Just the mere thought of having cancer can bring someone in a state of disbelief and anguish; after all, it’s a life-debilitating illness that can put a toll on a person and interfere with the healthy and normal aspects of life. This is especially true for men who were diagnosed with testicular cancer.
One of the challenges about being a father to a teenage girl is that the fact of meeting your daughter’s first boyfriend is inevitable. No matter how much you try to avoid it, there will always come a time when someone would knock at your door, look for your daughter and introduce himself as the teenage boyfriend. As a father, it is only reasonable to feel shocked about such fact, especially if you think your daughter is too young to enter into a relationship. However, it does not mean that you can embarrass your teen in front of his partner just because you do not approve of them being together. According to a therapist, that is one of the worst things that any parent could do.
Take note that we understand what you are going through at this point. Finding out about the reality that your beloved daughter is already dating may be ridiculous in the beginning. However, you have no choice but to go with the flow. It is crucial for you to understand the reality that you can never control the way your daughter would live his life. Your role is to guide her to the right path. “Meeting the man does not mean that you are a fan of the relationship. Instead, it means that you are a fan of your daughter.” explains Barbara Greenberg Ph.D. Do not fret because we have come up with some expert solutions or strategies on how to be cool when it comes to meeting your ‘teen’s first boyfriend. Here are the tips to remember:
Avoid Asking Too Many Questions
For sure, a lot of things are running into your mind the moment you meet the boyfriend. You may think whether or not he comes from a good family. At the same time, you will also start to wonder how the guy and your teen meet. Do they usually go to school together? Is the boyfriend the reason why your teen is no longer a home buddy. These are just some of the inquiries that will run in your mind. However, we highly recommend avoiding asking it right away to your teen and her partner. As much as possible, save all the questions in another meeting. Do not act paranoid because everyone can sense it. Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D. says that “The top reasons behind hiding a partner from parents include fearing that parents will disapprove and not wanting to be serious with the partner.”
Be At Your Best
At this point in reading this article, you may start to wonder why you will be the one who should be at best. Well, this only means that you must show your right side to the boyfriend despite your approval of the relationship. Take note that it is significant for your daughter to feel validated for all her choices, particularly when it comes to relationship. Be at your best behavior in talking and communicating with the kid. Otherwise, you may end up terrorizing the boyfriend, and it can have adverse effects on your relationship with your daughter. If you feel like scolding the other person, the best thing to do is to keep your cool first. Making threats such as “if you date so and so, I won’t pay for school or clothes or whatever” will only alienate your child.” Deborah J. Cohan, Ph.D. advises. Avoid talking to the teens while you are still under a lot of stress and pressure. Wait for your intense emotions to subside before you can speak something that you will regret.
Ask Your Wife
If there are some questions that can be bothersome on your part, do not worry because you can always ask your wife about it. If there are some issues that you want to clarify with your teen, but you have no idea how to do it, be sure that you call for the help of your wife. For sure, she will be more than happy to assist you with everything you need. For example, if you wish to know more details about the background of your ‘teen’s boyfriend, it is best to try asking your wife because there is a good chance that she already knows. Aside from this, talking to your wife can also console what you are feeling inside. She can be your source of calmness in these times of confusion.
Talk To Other Parents
Another thing that you must never forget is to build connections with your communities. Get to know the parents who share the same sentiments as you do. If you have time to strike a conversation with a fellow dad who has the same concern as you do, then feel free to ask questions that you want to find the answers to. However, it is crucial that you ask questions that are fair and reasonable. Do not make examples that can put you and the other person in a compromising situation. More importantly, be careful of what you talk about to other people regarding your teenage daughter and her boyfriend.
Fathers no doubt love their children unconditionally, but it can’t be denied that most dads have a lot more in common with their sons, which is why they spend more time with them. Perhaps because they are daunted by the task at hand when they focus on the girls. According to psychologists, fathers simply need to understand them better – their personalities, their nature as females, and the physiological differences from the males. When they slowly begin to get around with these, fathers will feel just as comfortable with their daughters as they are with their sons.
Grilling is supposed to be the best way to prepare food for health-conscious families out there. For one, you won’t practically need oil because it will ooze out of the meat while cooking. Aside from that, the latter will be able to retain its nutrients (e.g., thiamine and riboflavin) more than when you heat it on the stovetop.
One of the saddest things that can happen into the life of a father is finding out that his teenage daughter is pregnant. The truth is that there is no easy way to handle this situation. It is normal for the father to feel angry, clueless or embarrassed about this situation. If you are going through this suffering in your life, do not worry because it is not yet the end of the world. There are a lot of things that can you can do to handle the situation. Below is a list of therapist’s tips that every father must remember when it comes to dealing with teenage pregnancy:
Keep Your Cool
What you are feeling at this moment is not something out of the ordinary. It is completely understandable if you feel betrayed about what happened to your daughter. You may think that her life is already over now that she is about to give birth at a young age. However, there is nothing that you can do to change the past. As such, accept what happened and keep your cool so that you can think clearly about the next steps that you are going to take. As long as you are mad, you can never think right.
Forgive Her First
Do not shut your daughter away just because she made a mistake. Welcome her back into your open arms. This is the moment wherein she needs you the most. As such, the right thing to do is to forgive her for what happened. Remember that in so doing, you are going to take the burden away from her life. At the same time, you are also going to give yourself a chance to move on from this unfortunate event. Failure to forgive her will only increase your stress and anxiety. Robert Enright Ph.D. explains that “Genuine forgiving, seeking forgiveness, and reconciliation are between and among human equals in which all parties have inherent worth and this is seen and acknowledged.”
