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Hello and thank you for contacting us.
I am sorry to hear about your difficult relationship with your daughter. You sound quite disappointed and hurt by this. I would like to ask if possible, how old is your daughter, how long has she been avoiding contact with you, has your relationship always been the same as now or has anything happened to trigger this change?Also, has her mother tried to elicit some answers regarding your relationship with her? Finally, what is your theory about it, your explanation?
Looking forward to your response
she is 14yrs old. i would say that she has been noticebly avoiding me since August this year.
i have a son who is 18 that i was involved with as a coach all the way up until two years ago. i was also involved with coaching my daughter as well. my son was very talented and it was more conducive to my teaching skills in that he was at a level that he could be pushed somewhat and he was willing to listen. (note that i did not push him in a abd sense and he has since quit sports and is in school for acting which is really kewl to me) the jist is that he was serious and she is recreational which is fine.
one of the issues i find is that all my instruction has been greeted by "I know that" and "Dad stop". Never got that teaching boys except for a few. in fairness maybe she falls into that few category. (as a coach i teach and do not raise my voice, but do ask players to pay attention and respect me)
my wife would say you never take her out and play catch with her the way you did with ryan (my boy). i answer that with ryan would always ask me to go out and play. my girl never asks and is not interested when i ask her to go out and have a catch. i do not think my wife realized that. also i do not care whether she plays sports or not. i told my daughter that i would like to find other things to share other than sports.
my wife has asked her and she denies anything is wrong between me and her. i was thinking when she brings over her friends to the hosue they are very friendly to me so i do not get the feeling she is talking bad about me to her friends.
i am sure i struggle with communication skills with women in general. though i have been married for 25 plus years my wife still points out how oblivious i am to her sensitivities. (not a bad marraige though) i am sure i have to learn how to communicate with women better and find something that we can do in common. i have to figure out a way to get through to her and get her to tell me what is bothering her and what i need to do to correct it.
ok. Thank you very much for this information. You have shed a lot of light in this for me. First of all, I would like to say that you sound as a very sweet man who cares a lot about his family. Perhaps, what you say is true about not growing up with women and thus you find it harder to connect with them. However, women and men are not that different in reality. You could have easily had this type of communication issues with your son, if your son had a somewhat different personality.
Now, going back to your daughter's difficulties... From your description I took a few key things in mind that you said. First of all, your coaching role. As you would know, to be a good coach you would need amongst other things to be able to discipline children. You also expect certain successes on behalf of the children and no matter how sensitive you may be in showing this, this can still add to the pressure some children may feel. It is ok if you have the coach a couple of times a week for a sport but it can be a totally different experience if you have the coach as your dad. Then, it is very easy for the child to get caught up in to pleasing the dad, making him proud all the time every day since the role of coach and dad is the same. Therefore, it is possible that your daughter may feel deep down that she has displeased you in some ways and that she has not been able to make you feel proud for her sport achievements as her brother has. This can lead to avoiding the person altogether, in order to avoid the feeling of being a failure.
Also, you said that she often says to you " I know that" and "dad stop". This could indicate that she perceives what you say as if this comes from a teacher who always knows best. So again, she seems to be able to see you only as a coacher/teacher. She is possibly giving you the message to leave the role of the coacher/teacher and put on the role of her dad.
So to sum up, it appears as that you are much more comfortable communicating with her through your role as a coacher and what you would need is to understand how to communicate with her as her dad that does not know everything, does not tell her what to do and most importantly you do not expect her to prove her self to you. By all means I do not mean that you are the kind of bossy coacher, demanding and focusing on success alone but I am just trying to give you her possible perspective. it is possible that your difficulty is not about communicating with women but communicating outside your coaching role.
At this point I would like to hear your views on that and take it from there.
Looking forward to your response.
I would also like to add something that you need to take into account as well. Your daughter is an adolescent and during this phase, she is very likely to feel the need to be rebellious and trying to establish her identity. So it can also be understandable that she would rather show these tendencies to you, as you once were and possibly always will be a rather stronger authority figure to her than her mother.
I hope that helps
this is the problem with texting back and forth for help.
the " I know that" and "dad stop" are when i am coaching.
i believe you are on to something with the fact she may seem like she is falling short of my expectations. i have no expectations or demands with sports, it is for fun, however i do teach when i coach. that is why i do not want it to be a sports driven relationship.
How do i try to get her to open up to me and get whatever it is off her chest?
Well, you would need to understand that as children we internalize our parent's identities and that includes all their beliefs and actions. So even if she used these words/responses to you while you were coaching her, it is still very possible that she has picked up your wish for her to succeed and she has carried this outside the sports field. Do not forget the power of body language and how many times you may have thought twice about not saying something but your body language saying something different.
I believe that a good way to start is to ask her to come with you in a nice place such as a zoo or to go for a coffee in a nice cafés. Ask her kindly and try to convince her to come with you. Then, you need to have prepared what to say. This should go along the lines of what you have written here. You could even print these conversations here and show her what we have been discussing. If not, share with her what you feel comfortable with about how you feel that you may have let her down by expecting too much and possibly not realizing that you should have distinguished your role as her dad and as a teacher. Admit your mistakes or that you may have (with no intention) made her feel inferior to her brother or that she is not good enough. Tell her how much you love her for who she is and that you would not want to change this for anything. Tell her how painful it is for you to see her avoiding you and try to empathize with her possibly feeling hurt by you.
Hopefully this meeting will have broken some of the ice. After that, I would suggest that you tried to give her some of the control of what she would like to do with you, make her feel comfortable with telling you what she does not like about you and if she feels angry or hurt with you. Ask for her opinion on things and present yourself as needing her help with different things around the house.
Relationships are hard and they take a lot of continuous work to sustain. Hopefully using these techniques you will be able to turn things round. I would also suggest that you showed your wife these posts and get her view on these and possibly her help into putting these into action.
I do wish you all the best in your efforts