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hey, i am 15 years old. So me and my dad don't really have a good relationship anymore. The only time we talk is when he is telling me he is disappointed in me for something. im not a bad kid at all. i make pretty good grades and i never get into any trouble. I just dont know what to do and i really need help b/c he is causing me to literally cry myself to sleep every night b/c that is the worst feeling knowing your dad is disappointed in you, and you dont even know what you did wrong.

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I am so sorry to hear that your dad has let you down this way. I know that you are at a time in your life when his respect and support would mean a lot, so it must be very painful for you to have to go without them.

I imagine that your dad must be very disappointed in his own life, or maybe he is going through some difficuly right now which you do not know about, for if he were happy, I doubt very much that he would be treating you so harshly. Or perhaps he was criticized in childhood by his dad, and is just repeating that old pattern as many people do.

Without knowing you and your dad, it is hard to make any firm suggestions about how to handle this, but I hear from your letter that you need help, so I will make three recommendations which you may like to follow if they seem to make sense to you in your specific situation:

1. Wait until your dad seems to be in a good mood, and ask him politely if you could speak with him about something important. If he agrees, you might tell him that you feel he is disappointed in you, and that you do not know why. If he is still listening, tell him that his support is very important to you as you go about growing from a child into a man, and that you hope that the two of you can open up some good communication again.

2. You did not mention your mom, but if you are able to speak honestly with her, you might ask her what she thinks is going on with this. Perhaps she will have some ideas about how to go about repairing the bond between you and your dad.

3. Have a talk with your school counselor. Sometimes these are kind and understanding people (not always of course). If yours is OK, he or she might be able, after some investigation of your feelings, to make some further suggestions.

4. If none of these helps you, then I want you to try to understand that just because a man can father a child (make a woman pregnant, that is) does not mean that he can be a good father in the sense of helping a child to grow up properly. If your dad is not that kind of good father, and if speaking with him does not help, you may need to accept that the relationship you would like to have with him is just not possible for him. This will not take the pain away, but it will help you to begin to look elsewhere for the support and respect you need at your age.

In any case, I wish you all the best in your young life, and I hope you will find the love and support you need, if not now, then soon.

Be well.

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page last modified January 3, 2007

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