I Hate My Dad — Trouble at Home

Why would I hate my dad?

Irrespective of their age, a child or adult who associates hate with their father has a real problem. Whether that problem is abuse, abandonment, or some other issue, the child who hates their father deserves to be heard.

The ideal emotions associated with fathers include love and respect. When a child says 'I hate my dad', something is definitely wrong.

Over the past 30 years I have heard a lot of children explain why they hate their fathers. Here's some of the main reasons, and a few thoughts that might help.

Kids need support when there is trouble at home.
Kids need support when there is trouble at home. | Source

Physical, mental, and/or emotional abuse

Some dads abuse their children. No wonder their kids hate them.

I find it hard to imagine that any woman would deliberately choose to have a child with a man who would subject any member of his family to physical, mental, or emotional abuse ... but you just have to look at the statistics to see how common abusive relationships are.

When a child says 'I hate my dad', it is important to establish if the child is a victim of abuse.

Instead of simply assuming that the seemingly pleasant man we meet in the street or see at work or at church is a good father, we owe it to every child to give them the chance to tell us what their father is really like.

Many children are victims of abuse. Because they do not have the power, knowledge or ability to resolve an abusive relationship, they require intervention to help resolve the conflict.

If you become aware of a child subjected to abuse, or have reason to suspect a child is a victim in their own home, please arrange for intervention.

Kids hate violent fathers

When a child is abused, an adult should intervene. It might have to be you.
When a child is abused, an adult should intervene. It might have to be you. | Source

I hate my dad. He makes my mother cry.

When children see their mother crying, they hate whoever or whatever causes her grief.

You'll hear a child whose mother has cancer say, 'I hate cancer'. After watching their mother's repeated frustration with an unreliable car, a child will commonly say, 'I hate our car'.

Similarly, a child who witnesses their mother's distress during arguments or issues associated with their father is likely to announce, 'I hate my dad.'

Staying together for the sake of the children is often a mistake. If both parents cannot be happy, pleasant or at the very least polite and civil to each other, the emotional outbursts in the child's home are likely to generate emotional responses in the child.

One of those emotions will probably be hate.

A father expressing frustration can be frightening for a child.
A father expressing frustration can be frightening for a child. | Source

I hate my dad. He's a control freak

Many fathers are genuinely surprised to discover their child hates them.

They worked hard to pay the bills and buy the essentials and provide gifts and afford tuition and yet, after all their effort and willing contributions, their child as a teenager or young adult announces, "I hate you!"

If you deny your son or daughter the space and freedom to explore and experience and exercise their own individuality in their early years, be prepared for trouble as they mature. Nobody likes a control freak.

Every individual needs a certain amount of space for personal growth. If you try to control every aspect of life, there's no room for a child to develop and discover who they are and what they are capable of.

Sooner or later, they will demand the freedom to be themselves. If they resent the restrictions you placed on them year after year, refusing to allow them to make their own decisions, pursue their interests, and have the power to reject the sports or school subjects they had no interest in but you insisted they pursue, don't be surprised if they hate you.

Constant criticism vs supportive advice

If your child can't meet your expectations, you are destined for a failed relationship. Don't confuse constant criticism with supportive advice.

It should be mandatory for parents to regularly tell their children "Well done", "Good job", and "I'm proud of you!"

Every parent needs to learn to bite their tongue and resist the urge to always add "but ..."

Over the past 30 years I have attempted many times to explain to friends of my children that their father doesn't mean to be critical. On every occasion I have had no option but to agree that the many examples they offer of 'fatherly advice' appear more critical than supportive.

I always point out that it seems inappropriate to hate a father who is trying to do his best, and that there are many other fathers who are more guilty of bad parenting. However I can't rewrite history and these kids have had many years of believing they hate their dads.

Keep your child in the picture

Parents might divorce each other, but they should never divorce their children.
Parents might divorce each other, but they should never divorce their children. | Source


When parents divorce, there is no excuse for a child to feel abandoned. If you were actively involved in the child's conception, you have a responsibility to show an active interest in the child's development.

Fathers who are guilty of ignoring their children generally pay the price when the child grows older. Instead of having the company and support of their adult child in later years, it is dad's turn to be ignored.

Mothers who stand in the way of a child having a healthy relationship with their dad simply because the adults have argued and are hurting, are equally guilty of causing abandonment issues for the child.

Children need to feel loved and valued. I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give a child is to speak highly of their father - even if it is difficult to think of nice things to say.

"I'll bet your dad would be proud of you if he could see you today," is a wonderful gesture to a young child whose father lives far away. By hearing reference to their dad in positive conversations during their early years, a child can grow up feeling as though their father is interested in them even if they are not present or actively involved.

Of course a phone call from dad or the chance to phone him after special events is even more helpful. When parents divorce each other, they shouldn't 'divorce' their child.

Don't shut the child down

My first response to anyone who says “I hate my dad” is to ask the question, “Why?”

It is wrong for us to assume that we know more about the situation than the speaker. Too often, a child who claims to hate their father is silenced quickly without anyone bothering to ask why.

Generally someone interjects with “No, you don't.”

Often it is the child's mother, trying to smooth ruffled feathers and prevent further conflict.

Making the child feel guilty

A child discovers their father is having an affair. This is a surprisingly common problem for teenagers. Do they tell their mother?

  • They feel guilty if they don't tell her. Mom's doting on dad and clearly loves him, but he's cheating on her. She's keeping his dinner warm and making things nice for when he gets home, but all the while the child knows he is with another woman.
  • They feel guilty if they do tell her because all the tears and heartache somehow seems to be their fault.
  • Or they feel guilty because they didn't tell her when dad eventually leaves her years later, wishing they'd given her a chance to find a new partner when she was still young.

Either way, a child who suffers the pressure of keeping a secret about their father's affair - or the trauma associated with revealing such a secret - is likely to end up hating their dad.

What message are you sending your child?

Every child hopes for active involvement from their dad. Disappoint them often enough and they are likely to give up on the dream. He hates me. I hate him.
Every child hopes for active involvement from their dad. Disappoint them often enough and they are likely to give up on the dream. He hates me. I hate him. | Source

Bad dad compared to other fathers

Any father can give the impression they don't love or care about their child when:

  • other dads attend sporting events to watch their children play but you don't
  • other dads spend time going fishing or playing ball with their kids but you don't
  • other dads talk and laugh with their children but you don't
  • other dads tell their kids they love them but you don't
  • other dads seem like 'real' dads ... but you don't.

If you don't express your love for your child both verbally and demonstrably, don't be surprised if they don't express love for you either.

If your child thinks, rightly or wrongly, that you hate them, there is every possibility they will mirror that emotion and hate you right back.

If you hate your dad ...

What is the main reason you hate your dad (or simply don't love him as you feel you should)?

  • My father abused me.
  • He makes my mother cry
  • My dad's a control freak
  • He is always critical.
  • My father abandoned me.
  • He makes me feel guilty for keeping his lies.
  • Compared to other fathers, he's a dud not a dad.
  • Mine is guilty of more than one thing on this list.
  • You've missed my problem completely. (I invite you to write about it in the comments section below.)
See results without voting

The best hope (perhaps the only hope) a hated dad has to redeem himself

Cross your fingers and hope that your child grows into an adult who can see and respect your efforts to do the right thing. If your child hates you now but you honestly believe you don't deserve it, keep trying to reach out. One day they'll have a lot of questions, and you'll want to have the right answers.

If you are getting a divorce, address the specific ways that you want to be involved with your child as part of the divorce settlement - and stick to it.

If you're having an affair, admit it to your wife. Then tell your child you are to blame and they have no reason to feel as though the divorce was their fault.

Send birthday cards and gifts even if you know your ex-wife won't pass them on. When they are older you'll want to be able to look your child in the eye and say, "I sent you a card and a present every year. I'm sorry if your mother didn't give them to you." Let your grown child decide how they feel about you once they have the facts.

If dad doesn't know when to stop.

If a child is repeatedly treated badly by their father and their mother never intervenes or takes action to put an end to their misery, the mother should understand why she is hated too.
If a child is repeatedly treated badly by their father and their mother never intervenes or takes action to put an end to their misery, the mother should understand why she is hated too. | Source

I hate my dad. And it's mom's fault.

If you are the mother of a child who rarely sees their dad, make every effort to keep dad alive and well in your child's heart. Their self-esteem can be directly linked to how they believe their dad views them, and a teenager with low self-esteem is more likely to get into trouble.

When negotiating a divorce settlement, insist their father send birthday and Christmas cards every year. Also make sure they agree to accept any phone calls from your child and to always be loving and supportive.

Perhaps the most difficult issue to address is the knowledge that a child's father was violent - irrespective of the circumstances. Somehow the child must be helped to know any trouble was not their fault. Their dad, after all, was the grown up. He should have been able to control himself and make better decisions to protect their relationship.

Encourage your friends and family to resist the urge to speak badly about the child's father in front of them. Of course it is important to answer their questions honestly, but don't be brutal when dealing with a child's feelings.

Be gentle and thoughtful in your response to a child who genuinely hates their father with good reason.

Sometimes you might just have to admit, "It's okay to hate your dad. I'm sorry he wasn't a better dad to you, because you deserved the best!"

How to be a better dad

If you want to be a better dad to your kids than you've been before, identify where you have been going wrong and take steps to change it.

One of the most obvious areas for improvement with many fathers is the amount of quality time you spend with your child. First you have to get your head around what quality time actually means.

Kids who hate their dads may have had a father who spent a great deal of time at home - but how much time did he actually spend paying attention to the child? Watching the television or entertaining your adult friends doesn't count just because your child was in the room.

Fathers who have to force themselves to set specific times aside when their child becomes the center of their universe (instead of genuinely being pleased their son or daughter wants to spend time with them) ask, "How do you do that?"

It is not so difficult - particularly if you have the right attitude. The hardest part might be turning your phone off, but phone calls are interruptions, and should be avoided.

  • Read a book aloud - from beginning to end.
  • Play a board game - until there is a winner.
  • Play outdoors - until a pre-designated time.
  • Set a task - and complete it together.
  • Have fun together - until their favourite tv show begins.
  • Go fishing - until it is time to go home for lunch.
  • Play 'paper, rock, scissors' until the school bus arrives.
  • Dance like crazy people - until it is time for you to go to work ... and then dance out the door and out to the car. Kids love stuff like that.

The most important element of any of these suggestions is the natural completion point. Have you ever noticed how many fathers spend too much time trying to bring activities to an end? Then, because it is such a hassle, they don't bother starting another activity in the future.

If you are a father who has disappointed your children too many times for them to even bother asking or expecting you to spend time with them, you are in serious trouble. Before you know it, your sons and daughters will be fully grown and they will probably leave you out of their lives, just as you are ignoring them now.

Reach out to your children and make a serious effort to be a better dad.

  • Suggest a game or activity (with a natural completion point) and make sure you both enjoy the experience.
  • Get to know each other.
  • Ask each child about their friends, school and sporting activities.
  • Tell them about your childhood, share jokes and fun stories.
  • Smile. Laugh. Play.
  • And don't forget to listen.

You should know the names of each child's best friends, what sports they play, which days they play them, the teachers and subjects they like most at school, any problems they have, and any challenges they face.

A good dad knows all about their kids lives, and gets involved in them.

If you haven't attended at least a few games each sport season, arrived early enough to watch your kids in their dance or karate class, and offered to take each child and a friend for a movie or a meal a few times in the past year, you'd better start doing those things now.

When Children Become Adults

I believe it is important to remind every child that the time will come when they can leave home and live without the fear of what mood their father will be in when he comes home at night.

Anyone who is able to endure their childhood years will have a chance at making a fresh start and deciding just where their father will fit in their future lives. Kids grow up.

If you want your kids to love you, not hate you, you need to make the kind of memories they'll remember fondly as they look back on their childhood. Spend time with your kids and enjoy each other's company.

Unless, of course, you know you can't be trusted near your children and they have good reason to hate you. In which case ... stay away.