Talk To Your Teen
Find a way to have a meaningful conversation with your teenage daughter. Take note that avoiding her is never a good idea as it can send a negative message to her. She may become too stressed, which can be a bad thing for an expecting mother. Make sure to think twice before you say something to your teen. “What we say and what we ask gives them an initial suggestion, which can be immensely helpful, especially in times of conflict.” says Miki Kashtan Ph.D. She can be sensitive at this time, which is why you must be careful with whatever you will tell her. Moreover, do not forget the significance of right timing when it comes to opening up to your beloved daughter.
Check Her Health
Now that your teen is already pregnant, she is not the only one who must be your primary concern. Right now, you must also think of your grandchild. For this reason, you must start to look for a medical doctor for regular checkups. Take note that your daughter needs to show up on doctor appointments so that you can avoid encountering problems or issues during pregnancy. The said medical professional can also advise your daughter on the proper things to during the three trimesters.
Cook For Her
Do not stop showing lovely gestures to your daughter now that she is going to become a teenage mother. As much as possible, continue whatever it is that you are doing to make her feel happy and special. You must make an effort to cook healthy meals for her. Avoid bringing her to restaurants and fast food chains because these food establishments usually use unhealthy ingredients for their meals. It is always a great idea to cook for her. It will not only keep her safe but also make her feel that you have forgiven her.
Book A Therapist
Do you think that your child has a difficult time to accept the situation? Does she need professional help to make her understand about all the changes that are happening in her life? Be an excellent father by finding a way to connect with a therapist or counselor. All that you have to do is to search for the best mental health expert in your community. Look for someone who has an excellent track record of helping troubled teens. “The situation is not hopeless. It just requires action.” reminds Susan Heitler Ph.D. However, you have to talk to your daughter about this first before taking the necessary steps.
Remind yourself that life goes on after this. Be courageous for your teen and everyone in the family.
Society somehow depicts that a father’s role in their kids’ life is about setting up rules and providing financial needs. But it’s more than that. Having a family, raising and providing for kids, and working on the repairs at home are only a few things that fathers do. And since people usually think that mothers are the ones who play the most important role in parenthood, they disregard the impact of a father. And knowing that a child’s development not only needs motherly assistance, there are things that a father unquestionably do better. That is especially when it comes to raising a son.
“Children are living in many different kinds of families and households,” wrote Bella DePaulo, PhD. “Many are living with one parent, or with cohabiting parents, or with stepparents or grandparents, to name just a few of the most popular permutations. “Family” is a many-splendored thing and it can take all sorts of shapes and sizes.”
I am a father of three boys ages 7, 14, and 17. Since all of them are of the same gender, I figured out there’s nothing much to do regarding taking care of them. “Good parenting is not rocket science—and it shouldn’t require 50,000 books to help parents understand what is required,” wrote Suzanne Gelb, PhD, JD. “As a parent, your job can be quite simple. To care for your child, as you would care for yourself.”
After my wife and I got divorced, I assumed that all of them need almost the same things so I thought I would care less. But, I was wrong. Though all of them are boys, each of them requires individual attention. As I continue to practice the same parenting style over and over again, my boys started to complain. They accused me of slowly damaging their mental health with my parenting style.
I’m Treating Everyone As A Kid
My teenagers are complaining about how I treat them as a kid. Well, I think I have an excuse for that. I am a single father. But who am I kidding? It’s not a valid reason to treat your kids with immaturity. I always thought that my teenage boys are like their younger brother who needs protection all the time. Since I get to decide for the little one, I thought I have the right to rule for the rest of the two. I guess when you are dealing with children of different ages, there’s got to be a boundary on how much you should get involved.
I Don’t Give Them Enough Choices
In my defense, I am trying to give them limited access to what they should and shouldn’t do. It’s not like I am stopping them from doing anything, it is just that I want them to focus on deciding on things one at a time. In all honesty, boys are typically hard to handle. They somehow have this feeling of entitlement. That they can do almost anything. However, I don’t want that kind of mentality on my kids. As much as possible, I want them to look after their weakness and try to learn from it.
I Always Say “No”
Kate Alcamo, LCMFT, said, “Saying “no” tells your child what not to do, but does it teach them what you want them to do instead? The answer is—you guessed it—no. You want to both set the boundary and teach the behavior you want to see.”
The reason why I don’t agree on much of everything they ask me is that I don’t entirely see the benefits of their life choices. Why? Because for me, they are only kids. I admit I am against things that are new to my kids’ world. I want my boys to stay right where they need to and become the person I want them to be. So for me, always saying “no” is a sacrifice I make to keep them away from the potential danger of things they are not familiar with.
I know I can never be a mother to my kids. But I never knew that my parenting style could slowly hurt them. I was blinded by the idea that I am doing everything for them without knowing that I’m genuinely the one destroying their overall mental and emotional well-being. I treat everyone as a kid; I always say “no,” and I don’t give my kids enough choices. Though it’s not an excuse, the only reason I can think of doing those things is that I’m their father.
As a parent, you need to be there for your children in every milestone that they have. Unfortunately, being a parent is not an easy role especially if you have a teenage child whose primary goals are way different than yours. At the same time, you may also experience having negative conversations or altercations with your teen due to some personal problems that she has. Take note that you must know the best time to suggest counseling for your beloved daughter.
“Daddy, can you carry me?” said my 3-year old daughter as I was trying to get her out the car. She wanted her daddy to do it, not me. This made me curious, although I heard before from my psychology professor that daughters of her age would prefer their dad over their mom. I feel jealous in a way, to think she’s with me all day, but more than jealousy, I feel envy. I feel envious of their bond, and it made me wonder what I could have become if I had a dad.