Not long ago I said something to a friend about the importance of a dad’s voice in the life of their daughter and a girl’s desire to hear from her dad. The man I was talking to said “even my teenager?” It can get difficult in the teenage years. But yes, your daughter still needs to hear from you (and perhaps maybe even more so now).
I read the below story from a book called Sticky Faith which demonstrates this.
“Plus, we can’t assume that just because our kids say they don’t want to talk to us, they really mean it. I’ll never forget hearing the story of Jin, a pretty rough seventeen-year-old whose single dad sent her to a Christian school in hopes that it would “straighten her out.” Whether it was because her friends were going or because she warmed up to “the whole God thing,” Jin signed up for the school’s spring break mission trip to Guatemala.
Jin ended up sitting on the flight next to Joe, the school’s campus pastor. For the first few hours, Jin was her normal tough self. She put on her earphones and mostly ignored Joe. He tried to ask her questions about her family, but Jin summarized her relationship with her dad by saying, “I asked him to leave me alone. And he has.”
Throughout the mission trip, the Lord worked in Jin and she softened. By the end of the trip, she confessed to Joe through her tears, “I wish my dad had not done what I asked. I wish he hadn’t left me alone.” (p 83)
I too wish he hadn’t done what she asked. I bet in retrospect, her dad wished he hadn’t either. I can imagine that he thought he was doing the right thing by leaving her alone.
It’s tough to keep at a relationship when it feels like you are swimming upstream.
However, it’s usually the things that don’t come easy that end up to be really amazing. This situation is not all that unique – I have heard this from girls before.
They often are seeing if you will fight for them, pursue them, and not give up on them.
Keep at it dads. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s well worth it.
Yes, even your teenagers want to hear from you!
~ Kristy Fox