© 2013 LongTimeMother

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Please share your thoughts ... 103 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, this is a very important subject, yes there are so many reasons why a child would say they hate their dad. luckily if it's a phase that the child is going through they will end up loving both their parents, but we must always be vigilant on whether the child is just playing up, or if there is an another bad reason for it, voted up and shared, nell

liesl5858 profile image

liesl5858 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi! LongTimeMother, It's heart-breaking to hear a child say that about his/her dad. There must be a reason somehow and I think you have covered most of it. What a brilliant hub. Well done, voted up.

techygran profile image

techygran 3 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

Yes, good work! I have also heard many adults (children of divorce) say that "my mom had to work like a skivvy because he never paid any child support" or "my dad wasn't violent himself, but he wasn't protective-- while my sibling was beating me up he was too stoned or drunk to do anything to help me" or "my Dad was just emotionally 'not there' during the time we were children-- he was a workaholic-- his work always took precedence over everything" or "my Dad was a womanizer and he just totally hated us girls in the family-- our brothers were always heroes, got all the attention, inherited the farm, etc." or, like Homer Simpson, are ashamed of their fathers because of their deficits when compared to hero fathers of myth or fathers of friends. When you raise a son you are potentially raising a father-- the empathy, awareness, respect and love all start and are nurtured in childhood. I see a lot of hands-on, gentle, engaging, loving and respectful fathers these days; I had one; my husband is one; and so are our sons (one only has chihuahua children though). Being a 'good enough' father is hard work for men who didn't have good models or anyone holding them accountable. But when all is said and done, adults who still hate their parents are carrying around unnecessary burdens -- hatred and bitterness hurt the carrier more than the abuser. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. Again, thanks for this article and I apologize for 'going off' here... Voted UP and awesome and tweeted.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Nell. I agree with you. Often it is just a phase. I have noticed that when kids first start school the word 'hate' enters their vocabulary. They announce they 'hate' poor little Freddy or Josie or some other child in the schoolyard, following the lead of other children. I've never had any trouble getting my kids to understand that hate is really not a word you should use if you don't have good reason.

It is not unusual for parents to find themselves in the firing line for a short time when kids are very young. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Hi, liesl5858. Some children have very sad stories. It is a shame that many of them feel 'unheard' until they are adults. If they are lucky, they find someone who will listen. Thanks for the vote. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks, techygran. It is interesting to watch kids who migrate away from the group of young ones to spend time chatting with my husband, or who insist he join in the game or activity. He has become a bit of a dad to lots of kids over the years, particularly teenage boys who would suddenly appear as soon as he started the lawn mower, offering to help.

Your husband obviously helped set a good example for your sons. :)

starbright profile image

starbright 3 years ago from Scandinavia

Good work on this interesting subject. Voted up.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

It is best to keep everything out in the open with a child, so hey don't feel like the cause of problems. This was definitely a good piece to bring out into the open.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks, starbright and aviannovice. :)

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

i love reading your hub. My son would sometimes say, I Don't Like You daddy" when he hears his daddy scolding or reprimanded me for the mistakes i made. My son hated his dad whenever this happens. So, both of us had to explain to him the reasons so that the hate would not be permanent. voted up

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Hi peachpurple. It makes the world of difference when people listen to their children instead of just assuming that everything is okay. Little minds are very complex. Your son is fortunate to have parents who make the effort to help him put things in perspective. Thanks for the vote. :)

Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

Oh gosh, LTM-I'm so touched by your hub; it hits to the core of some of the main issues of the 'bad father' rap, and it breaks my heart. I was fortunate to have a good dad, and actually wrote a hub about those kind of dads, but there are too many broken children who have homes that they are unhappy in beyond the usual grumblings. Thank you for writing such a great hub. I certainly hope that it hits home where it needs to, as I'm sure many people will find it useful. UP/U/I/A and shared.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks, Denise. I remember your hub about what a good role model your dad was, and how he was one of the good guys. I love reading stories about good dads, but I think it is important to remind people that for every happy child who loves their father there is at least one who is hurting.

Being a good dad brings the reward of a child's love and devotion. It would be great if more fathers could try to be like your dad. Thanks for the votes. :)

Jamesl 2 years ago

In divorce if mom is not encouraging the children to see their father the result is often the same as her actively discouraging them. And if mom is actively discouraging the kids concerning their father it can be a tragic thing for the kids. Too often dads get pushed aside and not given the opportunity to be parents. When happily married dad can be head of the family, but in divorce dad can get labeled as the sperm donor, and the checkbook and never given the opportunity really be there on a day to day basis to take part in raising the children. If you cannot stay married then be sure you fight for equally shared custody for the children's sake. Both mom and dad have much to contribute to the upbringing of a child. Children need both.

Freedom 2 years ago

Children need both parents, but not when their father has emotionally abused their mother, was absent for 2 years whilst off having an affair - leading a double life - changed the locks and took everything from their home, refused to pay child support and emptied the joint bank account. Children need both parents when they are truly selfless and loving.

Not every situation is the same.

Sometimes the father puts the family through utter hell, stealing years of their lives dragging their mother through the courts, and when he can no longer abuse the mother, moves on to the children.

There are some wonderful dads out there who are hands on, loving, caring and compassionate. THOSE are the dads that deserve to be completely involved in their children's lives after divorce.

The others? The ones who didn't give their children a second thought....well, they do more damage than good.

thendai 2 years ago

I hateee my dad soo much that sometimes i just wanne die he is never listening to me he always yells at me het has abused me when i was 11 for nothing i hatee him soo much i throw my money on the ground he slaps me like he is mental and then the next day he wants to pretend that nothing happened. Motherfucker. He always screams when he calls me if he talks i can never talk back he is just soo mean that i hate him that i don't want to live anymore he is always being mean then nice then mean then nice i gave him chances and I WILL NEVER←←←←←← LIKE HIM HE'S THE MEANEST MAN OF THE ENTIREWORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello thendai. I don't know how old you are, but I do know that one day you will be old enough to walk away from your father and not look back, if that's what you want to do. If you can't stand being near him now, you need to get some help and perhaps find a new home. Let's talk about that option.

It is dreadful to have a father who is mean then nice then mean again. If you never know quite what to expect from him, that's very difficult.

I do understand that you hate your dad. I don't understand though why you say you don't want to live any more. Lots of people who hate their dads still have great lives. You just have to get past this problem time.

Do you have anyone who can help you? If you can't think of anyone, do you want me to make some suggestions?

Write to me again telling me a bit more. Do you live with your mother as well? Do you go to school? Which country do you live in? I don't sit on the internet all day every day, but I do try to check for messages at least once a day and will happily talk with you if you want. :)

Zebrakatten 2 years ago

I don't know if I hate my father, perhaps I love him too much to hate him even though he makes my cry on a regular basis. He can be really nice and wonderful but everything has to be how he expect it to be or he'll get frustrated and angry. If he watches television and I talk to him without noticing that he is watching, he won't say 'please wait while I watch this program' he'll get angry and start sighing in this special aggressive way he has and won't say anything. If one asks him what is wrong then either nothing is wrong or he says that people always make noise when he watches something. Sometimes he'll even ask a question while watching tv and if I then answer he'll get angry because he suddenly wants to listen to the program again. If my mum or I watch television he doesn't think about not making noise.

If we talk to him while he's concentrating on something he'll get angry, I know the feeling as I also has difficulty switching between things if I am very caught up but I try not to bite other peoples head off.

If the house is messy or dirty he'll suddenly get angry and start cleaning up while huffing and sighing in his aggressive way. He never even asks us to clean up before he gets angry. If we ask him what is wrong it is always 'the house is always so messy/dirty, no matter what I do things always pile up'.

The worst is usually when we are going somewhere, to a party or camping or anything really. We are always late and he is always angry about it though it is very often him who we are waiting for because he has spent 2-3 hours 'waking up' instead of packing.

I've asked and asked my mum to make him go to some counseling with her but she never does anything because 'he is nicer right now/lately'. I'm no good at confronting him as I start crying till a point where I can't talk. My psychologist(I am just beginning to fight my way out of a minor depression, probably caused partly by him, partly by a too-weak-to-be-noticed 'girl asperger') says that it is NOT me who should say anything, it should be my mother. Even when I, prompted by her, wrote my father a letter it only got somewhat better and only temporarily. I'm 20 so I could move out but I simply cannot do something like that right now. I often that told that I should ignore him, that it is HIM who is angry and it has nothing to do with me, if I didn't ask him what was wrong I wouldn't know if he was angry at at who as he very rarely says it out loud without being prompted first. I feel like I should just learn to be less sensitive about it and ignore it but at the same time I just can't accept that that should be necessary. He shouldn't be making me cry, I shouldn't have to ignore him to avoid getting hurt.

I don't know if there was any point to this comment other than getting it out (I'm currently in our camping wagon crying because he is angry again) and answering your vote with a deeper explanation.

I enjoy reading on this site, please keep up the good work.

- Zebrakatten

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Zebrakatten. You write very well. I get a very clear picture of what life with your dad must be like. Does it help to know you're not the only one to have that kind of father? I will tell you about how other kids have coped in this kind of situation, in case it helps.

The kind of dad who cannot express what's wrong, generally has just as much difficulty expressing 'what's right'. In other words, just as you say he wouldn't tell you what's bothering him unless you asked, I'm guessing he's not likely to tell you how much he loves you or how proud he is of you either. And that makes a relationship really difficult.

Now, whether or not you choose to say any of these things are up to you, but here's a couple of ideas for how you might 'prompt' your father to appreciate you more - and be less likely to snap at you and your mother.

Don't be emotional and dramatic if you choose to use these lines. You don't want your father to put up a 'brick wall' when you are saying them. Just state them as a matter of fact, and hope that the logic penetrates his brain and gives him an 'ah-hah' moment.

"I'll bet deep down you are actually happy to have a family instead of being a lonely old man all by yourself. But sometimes it is hard to tell."

"I won't be living at home much longer, but while I am it would be really nice to feel like you appreciate me."

When you get in trouble for interrupting his tv watching, try something like "Is that your way of saying thank you for making you such a nice dinner?" (You know what I mean. If you've asked him something about how his dinner is prepared, for instance.)

Another question you can ask him - either in a quiet, nice moment or in the heat of a difficult time if it feels appropriate - is this one. "Do you want me to remember you as a grouchy old man who makes me feel unhappy? Because that's where we are at right now."

It sounds like you do have some quiet, nice moments with your father. Do you think you could sit down and have a heart-to-heart with him, to put things in perspective? Perhaps he's never stopped to think about how his behaviour makes you feel. Or perhaps he can see it, hates himself for it, but doesn't know how to address it and change it.

You might have to be the grown-up in this relationship (now that you're 20) and start the conversation.

I do know of one young adult who decided to 'treat him mean' in the way the dad had been mean and said things like 'Do you deliberately mean to make me feel like sh*t?" and just walked away, giving him the silent treatment until he finally approached. Then every time he snapped at her again she'd say, "Don't keep doing this," or "You're doing it again. Being mean doesn't help."

She had a good friend who lived around the corner (with parents who were easy to get along with) and would announce "I'm not staying here when you are in one of your moods." Then she'd walk out the door. It didn't take her dad long to accept that he was driving her away, and he changed.

Her father was never violent, just grouchy. If your dad is violent, I suggest you just move out. Remember, you don't need to fight your mother's battles. You need to focus on what's right for you. Perhaps if you can get your father to treat you with more respect, he might start applying it to your mum as well.

I agree with you 100%. He shouldn't be making you cry, and you shouldn't have to ignore him to avoid getting hurt. I've seen how well you write. If you don't have the confidence to speak with him directly, perhaps it is time for another letter. :)

Zebrakatten 2 years ago

Thank you for your insightful letter. I think several things you write could help. Especially the idea of outright saying that he is being mean and walking away. It often feels like he doesn't really realize what he is doing. If I confront him too directly he'll clamp up and refuse to speak for at long while. With me it's usually a day or so, with my mum it can be weeks at a time. I think (and hope) that is because he can't handle it and not because he refuses to handle it.

He is never violent and hasn't shown any signs of it - fortunately :)

My behavior will probably have to be more consequent as I also fall into the 'he's nicer NOW'. And I will have to work to use some of your suggestions because I often just stay silent because I don't want it to get worse but it will no matter what I do, or at least as bad, even if he doesn't get angrier right then he will continue to get angry at other times.

I also hate hurting him and I know he hurts when I get angry at him :( and it is hard to learn that it still might be for he best.

One of the worst things about this is that I starting to blame my mother for not doing something. While it is true that she should have done something, she didn't know that when she made her decision not to do it and she did what she thought best.

It is nice to get a somewhat outside look (though you really only have my side of the story) withy some suggestions :)

Also, it is nice that you think I write well since I'm from Denmark and I worried that, with English not being my first language, it might be harder to understand what I mean.

Thank you again for your answer, even if none of the suggestions help (I think some of them will help) it is nice to just tell someone about it.

- Zebrakatten

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello again, Zebrakatten. You have no need to worry about your english. Your writing is excellent. :)

I encourage you to make an effort to try to develop a better relationship with your father, but if your efforts are not successful, please don't worry too much. Some fathers are slow to appreciate their children and it is not until their children are fully grown and have independent lives that they suddenly see the mistakes they made.

I do hope you will be very careful when you choose your life partner in the future. It would be a tragedy if you raise your own children in a home where parents do not speak to each other properly for weeks at a time. You won't want your kids to feel like you do.

Fortunately, there are lots of good people in the world - and you deserve to find one of the best when the time comes to start your own family. :)

Held og lykke! (I'm hoping that means good luck and happiness!)

Zebrakatten 2 years ago

I will definitely work on our relationship, I would like to be able to take my future children to see their grandfather without worrying that he might scare them by getting angry all of a sudden.

