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Dad feels rejected, wants place in daughter’s life

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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014 9:46 am

Dear Straight Talk: My 16-year-old daughter complains that I’m not “in her life” enough. I do work hard in a demanding career to support our family, but I buy her things, take a family vacation every year, and when I make attempts to do things with her, she always declines. To be honest, I feel rejected, myself. I realize it will vary from teen to teen, but what is it that makes a teenager feel their dad is part of their life? — Sad Dad in Carmel

Maya, 16, Novato: I don’t see my dad often. Between school, my job, his job and our social lives, he’s not “in my life” five days out of seven. Despite this, I constantly feel supported. He asks questions about me, my life, my hobbies, and though I’ll never tell him certain things, I get the impression he really values our time. And I’m touched by his genuine interest and attentive listening. Recently, when I mentioned my backpacking trip, he pulled out his old equipment, saving me a ton of money and time. I must add, though, that we do fight. Usually I’m stressed about something and take it out on him. No relationship is perfect, but don’t ever give up. Plus, you get major points for trying!

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