“My daughter doesn’t want to see me anymore” – An expression that no parent ever wants to say but sadly, it’s said by many around the world.
When we bring our children into the world, we want the best for them from the very start. As we watch them grow up, we imagine the paths they will take.
We watch their first steps and start thinking about what college they will go to. As they grow older and start adapting to what life is, we watch on with pride.
The relationships between parents and children have many ups and downs. The ups bring so much joy while the downs bring many sorrows.
There might come a time though where the sorrows outweigh the joy and your child doesn’t want to see you anymore.
While most parents want the best for their children and find great joy in watching them grow up, it can be incredibly troubling when our relationships with them become strained.
How do parents cope when they are struggling with a damaged relationship between themselves and their children? What do you do when your daughter doesn’t want to see you anymore?
Find the reason
When you find yourself in a situation where your child doesn’t want to see or speak with you, the first thing you should do is figure out why.
What is the reason for the separation? There could be several different reasons why and your job is to figure out the answer.
The reason may be entirely out of your control. Perhaps there is a significant other, or organization influencing them. The reason might actually be you. Perhaps your behavior has given your daughter reason to back off.
This is why understanding the reason fully will help you in this situation because different reasons require different solutions.
1. Speak to them
Your child may not want to see you, but they may still be willing to talk.
Reach out to them and see if they are open to having a conversation. If you can get them to talk, that will be the fastest way to figure out what is going on.
As much as this conversation will likely be difficult to have, it needs to be done. If your actions have contributed to the estrangement, hearing your child talk about your behavior will cause some hurt.
Remember that we all make mistakes and as your hearing why they are upset, make sure you understand what you did and how you can better yourself from this situation.
2. Speak to others
If your daughter doesn’t want to talk, having a conversation with others can be a step you take.
If you have other children, tell them about this situation if they are unaware. Speaking with them may enlighten you as to what is going on with the child you’ve lost contact with.
Even if they do not care to talk specifically about their sibling, they may be able to share their own perspective.
If you don’t have other children, have a talk with people that you know and trust. If they are other parents, that’s even better.
Explain what is going on and how you can reestablish your relationship with your child. Hopefully, these people will give you insight into how you can personally solve this.
If learning more about the distance between you and your daughter is not possible by talking with them or other family members, self-reflection may be the only path to answers.
You can choose to dig deep alone, with a therapist, or other trusted confidant. You will probably need to start at the beginning: their childhoods.
Work your way through the years and try to figure out where things went wrong. The process will not be easy but could be the only way you can begin to heal.
Try to repair the damage
Assuming you’d like the relationship between your daughter and yourself to improve, repairing the damage is the way to do it.
Not all damage is repairable, but our children are worth the effort.
Again, the process can be painful so be prepared. Hanging on to hope for the two of you to be reunited can be exhausting but worth it. So where do you begin?
1. Keep trying
It can be very discouraging to be rejected by our children. When they turn us away, it hurts deeply. But if you want the relationship to ever get better, you must keep trying.
If your daughter will take your calls, keep calling. Tell her that you love her. Let her know you miss her and hope the two of you can meet again in person soon.
If your child isn’t willing to speak with you, try writing letters. Do not overdo it. Send a letter every few months or just a nice greeting card. She may not respond, but at least you will have relayed the message of love.
2. Be the best you can be
Your daughter doesn’t want to see you for a reason. If your behaviors presently or in the past contributed to the estrangement, you can take this time to work on yourself.
Maybe you were not the best parent, and that is okay. Parents are only human, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do better in the future.
Think about your part in this estrangement. What can you do differently? Work on being the best version of yourself.
By becoming a better person, you will be ready if your daughter does want to come around. Also, if your estranged child hears or sees your self-improvement, they may be encouraged to come back sooner.
Accept what is
You’ve poured your heart out over the phone to your estranged daughter and spoken to all of your family. You’ve consistently sent cards, with not one response. You’ve given up the drink, worked on your anger, and become a better person. Your daughter is still not willing to see you. Now what?
At the end of the day, we cannot control other people’s reactions to us. All we can do is focus on ourselves.
If you have put forth every possible effort to repair the relationship with your child but have gotten nowhere; it is time to accept what is.
Emotional pain is dangerous and can bring us to a very dark and lonely place. There are some coping skills you can use to work towards acceptance.
1. Find your spirituality
Spirituality refers to a connection between you and something bigger than yourself.
When you are hurting, turn to God. If Christianity isn’t your thing, explore other spiritual paths. Religion helps many people cope with a life that often seems unfair. Not everyone believes in God or has a church family.
Find something to study and to believe in. A little faith can go a long way on the road to healing your soul.
2. Practice self-care
Take care of yourself. Find new hobbies. You can begin to practice self-care by making time each day for yourself.
Make a list of activities you can do that will benefit your mental health. Many people take walks, read books, do puzzles, exercise, cook, or even just shower as self-care. The idea is to do something that is going to make you feel good. Do something that is just for you.
3. Get support
Reach out to others for support.
It is difficult to navigate a strained relationship with our children. You don’t have to do that alone. Find a support group for other parents experiencing similar losses. Speak to someone at church.
While there is shame involved with explaining the situation, there is great comfort in talking to a friend.
Final Thoughts – My daughter doesn’t want to see me anymore
Whether they are speaking to us or not, they are still our children. Even if your daughter doesn’t want to see you and there is no change on the horizon, keep your head up.
Figure out what went wrong by talking with her or other family members. Do whatever you can to repair the damaged relationship.
If things are not getting better, find a way to accept the situation by taking care of yourself in the meantime.