How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood This month, learn about the pre-teen meltdown and what every father should learn on how to handle it. Read more.
How To Be A Better Dad: Pre-Teen Meltdown
How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting
section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our
members who are in all stages of fatherhood This month, learn about the
pre-teen meltdown and what every father should learn on how to handle it. Read
My name is David and I am a 47-year old Single Parent living
in California with an 11-year old daughter. I have 50/50 custody and have been
divorced for over five years. I must admit, this past summer has been difficult
between my daughter and I. It seems like puberty has hit early in my household
and I am experiencing some strange and unpredictable behavior from my daughter
and I wanted to ask other Dads on this website if this is normal.
My daughter’s behavior goes like this:
My daughter has normal daytime and mid afternoon behavior.
Doesn’t talk back, does all her homework and relatively happy and calm during dinnertime
with me. Somewhere between her evening bath time and getting ready for bed, she
becomes an emotional rollercoaster.
At first, I thought it was just fatigue from her getting used to her
back to school wake up times and travel schedule, but now I am convinced it is
My daughter will randomly be upset over different things.
Many of the things she worries about have nothing to do with her, her health or
safety. These conversations are often escalated and turn into fits of tears.
When I try to ask her what’s going on, she simply says: "I don’t know how to
explain what I am feeling".
Has any of this happened to you and can you offer any
Puberty and Pre-Teen Melt-Down Behavior
Good times David. Although I am not a doctor and nor am I
giving you any medical advice; let me tell you that as a father, I have
experienced what you have described couple times with both of my daughters
around the same age range.
There are a lot of things happening in your daughters’ body.
Puberty activates hormones and every kid is different. For my daughters, I saw
the erratic behavior spout up as unpredictable as an earthquake in California,
(you know it’s going to happen, you just don’t know when).
Here is a list of things I learned that I will share with
1. Don’t try to fix or rescue the situation when it erupts.
Dads like us want to remedy anything that our daughters feel upset about. Your
actions will only make things worse. Sometimes the best thing you can do is
listen to them, no matter how crazy they go in describing this anxiety. As long
as nobody is getting hurt, just listen and don’t offer a solution. Your
solution is giving them an open ear.
2. Don’t get angry or visibly frustrated with them. I have
made this mistake several times and if you shut them down with your authority;
you will lose your daughters attention and trust. The truth is David, nobody
knows what’s going on inside of your daughter and getting angry is basically
invalidating her feelings. Do you best to stay calm and not lose your cool in
front of your daughter.
3. It’s always recommended to seek professional advice from
a licensed, family therapist. I have had the same one for all three of my kids
and I felt having this professional in my life allowed me to gain perspective
and learning new ways to communicate to all three of my children. Most Health
Insurance plans include this type of professional support and I encourage you
to seek all options,.
How To Be a Better Dad
In Summary, I can remember having your experience with both
of my daughters and as soon as it came; it also left our household. There is no
exact date or time I can tell you when it is over, but I assure you that you
will get through this experience with a healthy father-daughter relationship
intact if you follow my advice.
Keep me posted on our results.
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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”