I hope I will be able to notice the signs so I don't have children with someone like my father (or otherwise a person that I don't feel should have children)

It does mean good luck actually :)

REEESES 2 years ago

My own dad is a real dick. Most of the things on that survey my dad has done and he perfected the art of yelling at me. I usually get yelled at at least once a day and he used to scare me a lot. Then after a fundraiser at school, I bet that the first thing that he thought about was that I stole the money, which amounted to $51. He then preceded to tell me that he would charge me with Petty Theft if he found the money. At that point, he had ruined my childhood beliefs. He had always told me that he would be there for me and that he would always back me up. I was absolutely pissed off and I had serious thoughts of suicide. If it wasn't for the support of my Mom, I might be dead right now. The aftermath of that fundraiser is that now I don't respect anything he says when he yells at me and I laugh when I leave the room. I am sort of scared that I am going crazy. The night is the worst. Usually every night I let go of my anger by silently yelling into my pillow. I'm one more huge yelling away from beating the sh*t out of him.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hey Reeeses. I'm glad you're still around. :) How old are you now?

Listen, the world is filled with adults who thought about killing themselves at one time or another when they were kids. Don't be one of those sad souls who misses out on all the good times to come because they couldn't tolerate the troubles associated with growing up (including bad parents).

I wrote this article because there are lots of fathers making their kids' lives miserable - whether the dads realize it or not - so don't think for one moment that you are the only one with a disappointing dad. Take strength in the knowledge that you CAN survive these years, just like lots of us have.

Here's a suggestion for you (bearing in mind I don't know how old you are, or which part of the world you live in, or anything else about you.) How about you just start ignoring your dad and getting on with creating an absolutely brilliant future that just leaves him gob-smacked at your success in 5 or 10 years time. Then you can have the satisfaction of saying, "It was no thanks to you, old man."

Study hard, play sport, get your hands on a cheap guitar and teach yourself to play from online lessons ... anything that can keep you occupied in a positive way and encourages you to keep one eye on the future.

So your father suggested you are a thief. Don't become one. The last thing you want is to prove him right. If he rants and raves, there's probably not much you can do about it right now. But when you're an adult with a good career and your own money and the ability to make your own decisions, you can just hang up the phone on him, or walk out the door, or simply not visit him at all. (You could take your mom to the movies and buy her brilliant birthday and christmas presents with cards thanking her for her support while you were young ... and give him nothing at all, if that's what you choose to do. lol.)

Instead of silently yelling into your pillow about your father and thinking that you are going crazy, I'd really like you to lie down at night thinking "I'm going to create something good with this life." And then dream of how you might do it!


REEESES 2 years ago

Hi LongTimeMother, thank you for the feedback. I will try to think of success in the future and to prove him wrong. :)

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Good on you, Reeeses. That's what I like to hear!

I am seriously expecting you to tell me some day that you're doing something brilliant. You just concentrate on getting yourself geared up for a wonderful adult life, and then come back to tell me the good news.

Any time you need a little encouragement along the way, come back for a visit. :)

REEESES 2 years ago

Thank you LongTimeMother, it is nice to know that there are still good people in the world. You have brought me a little faith in humanity. ;)

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Joseph, I deleted your comment because I find you posted the exact same text and links on numerous sites. I'm confident you are spreading your educational message without it needing to appear here. I did leave it up for a few days because I agree with the underlying sentiment, but an original comment would be more appropriate here. Thanks for visiting. :)

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Maggie.L 2 years ago from UK

Hi LongTimeMother. Thanks for writing such an informative hub. Really useful to those that are trying to sort out their feelings for their dad. I especially agree with the one about divorce. You're so right. There's no excuse for abandoning your child after divorce and so many dads are guilty of this. I've seen my nephew go through incredible hurt and pain because of this, which his had a really detrimental effect on his school work and academic attainment. As you mentioned, I'm sure his dad will come to regret being so neglectful in future years. A fantastic hub. Voted up and useful.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for your feedback, Maggie. :) Perhaps you could help your nephew by having a quiet word with his father or writing him a letter, if you think it won' t make things worse.

Too many dads don't think about the effect on their kids until somebody intervenes and points out what should be obvious. Send him to look at this hub and tell him to look at the poll ... and ask him how he thinks his son would vote.

As awkward as intervention can feel, your nephew is certainly worth the effort. :)

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Maggie.L 2 years ago from UK

Thank your for your words of advice. I'll certainly think about doing that.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

It is difficult, Maggie, and every situation is different - but I think most dads would be grateful for any effort to help them become better fathers and do the right thing for their kids. Best wishes.

Mansi 2 years ago

My father had done nothing for my security.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello, Mansi. I am sorry your father disappointed you. I hope you feel more secure now.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

There must be a lot of fathers who have regrets. I sincerely hope they try to fix their relationships.

Sadline 2 years ago

Hi my problem isn't written and i need help my dad never knew how to act like a man or a father he always put all his work on mom he is cheap he never bought us anything and if he did he must tell us how mich he paid he never talk to us he NEVER asked me how was my day or did you do well in your exams that if he knew that I have exams he doesn't know what grade i am or how old i am and that because mom pay for my school and for everything if i asked him for money he start saying i am tired or i need to sleep and i know he have money and allot of it i was bullied few years ago and when i was crying he just watched TV or eating like he always do i just hate him and he know nothing that why i am sad

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Sadline. Sounds like you have one of those dads who just doesn't 'get' what dads are supposed to be like. It is lucky that kids can generally find someone else to give them support and sympathy when they need it. I am hoping that your mom or grandparents or some other relative is far more understanding when you have problems. If you don't have an adult in your family who listens to your problems, is there someone else you can talk to? Maybe the mother of one of your friends?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I hope some of the fathers who read this page learn from your experience and try harder to communicate with their kids.

Good luck with your future. You can have a brilliant life, despite having a less than brilliant dad. :)

Sadline 2 years ago

Thanks you longtimemother. Actually i do have an adult of my familly that i trust him and it's not one of my parent it's my sis but thanks you for helping me

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

You have very good manners, Sadline. Thank you for thanking me. :)

I am happy you have someone to trust. But please remember that if ever you find yourself troubled and unable to get the help you need, there are lots of nice adults in the world who will happily help you - even if it is not someone you would normally talk to.

You just have to take a deep breath and start with "Will you help me please?" ... and then explain what's going on. Maybe you won't get the response you need the first time, so then just go to someone else. (Your dad doesn't listen to you, but other people will. Not everyone is like your dad. Thank goodness!)

Take care of yourself, Sadline, and do great things with your life! :)

adithya 2 years ago

I hate my dad because he is selfish he use to drink and smoke , he reguarly use bad words to scold , he is spending his maximum money in smoking he is not making any future plans

I have many problems with his manners

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello adithya. I encourage you to keep an eye on planning your own bright future. When you work, I hope you'll save your money instead of wasting it. :)

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello anon. Don't think like that. It would be a huge mistake because it would mean that your dad managed to spoil your adult years in addition to your childhood. Don't give him that power. Just work on creating a good, strong future for yourself ... and leave him behind.

Wishing good things for you. :)

Asdf 2 years ago

For me it was just the fact that I feared my father, he never resented me on educational or recreational performance levels or just plain ignored me and he provided plenty. But it was the fact that he just had such a short temper and unreasonably saw so many things as being disrespectful to him and my mother when other fathers would just laugh it off. He was also always angry and confused as of why me and my sister resented him thinking he was not the one at flaw, it enraged him because that was the exact same way he saw his father but he was just so self absorbed that he wouldn't admit it.

His father before him was worse I believe but he was a good enough asshole to cause some emotional problems for me and my sister later in life.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

I don't know where in the world you live, Asdf, but I have noticed in multicultural Australia that some parents put a greater emphasis on issues of 'respect' than others. It can be confusing for kids when comparing their home life to that of their friends.

I hope you and your sister are having success at resolving the problems. Clearly some of your father's childhood issues carried over into his role as a parent. It would be great if you can break that cycle. :)

KittenPaws 2 years ago

I was about 5 when my parents divorced. I don't really remember much from that time. At about 9 years old, I snooped through my Mom's papers and found pictures of my Dad & his wife. I also saw the divorce papers in the same file. The photos were taken a LONG time before the divorce was finalized based on the back time stamp. That is when I realized my Dad had cheated on my Mom & married the other woman. I didn't like her already. She degraded me, gave special treatment to her kids, & continuously pushed my father away from my older sisters & me. Like trying to sit next to him & she rushes to sit there first while squeezing his leg & staring at me. She's a whole other box of craziness. Anyway, as a child I heard stories (snooping again) about how my Dad used to beat my Mom & 2 sisters. I mean verbal, emotional, & physical. Needless to say my Mom is kind of resentful & bitter. She never said bad things about him in front of me. She encouraged me to call & visit. Over the Spring, Summer, & Christmases that I visited, I remember being asked "who do you love more?" by my Dad. He would take us on expensive trips, gifts, etc. like he was trying to win me over. One memory though has stuck with me. Him, drunk, picking up his shotgun telling me if my Mom came up in the yard that he would kill her. Him, his wife, & his friends all laughed while I just stared. Then the rest of the year I wouldn't hear from him. No birthdays, hello, or are you still alive. My whole childhood he drug all of us through court. About 4-6 times a year. My Mom had to sell her car, her house, & all of our furniture to pay for it. Even though he made an obscene amount of money compared to my Mom, he would default months at a time on child support. My SM's children (who lived 20+ mins from us) would get picked up for Summer vacation but "there was no time to get me". I stopped visiting when I was 12. He told me to accept his wife or not come back. No compromise anywhere to be seen. I finally tried 1 more time at 17. All he did was offer me a beer & then ignored me. That was 12 years ago. He has nothing to do with my 2 older sisters or his grandchildren. I know that this man has scarred me for the rest of my life. I paint all men with my mighty trust issues paint brush. I did get married but I took my Moms example of husband & chose polar opposite. I can see the effect it has had on my sisters. The oldest tries to cram a relationship down my Dads throat. Needless to say, that's not working & he's not interested. While my middle sister sleeps her way around and has the same violent bend that my Dad does. I am filled with hate, bitterness, regret, sadness, & what could have been. We've made more of an effort than he ever has. Still feel like that little child wondering why my Dad doesn't love me. Bah, emotions.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

KittyPaws, that mighty trust issues paintbrush can be hard to put down. There are many victims of bad parenting who carry it around for life. You have clearly explained the effects on yourself and your family members; thank you for that.

We all still have a child within. I think the hard part is letting that child have a voice that's heard so the hurt and pain is acknowledged, then letting the adult get on with living a new life. Not leaving the inner child behind, but taking that inner child along for a much nicer ride as we make our way through our adult years.

Does it help you if I acknowledge how ghastly your childhood was? I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels sincere regret when reading your words here. Others will cry for your inner child and wish you the strength to begin a new journey.

Please take strength from that. Your 30s can be fabulous if you leave your father behind you. I am wishing you every success with health, wealth and happiness ... and that includes finding a fabulous fellow is everything your father wasn't. Best of luck. Get out there and enjoy your life. :)

KittyPaws 2 years ago

I appreciate the best wishes & quick response. :) I've been reevaluating myself this month. A lot. I've grown up with a pessimistic view of life. Trying to change that. If I always look for the bad, I will always find it. Even for those in my inner circle, I keep one eye open for the next back stabber. I don't want to do that anymore. Since I was little, I've had peace keeping duty. I would give in, rather than argue with everyone. I still do it. I feel like if I can keep everyone's life happy then mine will be too. I know it's not that simple though. The man I married has a family where everyone hugs, smiles, & says I love you all the time. My sisters & I might hug & say those words twice a year. Needless to say his family dynamics are overwhelming but I'm awkwardly getting used to it. I'm not saying my Mom isn't great but she is highly passive aggressive. Which we all have a good dose of it. I guess that was her way of coping. I'm trying to tone down the sarcasm & express myself in words rather than keep it in. I don't know if my Husband is too happy about it. Hehe. I told him I wanted to change but I have a feeling the sarcasm & the people pleasing aspect won't completely go away. Though I have to say that it feels nicer not holding the feelings in all the time. I still sit here sometimes on holidays, & birthdays wondering if my Dad has any regrets. I do have a handful of memories of him that were good. Where he actually acted like a Dad should. I want to do some changes to myself because when I have children I don't want all this baggage to drag them down too. I want to trust more people & let them in. I see the way my Mom & siblings are and I really don't want to follow course. My Husband suggested therapy. Which I actually want to go to. I did find out that my Dad had a horrible father who cheated & left his Mom too. Something I chew on sometimes. So maybe he has some of my feelings too. I don't think I can forgive him though. My hope is that maybe with help he won't continue to shape my future but stay in my past. This is the first time I've actually talked fully about it. I told my Husband & I think I made him more grateful of his Dad. LOL. It honestly does make me feel lighter to post this. It is tough but I'm hoping that I can grow instead of stay where I'm at. I do have a wonderful Husband who has helped me so that's a start. I thank you for your "ear" & sincerely hope that others find your site. :)

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hey, KittyPaws. I'm excited for you. It sounds like you are at a significant turning point in your life. If you can shake the past and live in the present, you'll create a magnificent future. Takes a while to break old habits, but it definitely can be done.

