occupied together. Just keep going, let her have her time, be there and when you come out of this you will have a grown-up friend. Important is, both of you parents make sure you are not played against each other and you keep up the routine. Teenager keep their relationship to grandparents. So why not to a parent?

    #43249 Report


    It sounds like you are being very perceptive, thoughtful and sensitive about the situation, in which case I’m sure the relationship won’t be lost forever. Your ex is right – go easy….teenage girls are complex things and if you push too much you will just become annoying (to be honest, you could do nothing and you will still probably become annoying to a teenager!). Don’t back off completely, you want her to know you are always there for her and will be ready when she is to up the contact again but don’t overwhelm her with it or push for more if you feel it isn’t enough. Might be a good idea to have a chat with her, explain that you understand things are changing for her, she growing up and may want to spend more time with her friends etc but that you want her to know you will always be there for her when she needs you and that if she thinks your messaging too much, she can just let you know and you won’t be offended or upset. You could maybe come up with a list of things that she would like to still do with you that you could enjoy together (even just going to costa for a drink!) and suggest it would be nice if, even as she’s spending more time doing different things with friends, if you could do one of them every now and then. My oldest is just about to turn 11 but lives with me so not quite as tricky but I was literally having this discussion with my friend yesterday who has a nearly 13 year old. Her ex is pushing to spend more time with her even though she wants to spend a bit less time with her Dad (as all teenagers naturally do!) and my friend has told him that if he doesn’t give her a bit of freedom to choose it is going to push her away and she will resent spending any time at all with him, but he won’t listen. Sounds to me like you are willing to listen and realise that things change and adapt as children grow up so I think all will be well….once you’ve got through the strops, arguments and first boyfriend! 🙂

    #43430 Report


    Not much help but what a sweet and caring dad you sound like ❤️ From my own experience, both with having a girl of similar age (she’s twelve now, my youngest is 10), and also having been a girl of that age who once threw a plate full of food at my dad because his very existence annoyed me so much, I think what’s happening is very normal, and a part of establishing boundaries with the opposite sex as puberty happens. It just gets augmented when there is a case of shared parenting, as in, had there been two parents present then she would perhaps have simply avoided being around you a bit and it wouldn’t have been so noticeable,  but now it just gets impossible to do so. You’re doing great! I know first hand how exhausting the conflicts can be, and I am holding out hope that the sooner they start the sooner they’ll be over lol. 😒

    #43433 Report


    I have the same problems. Thanks!

    #43691 Report


    Hello Thomas_H,

    Same boat and boy is it hard.

    Wanting the very best for my partner & daughter, only for it all to end.

    Daughter is my Angel now 12, separation has caused untold hurt.

    Though still just want best for both. Initially my daughter did not want to stay with Mum and each day guidance, support and correct direction for both parents to be actively be part in her upbringing, bear the best fruits for her future.

    Will agree giving time is important, good outings and treats really help with bonding. They don’t need to be costly.

    Good Luck


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