The father of my children was an addict. I left him when my daughter was 2. He was "Disney dad" and showered her with gifts but saw her only once a year. He passed 9 years ago. My daughter says her self-esteem came from her Dad. She has no confidence and no friends. She lives in constant fear of being left. How can I help my daughter's self esteem?


Your daughter’s thoughts are distorted and destructive. Until she changes her thinking, she’ll stay a victim and be miserable. Therefore, she’d benefit from working with a cognitive therapist who can help her recognize her faulty beliefs and replace them with constructive ones.

Thinking that her self-esteem came from her father, a man who saw her just once a year, is illogical. Our self-worth doesn’t come from another person. It comes from doing things that make us proud of ourselves. When we do hard things such as learning a second language, losing 10 pounds, training for a marathon, and taking college classes, we become more confident and accomplished. Until she accepts that she is responsible for building up her self-esteem, she’ll continue to struggle and blame others.

While cognitive therapy would help, she seems unmotivated to fully participate in it at this time. It offers no miracles but requires hard work, commitment, and a willingness to do the assignments that the therapist will recommend. It would be a waste of time and money if your daughter isn’t ready to put in the effort.

With that being said, I think your first step should be taking your daughter to her primary physician for a check-up and a discussion about depression. If she’s clinically depressed, she won’t have the energy and motivation to improve herself until that’s treated. The doctor may recommend that she see a therapist or take an antidepressant. In the meantime, please take good care of yourself and don’t let her drag you down with her.

Updated on May 20, 2020

Original Article:

5 Ways for a Fatherless Daughter to Heal From Her Dad's Rejection
By McKenna Meyers

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