Now here's a couple of suggestions in the hope they help.

Because you have a family history of men having affairs (and I understand that bothers you), why not tell your wonderful husband that you are prepared to love and trust him 100% - and that all you ask is one thing in return. "I won't fear you doing the wrong thing by me if you promise me that if ever you find a woman you want to get involved with, you'll phone me and tell me before you do."

Sounds kind of crazy, I guess, but here's how I think it will help. 1) You won't have to spend your life worrying that he might be having an affair behind your back. 2) You'll know that you have made clear to him that an affair would mean the end of your marriage. 3) If the day were to come, you'd be able to pack your bags - or pack his bags - and make decisions with the dignity that comes with knowing there's a problem ... instead of being in that awful position it seems your mother was in. (ie the long affair that others must have known about, with her still in the role of 'wife'.)

My next suggestion is to then throw yourself into your healthy, happy relationship with your husband ... and enjoy it. Give him 100% of your love, trust and commitment 100% of the time. Be upfront and honest. Trust him with your heart and your emotions. Put faith in his promise and allow yourself to be the trusting woman you thought was beyond your reach.

I can't guarantee you'll have a happy-ever-after relationship. You just have to look at the statistics to know that lots of marriages fail sooner or later ... but don't be the cynic who assumes she'll be among the failures.

Because what I can guarantee you is that it is MUCH better to be a woman who has loved and lost, than to be a woman who has never really loved at all.

Please don't spoil what has the potential of being a wonderful life (with a man who clearly values family and knows how to express his love) by being the sourpuss who can't let herself enjoy and appreciate the joy of a real marriage. (Forgive the pun, Kitty. lol.)

Your father had a role in your childhood. You're stuck with that. There's no reason why he should have a role now you are an adult. Don't give him the power to spoil your future.

Make a new family with your husband. Enjoy your in-laws without feeling jealous. Trust the man you gave your heart to ... and put down that paintbrush!

I wish you all the best. :)

rajiv 2 years ago

I hate my father so much he always abuses and beats my mother,he is bad with me also only thing that he does for us is earning.

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LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia Author

Hello rajiv. I am very sorry your father abuses and beats your mother, and I am sorry he is not good with you. That is not a healthy environment for a child.

Do you have anyone in your life you can turn to for help? Do other people (like your grandparents, for instance) know what is happening in your home?

Perhaps your mother does not feel as though she can tell anyone about her problems. Have you told anyone?

Mike 23 months ago

Hello, wonderful hub. I'm on a iPhone so bear with my horrible grammar. My father has always been a jerk to me. He says he loves me then deliberately curses at me. He never did anything with me when I was a young child. I don't even get support at what I love to do, for instance I had a hobby that turned into a job and he loved and supported at first then when I began to get busy with school I couldn't do it as often, he began to scream at me telling me that I was an idiot and pathetic slob who needed to pay him back every penny (This was when I was a kid). My father even ruined my holidays. I am a 4.0 student and if I get a bad grade (One single test) because i just did not because I didn't try he will scream at me and push me down deeper into a hole. My social life isn't that great I've been bullied all my life, then I come home to see a rude and disrespectful parent who does anything to get his son out of his hair. We never did much together, I'm a nerd and like things he doesn't like. I cry at night from his rudeness calling me names and taking my stuff away. He deprives all my privacy, acts like a complete control freak. My father is a smoker and a complete fraud, he acts so nicely out in the real world with his friends but when he's home he treats me and my mother like complete "shit". He doesn't do anything around the house (100% lazy). When you talked about how a father accidentally pushes his son down when thinking of advice your 50% correct, my father does it on purpose to be rude. When I do things I enjoy he will diminish them not allowing me to experience life. This has happened throughout my child to early teenage years. What happened next and is currently happening is my revolt and retaliation. I've began to fight back to his rudeness and have locked him out financially. My social life is now locked out with him. And I've started to block him out completely. Some would say that what I am doing is wrong, however if you truly knew my father you would understand my reasons. I've gone through multiple steps to talk to him, to tell him of his rudeness however he doesn't hnderstand nor grasp the concept of stop being rude. I truly despise my father as not just a person, but as my father. His family is horrible having the IQ of nothing, spreading lies about me on multiple occasions. They are rude horrible and determinate my mental and social triangle. Since my blockage with my father I have finally began to relax and experience happiness. My mother is a wonderful person who is the only supporter of me. I love her dearly and despise the man who is still with her. He threatens both my mother and I with his money and how we wouldn't have anything without him. It is truly astonishing he wouldn't help my mother. He had broken his sworn oath of marriage. He has ruined my childhood life creating a burden of bullying (he is the cause of me being bullied), mental problems, and social life. Today I am happy taking on a journey without him. Your blog is correct about a lot of guys who are jerks to their sons. Thank you for telling me that I'm not the only one.

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LongTimeMother 23 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Mike. You are certainly not alone. The world is filled with people who have at least one bad relationship within their family. Some choose to continue suffering the humiliation and frustration and remain in a seemingly never-ending cycle, but others choose to walk away.

I admire your efforts to talk to him but if he didn't understand, there's not much you can do about it. At least you tried. Good on you for getting on with your life!

What pleases me most is that you say, " I have finally began to relax and experience happiness." Yes!!!! That is what every young person with a difficult parent should be aiming for.

At the moment you describe your stage as 'retaliating', but as you get a little older you'll probably find it just becomes 'ignoring' instead of actively engaging with him. Your life's journey will be much more pleasant if you are not battling with your father, or his influence.

Please remember when you have kids of your own to love and encourage them - whether or not they are nerds like you. :)

I know I deliberately took a very different parenting style to how I was raised as a child. Doesn't make me a 'perfect' parent (I'm not quite sure what a perfect parent really is) but my kids can always talk to me. I love the fact that they each have their own strengths and interests. We all meet on common ground and rally as a family to meet challenges and celebrate individual achievements. That's what I suggest you aim for with your own kids in the future.

Congratulations on surviving your difficult childhood. I wish you a very happy and successful adult life. Take care .. and have lots of fun!

mark017 22 months ago

My father fits into a lot of the categories, luckily physically abusive really, but I guess my problem is that I hate my father, but I don't always feel like that's acceptable, because he is still my father. I am the youngest of three brothers and I just see how much my father hurts each of us, at one point he drove the middle one to the point of suicide, luckily my mom, who I love to death was able to stop him, and his sole reason was that he couldn't deal with another 3 years with my dad before college. I always have huge problems around the holidays because I have to spend a lot more time with my dad, and it usually happens where the first few days of break I just get called lazy, worthless, stupid, a disgrace, and get told I don't deserve the same last name as him (although I am planning on changing it to my mom's maiden last name when I can) and other things I shouldn't post in the comments. Then Christmas comes, and like I said I love my mom to death, and she does so much to make Christmas special, like last year, since I am a huge soccer fan she got me the jersey of my favorite player on earth, who my dad hates because he claims he was an unappreciative little prick, mostly because he had a pretty bad father who was similar to mine, so what my dad did was destroy the jersey, saying I should idolize better people. This isn't the first time stuff like that has happened, but, number one, that gift meant so much to me because I loved the player and everything, and also because my mom had to work so hard to get it, and number two it didn't phase me that much, but my mom was balling because she knew how much it meant to me, how much I loved that player, and mostly because my mom tried so hard to make it a Christmas I'd never forget with a perfect gift and my dad ruined it. It wasn't the loss of the gift or anything, I don't care much about that stuff, but he hurt my mom really bad, and for no reason, honestly she's the only reason I'm sane, because of her I can play and excel at soccer, maintain a 4.0 gpa, and also cook which I love to do, so with all she does for me I can't stand to see her get hurt. Thank you very much for this article, and if you can't respond to this don't feel obligated because it does help just to say it because I can talk to my brothers and mom about it, but it doesn't help much because they're in the same boat as you, but I would greatly appreciate just some advice on how to make it a bit easier, especially in the holiday season.

Thank you for your time.

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LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Hi Mark. You share the same complications as many young people. You are in that difficult position of trying to do the right thing by your mother, all the while having to put up with your father in the process.

I'm happy to talk with you, but please remember … I know nothing about you, your brothers, your mother or your dad other than what you have written here. You've written it extremely well and I can feel the tension in your home so I'd really like to help. However you have to decide if what I'm saying makes sense in your own personal circumstances. Okay?

I'll check back here at least once a day so we can continue the conversation and discuss other options if you'd like, but here's a starting point …

I find myself wondering why your mother is still with your father. I mean really why. He obviously doesn't treat her well, and he's harming you kids (physically, psychologically, emotionally etc.) She clearly loves her sons - glad she helped your brother, and wow, what a great present for you! - but I can't believe she still loves her husband. (Must have at one time, but I would think that's worn off by now.)

Something is still keeping her there. My guess is fear. But fear of what? She might be afraid of your father, or afraid of just making things worse. Perhaps she thinks she couldn't cope financially, would feel too alone emotionally, or is simply afraid of the disruption that such a move would have on her sons. Some women lack confidence and self-esteem, and think they couldn't pay the bills or fix a leaking tap so they see no option other than staying in a really unhappy marriage.

So let's address those issues for a moment. How disruptive would it be for you and your brothers if your mother wanted to try living apart from your dad? Would you all go with her, and help her establish a new life away from him?

Are you all of an age where you could maybe find some work to help pay the bills? If your mother hasn't had a job since before you were born, would you encourage her to go back to work – and make it easy for her to change her daily routine? (I see you like to cook! Would you all pull your weight around the house in exchange for freedom from your dad's presence in your home and your lives, at least most days of the week?)

If you had to change schools, would you do that? If you were in a position to make new friends, would you welcome that challenge? And help your mother make new friends as well?

Hmmm … maybe you'd like to consider this as one possible option for the future, and explore that option (at least in your head.) Maybe talk to your brothers about it, and discuss it with your mother. You could make a list of all the pros and cons (as long as your dad doesn't find the list!)

You would have to be prepared to listen to what your mother has to say, and give serious thought to how you could help address her fears. You can't make your mother leave your father, but it sounds like you and your brothers will worry about her after you've all grown up and left home. She might consider it a wonderful 'gift' if you offered to help her leave him (with her sons' help and support) at this time in her life, so she could be established in a more independent (and happy) life instead of being left behind alone with your dad.

Anyway, that's just one option you might consider. Feel free to come back and chat with me again anytime you like. I could make lots of other suggestions, but I'm interested in what your mother says about her relationship with your dad. And I think it might be good for you to understand what she's thinking as well.

Thanks for writing, Mark. I'm sending you my best wishes. :)

mark017 22 months ago

First off, sorry for the typo, I meant to say my dad does not physically abuse us, partially because when he was younger his dad would come home and beat him and almost kill him, secondly, thank you for answering. I have talked to my mom about leaving him, and she most likely will after I go off to college because I am most likely going to a school farther away on a soccer scholarship. My problem with this is that at least with me and my middle brother at home my dad would know he couldn't take us because he is old and fairly out of shape, me and my brother are fairly fit. On the financial point, I am technically old enough to work but I don't have to time for it, and my mom doesn't really want me to because as a family we are not struggling, which I guess I can respect my dad a bit for because he does make about 75% of that and my mom works part time. My mom doesn't want me working because she says I have a lot of potential in everything I do. My middle brother could work easily, and that may help. My oldest is in college right now, and he practically never visits, but since his college is practically paid for in scholarships he's going for higher degrees so he can advance farther. On the point of my oldest brother though, he has a form of autism called ausburgers so to hopefully spare him my mom wouldn't leave my dad earlier, but now since he has very much matured and improved I'm not sure if that's still a factor.

I'm fairly sure my mom's biggest reason for staying is for the safety of me and my brothers. The reason my parents got married in the first place was mostly that he was a decent guy when they starting dating, and I'm not sure when that flipped. He just apparently developed a lot of hate and anger, and now he has his own individual reasons for hating all three of the kids. For my oldest it was his autism, for the middle it was his weakness (which I honestly don't see, sure he made and attempt at his life, but yeah I can understand where he's coming from with that, although I would never attempt suicide) and for me it's my passion for soccer. His hate for me is strange, he was a football player in high school and college, and now I am a short and powerful person with a lot of speed and acceleration, so apparently a perfect running back, so he thought I would follow his footsteps, and was clearly disappointed, so at a point he was less hating me and more just hoping yelling at me and stuff would make me want to play football. Honestly that's just speculation, I have no clue what happens in his mind most of the time.

If I were to have to move it wouldn't be that hard for me since I usually fit in pretty well in school, I usually have a good deal of friends, never girlfriends because yeah, I'm definitely going to bring a girl home to my dad.

