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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My husband is divorced and has 1 20-year old and 1 15-year

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My husband is divorced and has 1 20-year old and 1 15-year old teenag daughter. They live with their mom and he would like them to visit more him more often and for them to be enthusiastic about it. They are more inclined to want to spend time with their boyfriends, go to the mall or shopping~ regular teenage stuff. He has asked them to do this more often but has not gotten the result. He requires his daughters to call him in the morning, when they get home from work or when they go out; otherwise he feels he won't hear from them. He is a loving, loyal, dedicated father and his divorce was extremely difficult for him. He was guilt ridden. I feel it is important to note that his father committed suicide when he was 2 years old, and I feel this has something to do with his pain when he does not see them as often as he would like to. What can he do to improve the relationship with his daughters. He is not open to counseling~ I've asked.

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I am sorry to hear about the problems you and your husband are experiencing. One thing to remind your husband of is that even if he had not been divorced his daughters might not want to spend a lot of time with their father at this point in their lives, particularly if they were told that they had to. Instead of forcing the contact, it may be much more effective for him to work on giving the girls unconditional love, to have an honest discussion with them about what they need from their relationship, and to try to find activities that the girls might enjoy (either individually with their father, or together). The more he shows them unconditional love without pressure, the more likely they are to feel more inclined to have a relationship with him. He might try reaching out to them in the form of upbeat texts, calls or notes, just to let them know that he cares, but not to make them feel guilty about their lack of contact. If they are willing, going out for dinner together, or fun activities could help to build bonds through more enjoyable activities together. A good book about dealing with divorce is Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way

This book gives helpful information about what his daughters may have been experiencing. It may help him to understand them more easily.

I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

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