What about the mother of a fatherless daughter? How can she help her daughter with the pain of never having her own father?


I've spoken with dozens of fatherless girls and teens who tell me they want their mothers to do these three things: 1) listen 2)empathize and 3)apologize. Sadly, this sometimes doesn't come about because moms can get understandably defensive. While doing their best in a difficult situation, they don't want to then hear that it's not enough and that their daughters are hurting.

Without realizing it, some moms downplay what their fatherless daughters experience and silence their anguish. This, in turn, makes their daughters feel even more misunderstood and alone. They fill in the gaps to explain their father's absence with negative messages that blame themselves: I wasn't lovable. I was too much trouble. I wasn't interesting enough/cute enough/sweet enough to keep him around.

One of the hardest things we can do as parents is to set aside our egos and agendas and just listen to our kids, but that's what they need. Fatherless daughters want to know that they can say anything to their moms, and it won't be minimized. They already struggle with their dads' rejection so the thought of their mothers turning away from them is almost unbearable. They want their moms to empathize with their pain so they feel seen, heard, and understood.

Fatherless daughters also want their moms to apologize for picking the wrong guys and take responsibility for it. They want their moms to acknowledge their mistakes, whether it was marrying too young, getting pregnant as teens, or choosing guys with low character. Fatherless daughters want to know that they have the power to make wiser decisions when it's their turn to pick a man and that it's not just a crap shoot.

Without a doubt, these conversations can be extremely emotional and psychologically challenging. That's why it's beneficial for mother, daughter, and other siblings to talk about these issues with a family therapist who can guide the communication. It's a good investment in time and money that can prevent big problems in the future.

Thanks for your question and thanks for being such a caring, compassionate mom!

Updated on July 1, 2019

Original Article:

Fatherless Daughters: How Growing Up Without a Dad Affects Women
By McKenna Meyers

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