In case it were a concern, I at no point have ever attempted or contemplated suicide. I lost a cousin to suicide and I've seen what it does to people around the one who does it, and to an extent that would be letting everyone who has helped me along the way down.

Thank you for all the time, but what I need I guess is just a bit of advice on how to help my mom through things, because I've come to terms with the fact that this is my childhood and now I'm completely fine. So any advice on the matter of that would be greatly appreciated, but don't feel obligated, and if you don't have any advice that's fine, you've already done more than enough, and just the venting helps. Anyway, thank you so much.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Mark, everything you've written here makes perfectly good sense.

Because I can see you are a 'thinker' looking for solutions, I am going to raise another issue for you to consider. I like the way you can talk about things with your mom, and this is a topic for you both to discuss.

Now remember, I am working from clues you have provided to me. You spark thoughts in me … and I give you my response. I'm sharing my experience, but we both know this is just a conversation between friends, right? I am not an expert on anything more than my own life. Lol.

One of my adult children had 'unexplained anger' when she was young and it carried through to her adult years. (She's 35 now.) I wrote about it here …

Perhaps your father is reacting to some of the foods he eats. Sounds weird, I know, but it might be worth considering. If he used to be nice but then his personality just changed for no apparent reason, perhaps he developed some food allergies. I'm thinking about two men in their 50s who recently discovered they were allergic to wheat etc – and their personalities changed dramatically (for the better!) when they eliminated specific foods from their diets.

It is only relatively recently that a link between autism and diet was identified. (I don't know if or when your family became aware of it. My interest in the subject was triggered after my daughter's dramatic response to her new diet.)

In addition to gluten (contained in wheat, barley, rye etc) and milk products (ie the casein in milk and other dairy products) I have read that eggs, tomatoes, eggplant, avocado, red peppers, soy and corn can also make symptoms of autism more severe.

I will give you a link to a website put together by a couple of knowledgeable women. It might be helpful for your mother and brother. However, this point I am about to make is VERY important ...

I know what it is like to be a mother who beats herself over the head for perhaps contributing to her child's less-than-perfect health. In other words, I wish I'd known to keep my daughter away from particular foods when she was young. Fact is, I didn't know. Nobody told me. Nobody gave me any kind of clue.

So if your mother is not aware of this topic yet, make sure you tell her it is better to find out late than to never know at all.

Now, to return to the subject of your difficult father and how to figure out if his diet is contributing to the way he makes your life hell … Perhaps your mother could suggest to him that you ALL get tested for food allergies. If he is likely to object to the suggestion there might be something wrong with him, just insist it is an important part of trying to establish which foods any (or all) of you might be allergic to … so that she can figure out a convenient dietary plan to accommodate the whole family. If he is not allergic to specific foods, he can have them on his plate.

Comprehensive food allergy testing can be done from a blood sample. I'm sure you'd be able to research local providers of that service. Maybe your mom could make 'allergy testing' a Christmas present for each family member. :)

If it is too expensive or too difficult to organize, perhaps your mother (with your help) could undertake some subtle detective work and arrange a few days in a row where you avoid feeding your father any gluten products (in other words, bread etc) and no dairy at all. (Difficult if he likes milk and cheese, but I'm sure you could come up with a clever plan.) Of course if he goes off to work, who knows what he eats during the day. It would be an interesting exercise however, if you find he is much easier to get along with when he's not eating certain foods.

Well, that's my thought for today, Mark. Take time to think about it, and you know that you are welcome to come back if you want to talk some more. :)

mark017 22 months ago

My dad does actually have an allergy to dairy products, but he just doesn't eat them because he gets sick if he does. I personally have been checked for allergies, along with at least my brothers, but it's very easy for us to get that check because my mom works in a hospital. My dad is getting up there in age so things could have changed for him.

On the point of my brother, his autism sparked and got more sever early on when my mom had no clue what was going on. His form of autism makes him very by the rules, like early on in his life he could only use one door at a store or mall. According to my mom at least, my dad would snap at him even after the diagnosis, but I either wasn't born or newly born at that time. His symptoms did improve over time, now you'd just think he's your typical socially awkward guy, and he fits in with slightly awkward people that really don't have any mental condition. I'm not saying anything negative about him, I'm just saying he's not a social butterfly and there's nothing wrong with that.

When it comes to changing diet and things, my family is fairly open to it at any time mostly because my mom and I can both cook pretty well, so my family will usually enjoy whatever is prepared. I could see where diet would play a part with my dad, but part of that is probably just paranoia because I eat very well, and with my soccer club I go to see a nutritionist which a lot of times makes it seem like if you eat 1g not enough protein you will die, or if you eat one fruit snack you'll become obese, so I see the difference in diet between me and him, but I've never considered it a possibility.

I don't feel that my mom blames herself for my brothers less than perfect mental health when he was younger, but for a while she did feel bad for me and my other brother because she felt like we felt less special or something. I would say dietary concerns are really only a big thing for my mom and dad, because me and my brothers are all very fit. My mom had problems pretty much after my oldest brother was born, which now that I've talked more with my mom on the subject was when my dad started getting worse, but he developed a mean streak before that, but because of this, she ate some of the pain away and never really took it off. My dad is just insanely inactive, if he's not at work where he sits behind a desk, he's sitting, laying, or sleeping.

I'm not quite sure what can happen from this, but any ideas and possible solutions are better than none. I most likely will either not be responding here at all, or less frequently so thank you for everything. The reason for this is that soccer is picking up more, I'm starting back up with my speed and strength coach, and I also got a girlfriend. I know I said that I can't have them because they can't really meet my family, but this girl was my crush for like 4 months, so you take that chance when you can get it, plus we're good friends so she understands that my family life is something rough for me to work around, as well as she knows to stay out of it, although she already knows my mom.

So, thank you for everything, hope everything is great with you, have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Happy news, Mark! So pleased to hear you have a girlfriend. It was only a matter of time, lol. An intelligent, athletic, caring young man like you couldn't escape the notice of girls for long. :)

The soccer season has ended in Australia. One of my kids is a soccer nut. Pleased to report their team won the grand finals. (She plays in a mixed-gender competition and is friends with boys like you!)

Drop back some time in the future and let me know how things are going. I wish you success with all aspects of your life. Seems to me you're destined for great things!

Becky 22 months ago

Hi there, i really liked your post. I have never really reached out to anyone about my issue with him. He isn't the best fatherin the world. Few years before i had the knowledge that he has an affair and till date, i still know and i have shared this to anyone. Although my mother knows about it too, since the day i knew bout this I'm not my best with him, whenever he tries to reach out to me i just can't stand him. Thinking he hurt my mother kills me. He doesn't get better. According to his moods he'll talk, and when i don't talk with him he just bursts up on me. He then says i don't have manners and that i don't have self dignity. He accuses me of having a relationship with a boy and again slashes me with harsh words. I just don't know how to handle this, i don't want to talk to him ever, he crushes my seld respect saying things when he thinks I'm not listening.

I iust have one wish that i know one day I'll get away from him and I'll be free from his torments. Because i can't take this anymore. I'm 17 and i know I'm going to be able to silent these hurting thoughts of him as i grow older.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Hi Becky. Happy New Year! 2015 brings you closer to becoming an adult ... and that's great news!

At 17 you are poised to take your place in the big wide world. I'm not sure if you can actually see how exciting that is. (I know I didn't see the full potential of the life that lay ahead of me when I was a teenager.)

Your father sounds like a big disappointment, but don't let his poor attitude wear you down. If he was a mature and caring individual he would be actively trying to build your self respect instead of crushing it. He is missing his chance to create a good solid relationship with you. What a foolish man.

There's a few things I'd like to point out to you, Becky. I've discussed many things with others who made comments here and I hope they'll also be useful to you, but let's talk about relationships for a moment.

Your parents' relationship is complicated and messy. It has a direct influence on your life, but kids only see a part of what actually happens between their mother and father. For instance, there's a whole history you probably know very little about.

Their personal history helped determine where they are at right now. The choices they made in the past (and the choices they make at this stage in their lives) will determine how their future pans out.

You can't change your mother and father, and you can't fix what went on between them in the past. You can't fix what they are doing to each other in the present, either. The best you can achieve (when it comes to their relationship) is to try to not make things worse.

Your main goal should be to protect yourself and your own future. That includes your future relationships. Please don't become bitter towards all men or assume that your future relationships will end up as unpleasant as theirs. That doesn't have to happen.

I suggest you make mental notes about how you would deal with problems and issues differently to how they are doing it. Think about how you will treat your partners and future husband (in a positive way, not negative ways); how you expect to be treated (all things loving and wonderful, not disrespectful and hurting); and how you'll speak about others (even when you think they can't hear you.)

Learn lessons from your parents' relationship - and the way they both treat you. Be determined to avoid their mistakes. Hold your head high and have confidence that you will be able to have a much happier marriage than theirs.

You will be free from his torments one day, Becky. And then you get to live your life the way you choose. Believe me, that's very exciting!!

I'm happy to chat with you any time you like. Best wishes for 2015 - and beyond!

Becky 22 months ago

Happy New Year to you too.

I appreciate you took out your precious time to reply me, and i would really like to reach out about this more. If we could talk anytime maybe. This is the only time i have ever reached out regarding this so thank you for your words.

I understand what you said about my parent's relationship with each other and i get that i have to look out for myself. I don't question myself regarding my thoughts about myself, i try to be a better person learning from their mistakes.

I really liked you saying how i would deal with situations different than they would. I keep in mind that i won't ever do the mistakes they did or do.

That was about myself watching out for me, learning from it, but what's eating me is my relationship with my father is affecting my relationship with other family members. They don't seem to understand the way i act with him, they too torment me to show my best behavior with him. Apologize to him. And this pressures me to the ground. For him, for his attitude i can't do anything about this. I want a way out from this, i want to be able to say him i don't want to talk or even see you. Like how should i handle this right now, without affecting my relationship with my family more badly. They say me to show my best behavior with him, how will i? Because i don't want to. Not now, not ever.

If i can do anything to make this better, i really, truly would.

So if you could give any advice on this, i would really appreciate it. I have taken much of your time already, anyway thank you for looking over my matter.

Wishing you a great year ahead.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

You can talk to me any time you like, Becky. When you say your relationship with other family members is suffering, who do you mean? Brothers or sisters? Grandparents?

And ... do they also know that your father had an affair?

How did you find out about it?

Becky 22 months ago

Hi again,

Well to mention my grandparents do that,they don't know about him, they are all about their son is a saint,

and even my mother says sometimes to apologize to him. I don't understand why.

3 years before maybe, i heard him talking on call with that woman, i glanced at a few texts, some voice recordings, enough for me to know. Morever mom and dad kept fighting on it, so i guess it was obvious. Since then its always on, sometime or so i hear him talking when mom is not around. He got away on a weekend saying he had work, but he lied about it. My mother knows that too. I don't care what he does, all i care is my mother

Shouldn't get hurt by his shameless actions.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 22 months ago from Orlando, FL

Interesting article with many important issues to address. I've heard people say they hate their dad and/or their mom. As an adult orphan (both parents passed) I could never speak bad about my parents. Sure there were times when I did not like them, but I always loved them no matter what mistakes they made as parents. No parent is perfect. Their parents were far from perfect. I am far from perfect as a parent. But I am an awesome grandparent! Thank you for writing this personal and important article and for reaching out to others.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Sunshine. Thanks for your comment.

I think you'd agree that some parents are further from perfect than others. Parents have responsibilities towards their children, and if they fail to meet them it is perfectly understandable when their kids resent them. Sadly, some parents really don't deserve to be loved. For instance, repeatedly beating a child (or their mother) is not a 'mistake'.

In my experience as a mother, a foster mother, and a friend to many other kids, there comes a time when teenagers and young adults can clearly identify whether or not their parents should be 'forgiven' for an occasional mistake - or whether they are just bad parents.

Clearly your parents must have deserved your love - just as you deserve to be loved by your kids, and your grandkids. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

Hello again, Becky.

I will do my best to help you here but remember we are just chatting as friends. You have to decide whether or not what I say rings true as a possible solution ... or if you need to give me more information and ask for another idea.

So, let's start with your statement "If i can do anything to make this better, I really, truly would."

I understand that you don't want to talk to your father or see him, but we both know you're going to have to live in the same house as him for a while yet. So I'm thinking that what you really need the most help with is protecting your relationship with other members in your family - without compromising your personal integrity (given how you feel about your dad.)

Here's a plan you might like to consider ...

You could consider this stage of your life as a 'training ground' for being successful in the workplace in the future. The time will come (in at least one of your jobs) when you have a boss who you really can't stand. You will have to go about your business without ruffling any feathers, and without showing to anyone just how much you dislike your boss.

