STAGE 6: Age 12-16/18 – Peers
Defining factors: She distances herself somewhat from her parents as she learns to define herself as a unique person not defined by her parents. She may not want her parents to be with her when she is with her friends.
Observations From 101 Dads of Daughters
- As she entered puberty I noticed subtle changes.
- She suddenly wanted more freedom.
- I feel a little more isolated from my daughter these days.
- She’s not moody every day—but she can get pretty emotional.
- And then… she started getting interested in boys.
- Did I Talk to my daughter about sex…
- It’s scary how some kids get sexually active so young.
- She’s had some very positive influences.
- Friends and peer pressure are a strong influence.
- I have a pretty good relationship with my daughter.
- We’ll even talk about her menstrual cycle of she wants.
- I work hard to be a good dad—but it’s not always easy.
- It’s been difficult for me to connect emotionally with my daughter.
- My daughter is noticing I’m much easier to be with now.
- I love being a dad to my daughter.
SHE STOPPED KISSING ME GODBYE
“She was always my little girl. She used to always give me a kiss before she got out of the car when I dropped her off at school. [Then] I think seventh grade, she wouldn’t do that anymore.
But she promised me she would always be my ‘little’ girl. We had that conversation, I remember that.”
Mark, forty-four year old Navy pilot, father of a fifteen year old daughter and an eleven year old son (divorced when his daughter was seven but stayed involved as a dad)