Daddy’s Girl Problems…

Posted: December 4, 2007 in Family

This past weekend, while sitting at the laundromat, I was thinking about families. This was after a call from my BM (baby momma) with some news about my youngest daughter(age 5). Apparently, she has been acting up in school. She went on to say that the disciplinary efforts (butt whippings) she was giving weren’t working and recommended that I have a talk with her the following weekend when I had them. So, naturally I couldn’t wait until then and caught up with them at “Granny’s” house. Prior to meeting them, I had a conversation with her teacher. I was told pretty much what I expected to hear, that her work is outstanding but her behavior won’t be tolerated. I thought back to my childhood and realized that I did the same thing after my parents split and I was about the same age. Every week, when I see my children, they are so happy to see me. We have so much fun and the weekend goes by so fast. We get sad after church, because we know it is approaching time to part ways. When it’s time for the drop off, it never fails, they hate to leave, especially the youngest. I was taking my clothes out of the dryer and thinking, are her behavior problems due to the lack of Daddy time? Last year, when this same situation occurred, she acted out, I was notified, I showed up, and it all stopped. This year, she isn’t with Granny anymore, she is with Mommy and at a new school. It could be the dramatic change of environment, lack of time with me, or both. Needless to say, on the weekend, we had a long talk over a bowl of Blue Bell Cookies & Cream and she opened up. Her argument was right to the point. “Daddy, why can’t we live at your house?” I asked her , “who is we, you your sister and brother?” She quickly added, “and momma”. I was like, uh, um, hmm, literally scratching my head. After another spoon of ice cream and a bit more thought, it hit me. She didn’t understand the split between her parents. It happened fast, with alot of commotion, and then all of sudden she was living with Granny for a couple of years. That was ok for her because that was “get spoiled central”. But now, she’s with mommy and there is no daddy and vise versa. I tried my best to leave out the logistics of the separation and answered her question. I assured her that I loved her followed with some kisses and a tight squeeze. I invited her brother and sister in to join and we had a group hug. I could tell they felt the same way but chose not to act out. They all had a look of relief on their face like, ok the world isn’t coming to an end. I told my youngest I didn’t appreciate her behavior in school and that it wasn’t Christlike. She promised she would do better. I gave them all my business cards and told them to memorize the phone number and call me anytime. They still didn’t want to leave at the drop off, but it wasn’t as bad as it normally is. I think we’re making progress….ya dig…Peace & Blessings!

  1. Sabrina says:

    I found you through Shoe’s post on your rap recently, and I think it’s commendable that you care enough to talk to your children about things so close to your heart. So many daddies leave it to mom to do the talking and explaining and boo boo kissing. :claps hands: To you it’s nothing, to a lot of mothers who battle inactive fathers, it’s a lot. Thanks for doing your part.

  2. Shanda says:

    One bit of advice if the baby momma is cooperative. Make it a point to speak to your children EVERYDAY. I don’t care if it’s during breakfast or at bedtime, make sure you talk to them and ask them how their day went. It won’t matter if you spend an hour on the phone with them or 2 minutes, just make it happen.

    Long story short on this end, my daughter’s father made it a point to call daily after the split (she was 3), and they talked about…well, nothing it seemed. He’d call to speak with her (not me) from work, at bedtime when he woke up, etc. She looked forward to it daily, and on the weekends they continued their conversations in person.

    Two years ago (she was 5) he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. Just like that, gone. All everyone ever talked about was how great a dad he was (and I completely agreed), and how he squeezed a lifetime of love into 5 years.

    I never regret allowing them to have their daily conversations, and your baby momma shouldn’t either. It was never about me or our dramas (we used email for those :-)), but just about their bond together. As a dad, it’s your responsibility to define your relationship with them.

    Good luck in this and if you think 5 is rough, just wait until she turns 13. ROFL.

  3. Kimberly says:

    Shanda you are very wise woman. You should go out in the community and share this wisdom.

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