Sure, perhaps you could just leave and find another job ... but what if the job itself was going to be really helpful in your career, and if you could stick at it for a couple of years you'd get a promotion - or you'd be able to apply for a job at the place that you'd desperately love to work at eventually.

Your imaginary boss is a man quite like your father. You have to appear respectful (or at least, not be disrespectful), you have to be involved in conversations without being rude, and you need to bite your tongue occasionally and say nothing about things that really annoy you.

Imagine how helpful it would be if you were able to think, "Well, I managed to do all those things with my father when I was young - so I can put up with this jerk of a boss!"

You know what you really think about your father, and I know what you really think about your father ... but the trick is to conceal it from other people in your workplace. Oops, I mean your home. :)

If you are genuinely making an effort to be 'less difficult', I'm sure your mother will notice and really appreciate it. Plus you won't be expected to apologize to your father because you won't be doing anything worthy of an apology.

You'll just be polite and helpful (without obviously being sarcastic) as you prepare yourself for that important job in the future.

Do you think that might help?

Now I do have another thought as well, and I'll mention it here. I don't know your mother or your father, but I have known quite a lot of couples who have fought about the same type of thing as your parents seem to be fighting about.

Sometimes the husband is absolutely in the wrong. But sometimes things aren't quite as they seem and the wife over-reacts. (I used to work with a young woman who would talk 'dirty' and leave dreadful messages on our co-workers' telephones as a joke, thinking they were funny. When I found out about it I made her see how cruel and unfunny that was ... but I'm sure the world still has some silly, flirty pranksters who cause trouble within families.)

I don't know what you heard or read, but sometimes things get complicated without any real basis. Would it help if you managed to think 'perhaps' your dad isn't as guilty as sin? Could you walk that fine line between 'maybe he is' and 'maybe he isn't' and be a little less angry with him?

You could make a resolution to one day actually confront him and ask him (when you're older and can talk adult to adult), but tread a little more softly until that day comes.

What do you think?

Becky 22 months ago

I'm glad that you put your thoughts over my matter, thank you so much for this. The possible solution which you gave, i will try to do that. But there's small part of me that thinks the way he is, why he deserve good behavior from anyone.

But maybe i can pretend to overlook on that to make my stand better in the family.And yes, i will confront him one day for sure.

Again, thank you for your time and suggestions. I'm sure you will continue to hear peoples stories and help them in someway as you did for me.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 22 months ago from Australia Author

You can come back and talk to me any time you like, Becky.

I do hope 2015 is a more peaceful year for you and your family. Try to remember this stage of your life is a foundation for your future. It won't be long until you are an independent young adult - so concentrate on doing well at school, learning new things, and preparing yourself for a fabulous adult life. :)

Whatever your parents do or say from now on is far less important than your own decisions and actions.

You can only do your best, Becky. Nobody should expect more than that.

Let me know how you go.

Silver Lining 21 months ago

Hi there,

I’m 17, female. Um, I’m not sure if my problem is listed above but I would like to share my story and I hope to seek your advice. I am very confused as to what to think and what to do. My dad.. my dad has both a positive or a likable side and a negative side. At times I really like him for doing stuff for my mom and me. I mean he provides for our basic needs and also tries to provide for our other wants/desires. He isn’t the worst dad and I feel fortunate that he has no bad habits like smoking , drinking , physical abuse or the likes.

But, there are a few things I do not like about him. When financial problems, setbacks, illness, failure arise in our family, he becomes angry, irritated, and mad at me for no reason. I, being short tempered also begin to question him and fight back. We’ve been dealing with setbacks, financial crisis for a pretty long time. This makes matters worse but I do not know what to do! He somehow doesn’t seem to want to accept failure and move on without hurting my mom’s feelings and mine. I know this is all hard on him for he is the family breadwinner but.. being in a bad state myself and having to deal with my own failure/setbacks I seek support of my family. My mom tries to be there for me but my dad just doesn’t understand what I am going through.

Another thing I do not like about him is that when in trouble he never shares everything with his immediate family which consists of just mom & me. We are given bits and pieces of the story. He has the bad habit of telling his friends, his relatives all about our setbacks and problems. I being a sensitive & private person, do not like my problems being shared with others. Sometimes, other people (relatives, his friends) know what problems we have been facing better than my mom and me! He doesn’t consider my mom and me as people he should share his problems with. We are put down in front of his relatives and friends like we don’t deserve any respect and this hurts our feelings.. feelings he doesn’t care for or simply doesn’t understand. Besides this, I have nothing against my dad for he does spend time with me, cares for me(sometimes), gets me almost everything I ask for but it is in tough times that he completely changes and because each of us is going through troubles in our own individual life, we don’t seem to be able to understand each other’s problems and solve them. There is no oneness, togetherness mostly because my dad doesn’t consider ‘us’ family. He looks down on us and treats every other individual greater and worthy. This all started about 5 years ago ... all due to life’s never ending challenges, difficulties and I’m pretty sure he won’t change. We all just aren’t compatible with each other. There isn’t enough understanding between us and the only solution I see to this is to somehow work hard and stand on my own feet. It’s easy to say than done because I’ve been a pretty lazy person myself but I am trying to work on it. I wish we never had all these troubles in life. My troubles seem like the worst to me but I know there are many out there who cannot even ask for advice on these portals but yes, I have and always am going to believe that there is a god above and that he is listening and I’m hoping he works a miracle in my life soon to end my miseries. Thank you for reading.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 21 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Silver Lining. If you and your father both have short tempers, I imagine that could sometimes be a recipe for disaster. I will give you a few thoughts to try and help improve your relationship with your dad.

Good on you for taking the time to ask for my thoughts. Many teenagers talk to their friends looking for sympathy and solutions. Young friends are great for giving sympathy ... but they don't yet have the experience or perspective to provide solutions.

Experience is a great teacher. You'll find with time that you'll view the world (and your father) differently. Some adults become more forgiving of their father's faults; others go the opposite way.

It is important to remember that it is always easier to change your own attitude and behavior than someone else's. So the first stage should be to seriously consider what you can do differently ... and then to talk with your dad about how he could match your efforts.

If you have not yet read all the comments left on this page by other young people with problems, I suggest you take the time to read every word. Compare your situation with theirs. Then when you are talking with your dad about what needs fixing in your relationship, I hope you won't lose sight of the good things about him. Don't forget to tell him occasionally what you appreciate about him.

It must be hurtful when he treats you without respect, and I am wondering why he talks about problems more with people outside your home than with your mother and you.

A few things spring to mind ...

- Is he trying to 'protect' you from being exposed to the problems? (Not thinking that other people will tell you.)

- Is he not wanting his family to view him as a failure? (Afraid that you'll think less of him because he's not on top of everything as he would like.)

- Or is it perhaps too hard for him to talk to you and your mother - and easier (and less emotional) to talk to others?

Men need to discuss their problems - just like women do, and teenagers, and little kids. Everyone needs to be able to express their frustrations and feel as though they are heard.

Many of the problems involving domestic violence have a lot to do with drugs and alcohol (which thankfully don't seem to be a problem in your home) ... but underlying that behavior you can generally identify unresolved problems and uncapped frustration at not being heard or understood.

You wrote "I feel fortunate that he has no bad habits like smoking , drinking , physical abuse or the likes." That's huge. That means you live in a safe home. Got to give your dad credit for that. Your home is uncomfortable, no doubt, but at least it is not unsafe.

So let's look for a moment at how it annoys you when he talks to others outside your home. I understand you prefer to be a private person and would prefer he didn't tell anyone about his problems. But what cost would you pay for that privacy? How would you feel if his frustration built up over time (without the release of expressing it to his friends), and he began drinking or being violent? I imagine if that was the case, you'd be wishing he just went and talked to someone/anyone about his problems.

I think you need to accept that your father needs to talk. Then you need to ask yourself just how much sympathy and understanding does he get from within your home? If he does express his frustration about financial issues or illness or any of the other things you mentioned, how do you and your mother respond?

And then I have to wonder ... would you really want to be listening to your dad trying to shake off his disappointment or frustration on a daily basis?

Hmmm. There's probably lots of things you and I could discuss here, Silver Lining ... but I'll leave it here for now. I will keep an eye out for your next note if you'd like to talk some more. If you like, I could give you a couple of ideas about conversations you could have with your dad.

Take care. :)

Silver Lining 21 months ago

Hi there,

Thank you for listening to my problems and understanding them. I will definitely try to improve my relationship with my dad. The thing is, we try our best to sit and talk to him. We listen. We find solutions. We are always there for him. But, he doesn't seem to agree to or share any of our views/opinions. Because of the problems we face, he feels we are worthless and everything we say/think is baseless. He sees us(mom and me) as the root to all his problems. But, that is not true. These are just problems that have risen in our family and they can very well be solved without fights and misunderstandings. But, he listens to everyone else and shares all our troubles with them. I understand that maybe he can't share or doesn't want to share all his problems with us but at least he needn't put us down. There is a way to discuss problems with people outside your family.. one doesn't have to put down someone in order to get help, right? My mom is not short tempered like the both of us . She is calm and understanding. If he'd understand, we could solve the problems without any interference from an outsider. Anyway, I'm just going to try to work a way out and hopefully these problems will just go away someday. Thank you for your time and for hearing me out. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 21 months ago from Australia Author

You are absolutely right, Silver Lining. It makes no sense that he keeps putting you down. Have you asked your mother how she feels when he talks to you both that way? Does she have any understanding of why he is like he is?

If he can't see how much effort you are both making to be supportive of him and if he genuinely sees you both as the root of his problems, that's a very difficult situation. I am pleased you have your calm and understanding mother by your side.

You are 17, nearly of an age where you can begin living as an independent adult. The future for you holds a great deal of promise.

I'm wondering what plans your mother might have for the future. Do you think she will stay with your father for many more years like the past five? Have you asked her?

You could try reminding your father that the day will come when he needs his family to help him when he's old so he should be more appreciative of you ... but there's no point going there if your mom thinks she might be happier taking a different path.

Many parents remain in unhappy marriages to avoid causing disruption in their children's lives and wait until their kids are grown before discussing divorce. I don't know what the future holds for your parents, but if they do happen to choose to go their separate ways you could potentially have a healthy relationship with both of them.

It is not necessary to take 'sides' when parents part. As sad and scary as divorce can seem at first, if two adults decide they would both welcome the chance to create new lives and have another chance at happiness (without hating each other), it can be a great relief for their kids.

Of course the ideal outcome would be for all members of your family to be part of a cohesive unit, happy and loving together. But if that is not achievable, it is time to look at other options.

Because I don't know your family at all, I am just talking 'in theory' here. One thing I am sure of is that you and your mother certainly deserve to be treated with respect.

You said earlier, "We all just aren’t compatible with each other. There isn’t enough understanding between us and the only solution I see to this is to somehow work hard and stand on my own feet."

I believe working hard and becoming independent is an excellent plan for you. You might have been passing through a lazy stage, but that's okay because most teenagers do. You won't be a teenager forever. Life has a funny way of lifting us up and turning us into responsible adults. :)

You might discover that your 'solution' is equally appropriate for your parents if they are no longer compatible and can't see how to restore their love and commitment to each other. Maybe they'll also be working hard to stand on their own feet independently.

You spoke of hoping that God works a miracle in your life soon to end your miseries. I encourage you to keep an open mind and an open heart towards both your parents no matter what the future holds. Sometimes it is hard to spot a miracle while it is unfolding.

I wish you the best of luck, Silver Lining. May your future be happier than you could possibly imagine!

Sydney 20 months ago

Hi I hate my dad but I do love him. Over the last couple of weeks he put me into a stressful mode. He constantly yells at me, blames everything on me, and sometimes hit me. It hurted me so much that I cried and cried. Sometimes I ask my mom if i could stay at my grandma house for 2 days. Im 13 years old, and sometimes I feel like everything is my fault. I always think to myself, 'Why am I born?' 'Should I leave this world?' Or 'Why am I still here?' Its like the more he hurts me, the more sorry I am.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 20 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Sydney. Here's my first tip for you, and it is an important one ...

You must never question your right to be alive. If your father is behaving badly, that's not your fault!

He is the adult. You are still the child. Your father should be teaching you and protecting you and loving you and helping you develop the skills and the confidence to make your way into adult life. He should not be yelling at you and blaming you ... and he should never hit you, threaten you or abuse you in any way.

You need to find an adult in your life who can help you. If it is not your mom, then maybe it is your grandma or another relative, or a neighbor or the parents of a friend.

Perhaps you'll have to ask a teacher or a social worker at your school to help you. If your dad is a bit of a bully, that might be the best option.

If his behavior has changed over the last couple of weeks, NOW is the time to ask for help. Don't wait until it has been months or years of trouble. Something has happened to change your dad, and that needs to be addressed now.

Go to an adult you respect and can trust and say, "I need your help please. I don't know what's happening with my father but he's started yelling at me and hitting me and I'm scared. I don't know what to do."

