Q&A: Mending relationship with my estranged daughter

Q: I’m estranged from my adult daughter. I definitely wasn’t the best father, although I’ve changed for the better in recent years. But I haven’t spoken to her since she was seventeen; she’s thirty-five now. I’d love for our relationship to be rekindled, but I don’t know if I should reach out or wait for her to show interest in me.

A: Our heart goes out to both of you; we expect that there have been many things over the years that have led to this difficult situation. It’s good to know that you, at least, have been able to make some positive improvements.

Most children, no matter how young or old they are, naturally think of their mum and dad as the “grownup” in the relationship. So unless there’s some kind of extenuating circumstance, take the lead. Reach out to your daughter and initiate contact. Show your interest in her. A little humility will go a long way.

Just as important, be willing to persevere. You can’t give up inviting your daughter into your life at the first sign of adversity. Respect the fact that your history together may not be entirely positive. Allow her some space for doubt or for old wounds that haven’t been resolved yet.

And take heart. Son or daughter, fifteen or fifty – deep inside, every child longs to reconcile with their father or mother. Some children are always open and ready while others may be angry or still distrust you in some way. Even if they’re motivated to reconnect, it may take a bit of a journey for their hearts to soften. Just keep your heart open and keep taking the lead.

Our staff at Family Support Services would be happy to help if you’d like to discuss this matter further. Feel free to call them at 03-7954 7920 or write to support@family.org.my.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

MORE

MARRIAGE

Making Marriage Work

Marriage is not an event but a process. Men and women are different in many ways, and that will affect how marriage works. Learn the difference and similarities between men and women that can influence marriage.

Read More >

PARENTING

Disciplining Children

Parenthood can be frustrating, especially when you don’t have a game plan. Explore how you can effectively raise disciplined children with 6 guidelines to discipline and a healthy parenting approach.

Read More >

Pushover Parents

Do you give in to your child’s every wish? Do you feel like you are a “pushover parent?” Find out what turns parents into pushovers and how to avoid it from happening to you.

Read More >
article-40-questions-ask-children-dinner

40 Questions to Ask Your Children at the Dinner Table

Having conversations with our children is critical for building a solid foundation of trust, demonstrating steadfast love, and teaching them how to grow as a young person. These 40 questions to ask your children are a great starting point for conversations around the dining table.

Read More >

FAMILY Q&A