Does father knows best?

Part of my hopes of becoming part of this Hub experience is to further understand many issues that we all face. As a proud parent of five kids, I am merely trying to stay on top of things to keep my family safe and sound.

The problem I face today is not a political one or a religious one. It is a “daughter” one. After raising two of my sons, one 23 and one 20, they both have turned out to be excellent young men. They were a real joy to raise and be with. To this day, I cherish my time with them whenever I get the opportunity. Unfortunately, I have a 16 year old daughter, to which I am completely baffled with. Now, I love her as much as a father loves any of his kids. I would take a bullet for her in an instant to assure her health and safety. But, I do not particularly like her all that well these days. She is as sweet as pie to anyone and everyone, but her mother and I.

The question I ask to my fellow hubbers is this. Are sons really that much to easier raise than daughters? I seem to be the most irritating human on earth to her. There is a real disconnect between us. We never, ever really established relationship that I always dreamed of or have had one of those classic Hallmark moments.

I’m certain that the emotional world that is in her mind was much different than the emotions I had to deal with on her older brothers. I was convinced at one time that Bill Cosby had nothing on me, that I had the “fatherhood” thing all figured out.

Now to be fair, she really is sweet as can be at least to others. According to her teachers, she is always quiet and respectful. She gets very good grades. She has sweet friends. She does not date anyone yet, and is not in a real hurry to do so. I have not yet to encounter those times yet.

Her mother and I treat her as we do all of our kids. We have gone out of our way to have one on one time with her. We have twin-10 year olds (boy and a girl) whom we have to share our time with. Part of our parenting duties, we have always included daily chores for each of our kids. We do not give out allowances, but we have always rewarded our kids according to the families’ economic status at the time. I try very hard to always be fair. But, as of lately, I seem to be the most unreasonable person on earth. I have seen scenes by Linda Blair from the Exorcist perform, live, in person. The actual head spinning around on her neck has happened right in front of me, for asking her to clean her room up. The voice of Darth Vader has emerged from her lungs as she has disclaimed her views on such issues. My once precious baby girl is now a force to be reckoned with. Logic no longer applies to my critical parental thinking. I understand her body is undergoing serious changes, and the whole estrogen/hormonal convolution are taking place. For the life of me, I am at wit’s end. If I play the understanding father as Ward Clever did, I get ate alive. If I take the more aggressive Al Bundy approach, I am bombarded with emotional grenades, left looking like Rocky Balboa after nine rounds Clubber Lang.

To get to the bottom line, I am wondering if other Fathers (or mothers) are experiencing a situation similar to what I described. Please advise.


Comments 14 comments

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pcoach 6 years ago

Oh, to be the father of a teenage daughter is to know pain and sadness. Argh there matey! It won't always be like this. Unless there is something else going on with her that she just isn't talking about, you can likely chalk the attitude and anger up to her changing body and hormones. My wife says it's not funny (emotions and hormones, that is). And sometimes it's just hell to be a kid. I don't know what else to say except just let her know when she's ready to talk you'll be ready to listen but in the meantime maybe she could try to act a little human. Good luck! Soon this will just be a memory.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Pcoach, Parenting has always been easy and fun, until my sweet 16 year old brought me back down to earth. I know all to well you are correct when you say it won't always be like this, for they grow up WAY too quckly. I appreciate your advice.

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ConstructionHero 6 years ago from Washington

I remember those days - I was a single parent raising my 16 year old daughter. Sometimes it seemed all hell was breaking loose between us. I couldn't understand how she could say and do such mean things to me. I know what that disconnect feeling is like. She is now 32 and married with two great children - a four year old boy and a beautiful one year old baby girl. We all get along so well now. All of the crying and screaming and drama are now a distant memory. Raise up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. Things will get better

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author


I REALLY appeciate your remarks and it is very encouraging. I look forward to the day when we can act like a father/daughter should act.

SheriSapp profile image

SheriSapp 6 years ago from West Virginia

Welcome to the world of parenting a teen!!! My daughter won't be 13 until December, but she is ALREADY displaying these same characteristics. She will cry over nothing, tell me she KNOWS she is being mean, and she REALLY wants to be nice, but within 10 minutes, she is mad all over again. She is the only child I have, but my family growing up had me as the baby, and my twin brothers who are 7 years older than I. My parents both attest to this day, that boys are just EASIER than girls to parent!! We can commiserate together here, and hope for an end to the moodiness of a teenage girl!