If you are too frightened to be at home, tell them. If you want them to talk with him (adult to adult) and ask him what his problem is and how they might help him, suggest that as well. Ask them to tell him that he has frightened you - and that you can't be expected to study and do well at school and to grow up into a happy, well-adjusted adult if you are in a home where you don't feel safe.

They should tell him that if he is not able to work through his personal problems (whatever they are) without treating you so badly, he should tell them now - so they can find somewhere else for you to stay until he gets his head together.

He seriously needs to be confronted by an adult who can speak on your behalf. You do not have the power to pull him into line - but at 13 you are old enough and clever enough to find an adult who can do it for you.

I want to make something very clear to you, Sydney. You MUST NOT let your father shake your confidence in yourself. He had his time as a child and a teenager. Now it is your turn.

If he had an unhappy childhood (or has problems in his adult life), that's not your fault. He owes you a good start in life. That's part of the deal when anyone becomes a parent.

'Why were you born?' So you could do brilliant things!

'Should you leave this world?' Not until you are very old and have lived a full and happy life. (99 seems a good age to aim for. 100 might be a bit greedy. lol.)

'Why are you still here?' Because you deserve to be! Because you are special! And because the world wants to see what you are capable of achieving!

You have a right to live a long and happy life, my young friend. I want you to take ownership of that right, and find someone to help you make sure your future happiness is protected.

Right now you have a couple of weeks worth of bad memories. Don't let that stretch into years. If your dad is making you feel unsafe and unhappy in your home, be strong enough to find help for both of you.

When he finds out how unhappy you are, that may be the turning point that makes him fix his own problems and get his life back on track. If he is incapable of quickly becoming a nice, calm, responsible father, you might just have to stay somewhere else for a while at least.

This is not your fault. It is a problem for you, so you have to address it, but it is not your fault. You just have to do the best you can to solve the problem. In other words, you need to get help to make sure the next few years are a lot better than the last few weeks.

Please write to me again. I want to hear what you are thinking ... and if you have a plan for who might help you.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wow Ltm, what an amazing hub. I can see why this is highly ranked on Google (page two on my search). It is well written and packed full of the best advice. It is wonderful that children/teens who are thinking "I hate my dad" are googling this and reading your advice then commenting so you can help them even further. It is sad that this is such a hot topic in our society isn't it? Reading the hub it is so obvious that you are a mother and know exactly what you are talking about not just assembling facts and figures to create a high ranking article.

Thank you for directing me to this. I am now much more aware of what it takes to make a hub successful on Google. It is definitely possible. Voted up across the board (except funny) and shared.

Thank you for sharing this

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 19 months ago from Australia Author

I will always make time to answer comments on this hub, Jodah, no matter how busy I am. There are so many young people who need a little help to get past their difficult years with their fathers. I know you have a good relationship with your children ... I just wish every dad was the same. :)

Amanda 18 months ago

You should add substance abuse to the list of why children hate their fathers. I hate my father because of his alcoholism and who he becomes when he drinks. I hate that he won't go for help, even though he knows he needs it. Also, having a bad temper is a large reason for children to hate their fathers. I am no child, but when I was I still hated my father for these reasons.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 18 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Amanda. Yes, you are right. Substance abuse and bad tempers are definitely reasons why kids can hate their fathers. Both can contribute to physical, mental, or emotional abuse. Thanks for pointing that out.

For the sake of their kids, fathers should definitely get help for substance abuse problems.

Mel 12 months ago

He simply never thought of my sister nor I like his children. All he cares about was my brother (his only son). He treated us like crap. I hate him since the time he threatened in 7th grade that he would never drive me and I would have to take the bus. And from then on, I never relied or asked him for any help. He even said to his whole family he never had my sister and I. He told us that we were adopted.

Even though he is politically my father, I would never consider him as one.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 12 months ago from Australia Author

Mel, you can have a really good life despite having a father like yours. As an adult, you can just avoid him. :)

It is a shame if his poor attitude causes friction between you two girls and your brother. I really hope the three of you can still be close, and you don't blame your brother for problems your dad causes. I don't understand men like your father. He should be pleased and proud of all of you.

Wishing you great happiness in the years to come!

Disgruntled 19yr Old 11 months ago

Wow. Just wow. I did read the article about that "role model" dad. And then i read this one again.

My father is an ass. I despise him. Why? Several reasons in a toxic cocktail of Satan's bathtub.

He's cheating and me and my other 4 siblings all know it. (Including my mum) and he thinks we're stupid and lies about it but we know its a bunch of bullocks. He spoils the mistress (we're left to stretch money for groceries and bills) and the lady harasses my mother via internet. He wanted me and my siblings to lie to child protection services because "i dont want anyone in my business" and when confronted to tell the truth about his affair he explains he doesnt have to tell us anyting because hes man of the house (this isnt the fucking 1920s-40s and 50s you lobcock)

Has favoritism towards my older brother. Babies him. Spoils him. And my brother doesnt have highschool diploma. No motivation to work. Does nothing to warrant rewards. When he asks for something father drops what hes doing or tells him to look it up so they can go get it. However when i asks for something father will find ways of stopping me from asking or ignores me.

Belittles me. Calls me names. Threatened me when i calmly refused to accompany him to get pizza after he made mum cry. He only paid attention when my grades were shit but otherwise wasnt there. Hes emotionally manipulative and verbally abusive. Father doesnt allow mum to be herself and he suppresses my outlets of self expression like drawing/making masks, roleplaying on tumblr and writing fanfiction (my only form of escape).

I have low self esteem. I have problems asking questions. I dont ask for anything that requires money because my mum is already working hard for things and i end up feeling guilty for wanting whatever i wanted to ask about because it seems "selfish and greedy" so i try to find ways of getting it on my own but then are too afraid to get it as to not incite anger/critcism from father.

He has the nerve to ask me of i have self worth when i have no esteem as it is. Ive gotten to the point of bottling my emotions and "putting on a mask" as well as numbness and feeling detached. I want to transfer out of state after doing generals in community college but hes trying to discourage me.

Im planning on leaving with mum when she takes the 2 youngest with her (theyre my half brother and sister) since my father is wasting his money and life on another woman. (Hes also hit my mum) father mucked up her financial things so im helping save money for the ultimate getaway escape.

Ive also discovered i can lie better than he can. Since i gave a password to my mum when he locked a device that isnt his. He asked me what it was and i said the old password instead of the new one (it was the year he was born lucky guess) he believed me when i acted puzzled about why he was asking who gave the password to mum.

When i eventually live on my own im cutting off all contact and changing my name. I already feel tainted as it is by coming from his cursed loins.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 11 months ago from Australia Author

Hello Disgruntled 19yr old. Don't waste your time feeling 'tainted' because of your father. Just busy yourself creating a life where you don't need to be controlled by him any more.

Sure, change your name if you want. But a name doesn't 'make' a person. Very few people are defined by their surname (unless you happen to have a really famous name, and a very famous father.)

I'm really happy that you're 19. You're old enough to start making your own life. Nice that you are supportive of your mother and siblings. (I can already see you are VERY different to your father.) Let me encourage you though, not to give up your own youth and the fun you should be having. I'm hoping you come up with a plan to help them, but still enjoy your young adult years.

Can't imagine why your father would behave how he does with your older brother, when he's so awful to you. Doesn't make sense to me at all ... but who knows how your father's mind works.

I admire your ability to cope at the moment. Well done. Just don't forget to drop the mask and start trusting people again once you have moved away from him. :)

Christian 7 months ago

I feel like my dad's issue is a strange mix of control freak and critical. My dad is a very hateful man and has obvious anger issues, so he often comes off as homophobic or racist (and by that I mean he is). The problem with that is that I am a very accepting person (sometimes too much), so my views have grown very far from his, but he does not let me express them. Not to mention the fact that just expressing myself is hard while my dad is around.

Let's start with the issue that sparked my recent "I f*cking hate my dad in every way" rage. He was talking, or more like yelling, on the phone with his parents trying to get their new TV set up. They don't understand technology in any remote sense so it was frustrating for my dad and he ended up yelling and cursing at them. This would be bad enough if it wasn't for he tells my sister and I to thank our dear grandparents as often as possible because of how much they've done for us, yet he cannot for the life of him utter the words "thank you" or "I love you" to either of them! I've literally never heard him say that!

The worst, however, is how he raised me. He taught me things like being gay is wrong and all Muslims are wrong, etc. and also taught me that I will never be able to exceed his expectations. Why? Well, when I was in grade 2, I was told by my teacher to take a gifted screening test, and ended up getting one of the highest scores out there. In other words, my school told me that I'm smart as hell and destined for greatness. Of course, though, my dad had to take this to heart. My grades historically have been in the 90s only (which in the Ontario school system is stupid high), but the slightest slip would land me a grounding, a slap, a yell, and a long talk about how I won't be successful with those grades. This continued on until about... oh wait, it still happens today. My grades have since dropped to high 80s and my dad understands since I'm graduating in a few months and going on to university, so it is expected to be harder. However, I've had some issues this year. I have been going through some sort of depression or something, I'm not sure, but I've lost all hope in my future, none of the things I used to like am I interested in anymore, and I've had constant thoughts about suicide. I have had enough willpower to cut out the suicidal thoughts for now, but it's still hard. Because of this mentally unstable time, my grades have slipped to low 80s, and that's after bringing them up from 70s and 60s! I have brought them up enough to get into Canada's version of the Ivy League so I'm happy, but my dad isn't. My marks are still not what they should be to him, and I'm a disappointment. My mental state has also just provided him with more leverage for criticism. "Don't pout all the time, f*cking cheer up!" "Stop acting so depressed you goddamned drama queen!" "Pay attention and wake up retard!" Just some of the things I'm used to hearing now. (But "Shut up!" is his favourite by far.)

Also, I used to have very bad Asthma, and although it is chronic and therefore cannot go away, I am much better than I was and can now play sports without too much issue. Well, except one teeny weeny issue: my dad. He has decided that since I taken a liking to cycling that I am to be a professional cyclist, which I don't want to be. He is very good at implying that I have to do things without explicitly saying so, so every time he talks to me about cycling and what I want, it comes across as "you better f*cking say yes", and I end up agreeing because I'm to mentally scared and weak to say no. He has basically been like this my entire life though, as he doesn't just expect me to succeed with flying coulours, but to be a certain way too. I want to go into linguistics for uni but my dad keeps saying "business is more practical" or "you would make a great lawyer". LIKE I CAN BE A PRO CYCLIST, A LAWYER, A BUSINESSMAN, CARRY ON THE NEW FAMILY BUSINESS, AND DO WHAT I WANT IN LIFE?!?

Now my least favourite, he doesn't let me be me. I'm sure you hear this all the time from teenagers, but I basically passed my rebellious phase. All I want is to dress a certain way, get a certain haircut, or be a part of a certain event, and my dad just tells me to come over to him and says "I don't like this style/hair/event. It looks bad on you, ok?" but in an EXTREMELY condescending tone. Basically, I must wear straight fit jeans (no other pants at all), a t-shirt or collared shirt, and nothing flashy (no accessories). Also, I have questioned my sexuality for a long time, and am thinking I might be bisexual, but I know what my dad thinks of those people so for now I guess it's good that I'm still questioning (don't worry, though, he's not quite as hateful about the LGBTQ+ community as he is with any non-Christians). Oh, that's right, the religion part too. Both my parents are Christian to an extent, but my dad is devout. He named me after the religion for f*ck sake! I have never believed all of the bible, only parts, but I am expected to read scripture every night and reflect upon it then pray to the lord. Of course, I can't tell him that I don't believe in it, because I'm scared of him and I know how much he says that anyone who doesn't believe in Christ our saviour is wrong. He also tells my sister and I explicitly that we are supposed to pray and thank the lord, and if we don't then we aren't going to have it easy in life.

Basically, I'm a p*ssy (as my dad has called me once or twice before), and can't take criticism or hate well, but that's all my dad knows how to do. Like you said, he pays the bills, he does a lot for me, he lets me know he loves me, but he will never understand how much he's messed up my life. I have a hard time making friends even because of how timid I've become, so it's not like I have anyone to talk to. I have a plan as to how I'll handle it once I'm out of the house, so I've got it under control for after I move out. The only issue I'm faced with now is trying to be an adult and make my own decisions for the next 6 months without being scolded by my dad for the nth time, but I don't see how I can confront him and tell him how I feel.

*Disclaimer: the only time I have been hit by my dad was when I was younger, and in my kind it was reasonable enough not to be considered abuse, so don't get the wrong idea.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Hey, Chris. Your message came through at the very moment I came online. How weird is that? I will read it now and write back to you.

So stand by, my friend. I'll be back in a few minutes. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Okay, let me start by saying I really enjoy the way you write. Shame you're not writing about happier things, but you do write extremely well. I particularly admire "This continued on until about... oh wait, it still happens today." That's very clever.

