Father has had no contact with now 18 year old daughter for 13 years.

by Betty
(North Carolina)

My daughter has become increasingly apathetic and is getting poor grades, is overweight and has a condition that requires less weight and sugar or her health as an adult will be compromised.

She does not take the medication that is prescribed for her. She has no pride in her appearance and fights any efforts I might try to help her. She wears clothing that is very unattractive and sometimes dirty and ill fitting.

She does not keep herself clean. She will sneak in sugary food and not eat regular means. She is "sick" when she has a test. Her grades have gone down.

She appears to not want to be like me, which is fine, but I am concerned she is ruining her future and is always unhappy. Her father left when she was six and has had no contact with her since them. I am a full time attorney currently being treated for breast cancer. I have sent her to therapists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, tutors. I am at my wits end. Do you have any suggestions?

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18 year going down hill fast
by: Sara

Hi Betty,

First let me say my prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and return to good health.

You daughter is showing all the signs of depression, and I am very curious what all your "ists" have had to say about the situation.

I understand that your daughter's father left when she was 6, which was 12 years ago. I am guessing that that doesn't have a great deal to do with the current situation. It seems your concerns are more recent.

Your daughter needs structure and support. She is either struggling, acting out, or both. You must create and enforce non-negotiables. These include bathing, attending school regardless of aches and pains, and completing laundry. You must also get to the bottom of what is bothering her, and address it directly. The specialists can advise you, you will have to be the enforcer.

Depending on the intensity of your treatments, you may need to enlist some help.

Hang in there! Your girl is worth it.


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