Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Need Advice

I have a 14 your old daughter who seems to be so unhappy with her current home life with her father. Her father and I have been divorced for 10 years and I have always believed in making it a high priority to make sure she had both of her parents in her life. That is why I agreed to 50/50 custody agreement. So 3 days a week Sunday - Tuesday she is with her father, step mother, and her siblings ages 1 and 3.

Everyday she tells me horrible stories about how her step mother hates her, yells at her, and separates her from her little brother and sister. And now her father curses at her everyday, threatens her if she doesn't quite dance class, tells her if she goes to live with me he will no longer pay for private school. Now she tells me they are going to kick her out of her bedroom and put her on a pull out bed in the home office. She is so upset

My daughter is a good kid. Never gets into trouble, she is respectful, loving, kind, and her passion is to dance. I want to run to my ex-husband and tell him what is going on and how she feels but she is begging me not to. That if I do he will take it out on her and she wont be able to see her father.

She loves him, loves her brother and sister but I can see how unhappy she is to go to his house. She was shaking the other day because her step mother was picking her up. What can I do? What should I do? Is this normal with teens and divorce? Any advice would be great...


  1. She has reached an age where she should make up her own mind abut what she wants. Just ask her, and support whatever decision she makes without being hateful or angry. If she feels right now like she hates her dad, let her know that's an ok feeling, but that he is a good man in a bad situation.

    There is no such thing as normal in a divorce. Divorce is always hard and you are the only one who can make it easier on her. Be strong, I know from other posts you really love her.

  2. Agreed with Tom, I think you should let her decide what she wants to do. It may be that this will only be temporary, and she'll be okay with living him sometime down the line....But, there's also a chance that things really are miserable over there, and that she needs to live with you all the time. See what she says, and go from there...

  3. I agree with Tom & Panda. Let her decide and see what makes her happy.


  4. Being a step father and experiencing first hand something similar, not sure I'd agree vs. having an exloratory, non confrontational discussion with the ex. This assuming you can have a discussion vs. the alternative. My step-daughter did not like her father while in her teen years, let alone his wife (big disconnect).
    I saw a lot of mistakes made, but the divorced parents were 'at war' and two kids could see/hear it.

  5. I'm not so sure I agree with the "let her decide" mentality. She is only 14, still a child, and is relying on both of her parents for rules, boundaries, and guidance. It is good to allow choices, but those choices must be well thought out and agreed upon by all parties. The parents should talk PRIVATELY and come to an agreement before sharing a decision with the child. I'm not saying that the child shouldnt have a say or be included in conversations. I'm just saying that it does more harm than good when parents aren't on the same page and voice differing oppinions or argue in front of the child. Not being on the same page allows the child the opportunity to take sides and for one parent to potentially be the "bad guy". Teenagers are tough. Even the "good" kids find ways to manipulate parents (even more so when parents are divorced) and often take advantage of this when they are upset or angry with one parent. I know as a mother it is difficult to hear your child's complaints. It's heartbreaking to think your child is not being treated fairly. Is it possible you could have a heart to heart with her father? Does your daughter want to live full time with you? Would her father be agreeable to weekend visitation? Why does your daughter feel the way she does? What specifically happened and what are the facts? Teenage girls especially are emotional creatures and often take things to heart and are known for being a bit more dramatic (ie: blowing things out of proportion) about some things than a situation warrants. I'm in no way saying this is what is happening. Just that these are the things you should consider. I'm the mother of a teenage son. I've been through the wringer with a nasty divorce, an uncooperative ex who has had multiple girlfriends and wives, many who have created problems for my son and myself, and a rebellious teenager. I've often been the "bad guy" simply for enforcing rules such as "homework is to be done before play". I wish there was an easy solution. Best of luck and I hope everything works out for you and your daughter.