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A Father’s Place

I just got off the phone with my daughter and we had a moment that went deeper than normal. For the first time in a while, she opened up to me and let me know about some things that had happened to her and how she was feeling. She shared with me a bullying experience, but she also stopped because she didn’t want to be sad again. Those were her exact words and they stung a little bit. I became anxious and deeply concerned.

It lead to me explaining that she looks “more like me” than a lot of students in her class and that I actually know about being in that position. I also told her to never ever feel that the way she looks makes her “less than” or “weird” or anything else that an insecure or hurtful child might tell her.

The story did end somewhat positively, but I never want my daughter to feel hurt or feel like she can’t talk about her joy or her pain to me. I pleaded for her to call and talk to me no matter the time of the day. I told her if she’s having a bad day at school or something happens to her that she should tell me. I also told her if she’s having an amazing day I want to hear about it. I told her although I don’t live with her or in the same state that I want her to always feel that she can come to me and that I am here for her. She’s only 8, but I really took my time and feel I used the appropriate words and tone to convey my sincerity.

I never really talked to my father, ever! I don’t want to be that father. No matter the situation with her mother, I want her to know that I am accessible. I have care, concern and want to be involved in every aspect of her life. From now on, I’m going to request more detail. I need more than “good” or “ok” for her answers. I now realize that she may be going through a lot and feel she has no one to really talk to. I want to be that someone for her forever. I just hope i’m going about it the right way.

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