Daughter won't talk to me...
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|Fri, 05-30-2003 - 3:54pm|
I have a 14yo daughter that I'm struggling to connect
with. A large part of the problem is that she doesn't
live with me, but rather with her mother's parents nearly
three hours away. She has lived with them for about 9
years now (long story). Her mother has pretty much abandoned
her for her new life with a new husband and another child.
I try to visit her and have her visit me and include her
in activities whenever possible, but the distance and
the problem I'm about to describe makes it tough.
The problem I'm having is she won't talk to me... about
anything no matter how small. When we are together she
will not speak a word unless spoken to, and then it is
only short answers in direct response to a question. This
makes our time together a little strained as I struggle
to not have awkward silence. But more importantly, I want
to be a part of her life and know about the things that
interest her and her opinions and whatnot, but her silence
prevents this and is extremely frustrating. I've questioned
her grandmother about this on several occasions, and her
response is "oh she is just shy" Well, yea, but this is
a bit extreme. Her grandmother has said that she is more
outgoing among people she is around all the time like her
friends at school. I've been to her school functions and
there is some truth to the statement but she still seems
pretty quiet. Her grandmother says she enjoys my company
and enjoys the things we do together, but she never tells
Between visits we usually keep in touch via email (mostly
because the communication issue would make the phone rather
non-productive) and I do have a LITTLE more success there.
She usually replies and sometimes offers a little more insight
into her world, answering my questions with more than a
word or two. But sometimes I don't get any replies at all,
even after sending 2 or 3 messages over the course of a week.
A 14yo isn't so busy that she can't take 2 minutes to at least
acknowledge a communication, so I don't know what that's
Anyway, I'm at a loss at how to make the situation better.
I've tried everything I can think of to get her to open up
but nothing seems to help. I'm sure the environment she
lives in and the fact that both of her parents aren't around
(at least I try-- her mother doesn't really have anything to
do with her anymore) isn't helping. I know sometimes abuse
or other traumatic experiences can be a factor, but to the
best of my knowledge nothing of that nature has ever occurred.
Her grandmother says that she isn't really bothered by her
mother not coming around but I'm not sure how much truth there
is to that.
Anyone have any advice? This isn't a new problem, it has
been an issue for several years now and is really bothering