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks Sheri, this is the type of responses I was "hoping" to get. I love my kid to death, but she is about to put me into an early grave...I say this in jest, but WOW, my boys was so easy...and this one, God-Love Her, is testing my parental skills.

Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them.

 6 years ago

CMerritt I feel so much pity for you, realy I do. My eldest three kids are daughters. I know what you are talking about. The youngest of the three just turned 21.

I must say, I did not had this episodes from each of them for a very long period of time. At the sweet sixteen age, they all become this nightmares. I ignored it. You see, I am a very disorganised person, and always trying to do twenty millions things at a time. During my frantic running to get all my dreams done and fulfilled, I saw the messed up room, and just kept quite, not saying a word. After all, it is them that have to live in that mess, and my space was tidy enough for me. They started to dislike their own rooms, and the frustration they have to find clean clothes underneath the mess, when they quickly want to use it, taught them to be more responsible for what is happening in their surroundings.

When they threw a tantrum, I just said I am not willing to entertain it, and walked away to listen to music or read a book. Later they wanted to accuse me of not listening to them and I told the following to all three of them: You are big enough now to make choices on how to conduct your behaviour. If you choose to scream and shout, it's fine with me. I have choices to conduct my behaviour as well. I choose to what I will listen to, and it is my choice not to listen to screaming and tantrums.

Whenever you choose to have a decent conversation, my door is allways open, and I will listen to what you want to say.

This group of young ladies come into a phase where they despise evrything they are being told to do, by the authoroty figures in their lives. I guess I have made it easier for them to outgrow this, by not telling them too much of how and what to do. My home was a total mess during those times, but it was temporary.

When this is over, they will come to you on their own accord, testing the water and trying your understanding. But you will also see they will have the courage to even discuss their most intimate secrets with you. Things they do not even discuss with their best friends. For me, that was worth it to tolerate a dirty, messy home for a while, and to just let them be.

I agree with you, boys do not experience this trying time, and they are much better at that age.

This has worked for me, and I cannot say it will work for all. Like I said, I really FEEL for you! Good luck, and hang on in there, it will change.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks for the advise, it sounds like excellent ideas. That is usually my approach to my kids, but for whatever reason, I have not been able to apply this with much force. But, I will keep this in mind, and try to stick to it.

Thanks and I really appreciate you taking the time to share with me.

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I have two daughters and one son. In my experience, the daughters are far easier on one's nerves until they are teenagers. Until then you worry about the boy—mostly that he will hurt himself through his crazy antics. But in the teenage years and beyond my son was no worry. He had become a man. But my daughters seemed to be susceptible to every whim and trend—flighty one might say. And the flights of a girl can cause permanent damage to their lives that they seem to have no foresight about.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Thanks James for sharing. I can see my daughter fit the "flighty" description. And THAT is what concerns me too.

She is also, struggling with maturity. She is the middle child and has two younger siblings, and she can be very jealous, and act very childish. Which drives me nuts. I am sure this will pass, but until then, it is very trying.

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"Quill" 6 years ago

i never had any children but married into a grown family. I have heard of some of these issues, prayer is always a solution to much of the concerns you have. Once your daughter makes it through this phase she will be just fine.

There will be times when you wil be able to have those Dad/Daughter days and all this will pass in the mean time keep praying for wisdom and understanding.


CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Quill, great advice, I need so much wisdom and understanding when it comes to my daughter...I do know that I love her with all of my heart, and look forward when this phase as you put it, passes.

Thanks for your comments, I honestly appreciate it.


Sarah Writes profile image

Sarah Writes 6 years ago from California

Reading you piece I couldn’t help but think of how much your daughter sounds like me back when I was sixteen. I always made good grades in school, hung out with great people, yet me and my parents especially my dad got along horribly. According to them I was rude, snotty, and a smart mouth, which now looking back I see that I was. To me back then I remember feeling that my parents didn’t understand me, I felt as if they were trying to keep me a baby. I wanted so bad to grow up, and be an adult I almost refused to be parented. The good news is many of my friends were like this, most sixteen year old girls are generally emotional basket cases, and do grow out of it. My parents and I have a great relationship now, but it took till I was nineteen to start happening. Stay patient this too shall pass! Good luck to you.

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 6 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana Author

Sarah, I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I keep telling myself that "this too shall pass", but it is so nice to hear it from someone like yourself, who has been on the other side of my issu.

Thanks again,


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