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Understanding the deafening silence

Understanding the deafening silence

Last week I was watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. It got me thinking that there is a Charlie Brown in all of us. I also feel that my relationship with both my daughters is a lot like that football Lucy keeps taking away at the last moment. As hard as I try, I just can’t quite connect. How many of you feel the same?

We have a great responsibility when it comes to our words as parents to our children. The same can be said for what our children says to us. The biggest difference is, as adults we should be aware of the power our words carry. Children and in my case teens, don’t fully understand how powerful their words can be let alone how hurtful. 

I got a little dose of that during the last Thanksgiving weekend with my youngest. I was trying to figure out why she doesn’t talk much to me beyond a one or two word response. The biggest reason why I want to know is seeing the interaction she has with her mother. Don’t get me wrong, at least she’s connecting with one of her parents. But as any good parent would, wanting to know what’s wrong is essential in understanding them and the feelings they keep guarded inside. 

Be careful what you wish for. Initially I was told I was annoying. That really didn’t bother me because I believe if a parent is doing his/her job, they should be annoying to their teenager. No, what got to me and if I’m being honest, broke my heart was her telling me that she felt like I wasn’t around much prior to her being in the fifth grade. That would mean that up until she was 10 years old she didn’t think I wanted to spend time with her. Hearing this hurt. Knowing that her mother knew she felt that way and never told me, made me upset but that’s another issue for another piece. 

My focus is and always has been my girls. My heart broke because I was too clueless to notice. I simply had no idea. I did work crazy hours back then and I know I missed a lot of games and practices that I could never get back. I did what I had to do to help provide even if some felt like it wasn't enough. I wish for my girls sake, I could turn back the clock.

READ MORE: What is kindness

Perhaps since my soon-to-be ex asked for a divorce I’ve tried too hard to do things with the girls. Not out of guilt but because I adore them, But teens need space to grow and find their own individuality. Even if we were the Brady Bunch, having their own space would be still be required. 

Time is ticking on my direct everyday involvement with them and I’m scared. Scared that as each day goes by, we drift further apart. No matter what, I’ll never stop asking to spend time with them. Yes, I can be rejected every day for what seems like forever but the day I stop not only do I believe they’ll notice, but they may think I had given up on them. 

When you love your children as much as I do my daughters, giving up is never an option. Sure it hurts being rejected. It hurts more feeling that somehow you let them down even though you never meant too. But I have to believe as time passes, they’ll come around. Popular belief states that girls need their father. I would add that a father also needs them. Sometimes even more so.

Someday soon that symbolic football will stay in place but until then, like Charlie Brown (no relation), I too will continue to try and connect.

James the SuperDad

Follow the adventures of James the SuperDad who uses his knowledge of the Force and all things pop culture to help raise his teenage, fangirl daughters to Live Long and Prosper. When not being a SuperDad, his other superhero persona is as The Dork Knight, an entertainment site catering to movies, television and comic convention reviews. You can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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