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Angela
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  n/a
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Hi Angela, you have help me with relationship questions in

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Hi Angela, you have help me with relationship questions in the past and I feel very comfortable talking with you and ur answers to my questions. I would like to work with you if possible. My question is already out there but I would like your response please. No disrespect intended.
My daughter is very involved in dancing and musical theatre. I thought she loved what she was doing. She has been doing both since she was about 6. My ex and I have joint custody. My ex-husband will not allow our daughter to participate in different extracurricular activities if they fall on a day that he has custody of her. I have to plan all appts, lessons, sporting events with my new family around the parenting plan when I have custody of her. She is 12 years old and is very intimidated by her father. She does not stand up for what she believes is right or wrong. Her father says no to events, making unrealistic requests from dance teachers/directors basically telling them that she can participate with the understanding that no matter when it is, that he has the authority to pull her out of an event or show if her grades start to drop. By doing this, he knows that they will say no and that it won't be him making the decision. She has missed out on many wonderful opportunities/scholarships because she just caves in when she has to approach her father with a question of participation. She says...my dad won't let me. I am at my wits end. I have taken myself out of this dysfunctional triangle between my daughter and my ex. She has to stand up for herself and fight for what she wants in life. I have fought for her for 6 years now and my ex for her to participate and running myself crazy doing things on my days and I'm exhausted. I have to for myself. My daughter doesn't seem to care....now things are just passing her by because she won't stand up. Any advice please!!!!!! I'm very sad all her talents are going by the waste side!! Thank you!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Angela.
I am more than happy to assist you with your questions by giving you my honest and respectful opinion.

I appreciate you requesting me, however, the last time I answered your questions, my answers did not seem helpful because you did not click on the accept button. The link is here for the previous answers:
http://www.justanswer.com/questions/3o2vr-hi-my-husband-does-a-lot-of-traveling-back-and-forth-from

Therefore, I wouldn't want to reply to another question if my previous answers were not helpful. However, thank you for your interest.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry Angela, I thought I did. Your answers were very helpful hence my request to have you help again. I will go back and accept my previous question I asked. As i mentioned before....I thought I did. If you still do not want to assist me, I understand. Please accept my appologies. I would really like to talk with you. I hope that you would reconsider.

 

With great regret,

Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am more than happy to assist you and thank you that you will accept my previous answer.

Just as a side note: I have some customers who repeatedly come back to me with new questions even though they never accepted my previous answers- this is why I posted my response to you in the manner that I did because of those types of customers.

To answer your questions from this post:
I am very sorry to hear about this and my concerns are as follows: 1. what her father is doing to her is killing her self-esteem and confidence which will carry over into her adulthood (-if this pattern is not changed) and could possibly cause her to be in a relationship with a controlling significant other who could abuse her (-mentally, emotionally, etc.). 2. her father is also being very manipulative in how he approaches the dance instructors, directors, etc. so that they give in to him and my concern is for your daughter not to get the message from him that it is okay to manipulate people to get your way. As a result, the possible answers that I think would be the best for your daughter and you are as follows: 1. begin to work with your daughter as you have time during her visits with you on building her self-esteem and confidence and also have her keep a journal to write down her thoughts in it as she works on building her self esteem and confidence. The best ways to do this are: therapy- if financially feasible, but for most people therapy is not financially feasible, therefore, my next alternative is to use a self help book to help her build her self esteem and confidence. I suggest that you have her keep her self help book and journal in a safe place whether it is at your house or her father's house as long as it is kept safe and private. Then when she visits with you make a point to check in with her on a weekly basis in private with her to ensure that she is actually reading the book and writing down her thoughts and reactions to what she reads. Also, be sure to ask her to write down any incidents involving anyone (-father, friends, etc.) that she wanted to express her thoughts and feelings to but she did not do so and to write down why she did not do so in order for her to learn from this incident and change her behavior in the future. During the time when you check in with her, ask her would she like to share anything with you from her self help book, journal, or if she has any questions for you. Be sure to explain to her why you would like her to do the above so that she understands that it is because you love her and want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a confident manner because she is a beautiful young lady more than capable of doing this. The reason I suggest doing all of the above in addition to my other concerns I began the post with is also because as she gets more confident by building her self esteem she will begin to express her thoughts and feelings to her father (-and not only to him but to others who she would normally not do so with). This is a process that takes sometime to do, but with you checking in with her on a weekly basis in the manner I described she should progress nicely. Since your ex does not listen to your concerns about his behavior then your daughter is the next best line of defense for him and hopefully he will eventually begin to change his behavior as she speaks up to him in a respectful manner even if he chooses not to change his behavior at least she will be speaking her mind to him in a respectful manner which is priceless. Some books you could consider are:
Book 1. Book2. Book3.

Also, I understand how you are at your wits end with this situation (-understandably so), I suggest if possible, because you are only human, to try and schedule only one extracurricular activity that you can commit to instead of several since your ex clearly is not helping out. You could talk to her about this and explain to her that unfortunately you will have to ask her to choose one extracurricular activity for when she is with you because you cannot control what happens when she is not with you. For example, maybe she could choose the one extracurricular activity she likes the most to do when she is with you.
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience: n/a
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