I'm going to write you a longer answer, but I have to get off the computer very soon. I promise if you check back here in 24 hours time I will have a longer answer for you. So please don't think I'll be ignoring you. I appreciate the time you took to write such a long letter to me.

But for now, let's address the suicide issue because that's the most important thing. I don't want you to stress about your grades or your upcoming exams or being a disappointment to your father. I'm sure you'll do the best you can, and no doubt you'll do really well in your exams, but even if you don't ... it doesn't matter. Believe me. It doesn't matter if you don't perform as well as you (or your father) would like.

You are obviously very smart. I can tell that just by the way you write! And you are obviously very 'switched on'. I can tell that by your insight and the way you've described the issues to me. You'll make your way in the world and settle into something that suits you. Will you have to go to university to do that? Maybe. Maybe not.

The world is filled with remarkable adults who had really difficult relationships with their parents ... and, despite the insecurities and fears that were instilled in them ... grew into 'themselves'.

I'm more like you than you realize. I actually went to a school for gifted children and was sucked into the kind of 'conflict' you describe. As it turns out, I dropped out of university (twice, lol) but still ended up with a great career and a loving family of my own.

Here's what I told my own children, and I want you to remember it ...

"You don't have to pass an exam to become an adult. You just have to survive being a teenager!"

It is more 'normal' than you know to be feeling suicidal, Chris. It is scary, and I understand you feel you are walking a fine line at the moment, but you can come out the other side of this problem time. And you will!

Please come back to chat with me more. I don't sit at the computer all the time, but I definitely will continue our conversation. So stick with me, kid. I'll help you figure out a way to get through. Okay?

Christian 7 months ago

PS, try to disregard the talk of depression/SAD and that stuff as a serious concern. I do wonder, because there are times when I lock myself in my room, mute all notifications and ringtones, and just sit in the dark for hours on end pondering on how much I hate myself, but I also have times when life couldn't be better. Mental disorder just seems like something easy to blame, but it really could just be all the stress lately and probably is. I also find certain activities like working out help my mind out a lot, so I have ways of coping.

Also would like to point out that many kids respond to different kinds of criticism differently, and it helps to analyze what works best for them. I know some people who take harsher criticism very well, and work off it to better themselves. I can handle it at first, but it degrades me after a while. For me, I find I work best off counseling that points out both my flaws and strengths and how to fix/use them in my favour. I haven't ever raised a child, but just my 2 cents.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Chris, I've deleted one of your recent comments. It was absolutely fine, but it concerns me that it mentioned your plans for the coming year. I don't have the option to edit comments here, but I can remove them. So I did.

Why? Because I know there's every chance that by this time next year some special person might be googling to find out more about you. You'll have caught their eye and they'll be searching to find some hints about your interests. If they put your name and your courses and uni into a search engine, we don't want them ending up here. lol. That could spoil the mood.

So, here's what you said. Without the identifying clues. (I'll write more to you in a bit.)

"Thanks for the comment about my writing by the way, my teachers don't seem to agree lol. About the suicidal thoughts, I don't see myself doing it, I care too much about helping the world to do it. All I meant was that all of those expectations weighed down on me to the point that I couldn't ignore them anymore. If I was to be completely honest, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) seems to describe me better than depression because I'm always quite different in the summer, so I might want to look into that. It's just hard when my parents completely deny that there's anything wrong with me.

I also still love my dad, I just also hate him. It's one of those things; he obviously cares about me and loves me but doesn't know how to support me in the ways that I need, and he lets his ignorance and opinions get in the way of himself. I'd love to just show that to him and see him change, because I really don't want to hate him. Also, please take your time on the response, I'm in no rush."

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

I have some time to sit and write now. There's a few things for us to talk about, Chris, so let's get started.

Is it ever possible for you to have proper conversations with your father? Without him yelling?

I'm wondering if you'll get a chance to one day say to him, "I understand that you probably still view me as a little kid, dad. But I'm not. I'm about to enter the big wide world, and it is time I started making my own decisions about what I wear, and how I look." Do you think perhaps he just needs to be reminded that you're entering adult life?

In an ideal world, you'll manage to shift the dynamics of your relationship without a major blow-up. Sometimes that's harder than it should be. You're in a better position to predict the likelihood of having this type of conversation with your dad.

But I don't want you to assume that he'll just shut you down, because I've known many teenagers over the years who have been stunned to discover they just had to open their mouths and speak with their fathers (in a different way to how they always had) for their relationships to suddenly change.

Another approach that might work for you is, "Dad, you've had my entire childhood to influence me and tell me what you think. But that has to stop now. I'm the one who has to live with any decisions about my adult life. So I'll be the one who makes them. I have listened and heard everything you've said over the years. But you have to let go and let me figure out what I want to do from now on."

I'm happy to talk with you about how you think such a conversation might go, and for you to ask "But what will I say if he says ......?" I've had some lengthy conversations with teenagers in the past as they gained the confidence to approach their father 'man to man'.

Because you live in a different part of the world to me, I don't know whether or not you'll be relying on your father to help with university fees. If you are, you obviously need to walk that fine line that allows you to continue receiving his financial help ~ without compromising your own personal integrity.

In many ways it is easier to just 'put your foot down' and say 'Enough, dad.' But if you don't think that's an option, there are other approaches you could take.

I'll post this message now, and begin another one with more food for thought. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Six months can feel like a very long time. Particularly when you're a teenager. But somehow teenagers become oldies like me in the blink of an eye. The six months that stand between your life today and the life you're planning after you finish school will pass. It might feel like it is taking forever, but its not. You'll be finished school, and celebrating. That's for sure.

Just exactly what path your life will take is an exciting mystery. Who knows who you'll fall in love with? (Who ever knows who they'll fall in love with?) Who knows who will break your heart? (Someone always breaks our hearts!) Who knows what twists and turns you'll face in your working life as you carve out a career? Where you'll visit in your lifetime? Where you'll live?

The best thing about being your age, Chris, is being faced with limitless choices and opportunities. The worst thing, (as far I can tell), is being nervous and lacking confidence about having the ability to cope with whatever life you journey through.

But, hey, it is absolutely normal to wonder if you're doing the right thing, or the wrong thing ... if you're making the right choice, or the wrong choice. And to wonder if you can cope with whatever choices you make.

And just in case nobody has reminded you of this is the past, a mistake or a 'wrong turn' is not the end of the line. So don't be afraid to make the occasional mistake, or to change your mind. You can try something out and then decide you don't like it, so try something else. Students change their choice of degrees all the time. People start jobs, and then quit. Some people love living in a busy city; others hate it. But they don't really know unless they try.

This is your life, Chris. So I encourage you to enjoy it. Don't let your father stand in the way of getting out and making friends, and having fun. Don't let him push you into anything you don't feel comfortable with, or don't want to do. He's had his time to be young, and his chance to make his own decisions.

I don't anything about your father, but I suspect he's the kind of man who probably regrets not making his own life journey a little more exciting, or fulfilling. Sadly, that kind of person is generally hard to live with when they become a parent.

You just have to use your clever brain to figure out how you can achieve your goals, and follow your dreams ... without letting your dad get in the way. Otherwise you'll end up yelling at him on the phone when he is old. And you don't want to do that. If you allow yourself to be yourself and you're happy with the decisions you make from here on, you won't ever be a man like your dad.

Christian 7 months ago

Thanks, it helps knowing that someone at least understands that I don't just want to yell back at him or retaliate rather than peacefully settling the issue. It's very possible to have a conversation with him normally because he only really yells when something else is aggrevating him; this unfortunately happens often, but it's more about catching him at a good time. Speaking to him 'man to man' is hard, however, because any time I mention him directly (i.e. I think that you...) he gets super defensive and sees it as disrespectful. I think I should do it more methodically and slowly ask for more independence in certain areas of my life like letting me attend such and such an event or be part of such and such a group. The hardest part is coming to him about struggles I'm having without him thinking I'm making an excuse for doing poorly in school or other things.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Chris, I'm not sure you should need to 'ask for more independence' at this stage in your life. When you were 14 or 15, yes. But I'm guessing you're moving into your young adult years. And, with being adult, independence is naturally yours. I believe you should be 'expecting' (not demanding) increasing independence. I believe you need to convince your father that it is perfectly normal and natural for you to venturing out more on your own, to places you choose, with people you choose.

If you 'ask' him for 'permission', you are just feeding the monster. (An expression, as I'm sure you know. I'm not actually calling your father a monster. But I do consider his authoritarian/control element to be a bit of a monster.) You need to understand that you are not doing yourself any favors if you keep handing control over to him willingly. And that's what you do when you ask him to 'allow' you to do something that should actually be your 'right'.

If there's an event you want to attend, I believe you should say something like, "I have a chance to attend (event) with a couple of friends, which is very exciting. Do you think you could give me a lift there, Dad, or should I ask someone to pick me up?"

Now, let's talk about why I'm suggesting you say it to him like that. (So you can understand what you are trying to achieve, when you are actually having the conversation with him.) You'll need to be cool, calm and collected when talking with him. Don't let him get you rattled. I understand that the first time you try this, you might end up backing down if he makes it hard for you. But I want you to back down in a particular way! So let's talk about it ...

I want you to say, "I have a chance to attend (event) ...". That is NOT the same thing as saying "I have been asked to attend ...".

If you say you have been 'asked' to attend an event, he's likely to concentrate on just who it was who invited/asked you. He'll probably grill you about them, and their character. And may well toss stupid questions at you like, "Why does this person want you to go?" etc.

If you say, "I have a chance to attend ..." it is less confronting, and is not yet set in stone. This will be very helpful for you, because you can always say, "I don't even know if it is on yet" or "Dad, I said it is just a chance. We haven't actually decided yet." This way, you can back off and pick the conversation up again at a later time (after he's had time to get used to the idea - or you've had time to collect your thoughts, and go back for another try.)

I believe you should say "with a couple of friends" because that doesn't sound like you are going on a 'date' (with just one). And it doesn't sound like you'll be going in some kind of 'pack' with a bunch of people, some of whom might be trouble. So your dad shouldn't find that visual image (of you with a couple of friends) too intimidating.

It is important to say "which is very exciting" so he can see that you're actually looking forward to it. He should be aware that you'll be disappointed if you don't get to go. And, if he does try to stop you from going, you can say "I told you I'm excited about it." Then ask him, "Do you not want me to have any fun?" (Most parents will say, "Of course I want you to have fun ..." or "I'm not saying I don't want you to have any fun.")

Which then gives you an opportunity to remind him, "I'm not a kid any more, Dad. I'm a young adult, and you're going to have to get used to that. I need to start finding my feet so I can cope when I'm in that big world out there." (I'm expecting him to encourage you. Despite how he's been with you in the past!)

And, most importantly, by asking him if he can 'give you a lift' there, you are showing him that you're not trying to hide anything. You're not trying to sneak off into the shadows. Heck, your dad could drive you there! (Maybe you might want to ask if 'you or mom' could drive you. If you'd rather catch a lift with her!)

There's a reason for saying, "Do you think you could give me a lift there, Dad, or should I ask someone to pick me up?" You've probably figured it out already, but I'll say it anyway. If he says he'd rather you ask someone to pick you up, he's locked into that. He can't really change his mind later. If you arrange for a friend to come past your house, that's a done deal.

Of course, you might decide to catch a bus (or perhaps you have a car, or your parents let you drive theirs), but I think it is good to get him used to the idea that you're old enough to have friends who drive ... and you're old to go out with them.

Chris, you might decide to try this out on him with some event you're not really very interested in, just to see how it goes. (And so you won't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out. Choose an event he's likely to approve of, and you'll have a better chance!) Once you get him to accept this first outing, you should find it is relatively easy to build on that in the future.

But please, promise me you won't get drunk, use drugs, or come home with a giant hickey on your neck!! And please get home at a reasonable time. (Sure, you might want to stay out a bit later than you dad would like. lol. But don't get home at 3 in the morning!)

You need to show your dad that you're old enough to be doing what young men do, and responsible enough to stay out of trouble. Don't hand control of your life over to him.

It is your life, Chris. Yes, your dad might find it hard to accept that you're maturing, but all parents have to accept their children become adults. You have to keep reminding your dad that your relationship is changing ... as all relationships do. :)

And I'll be your friend, waiting to hear how you went!!

Slater 7 months ago

i am 17 years old and ive been told that it is wrong to hate my dad, but i do. everytime we try and resolve the problem the problem just comes back. i hate him because he is a control freak and he hurts me a lot. he would probably beat me if he read this message. now i need some advice on how to handle this situation because i believe that soon im going to be in a depressive suicidal state, if not already. infact once on mentioning suicide to my father he said "go ahead".

the problem i have is that he forces me to do schoolwork in school vacation witch i think any teen can agree is a very horrible thing. and im too scared of confronting him about it because he has threatened me with death before. we also made pre arrangements that i would study the way i want to for this term and if it doesnt work out he fixes it. but he is already telling me what to do

another thing is, we made arrangements to go see one of my friends over the weekend. but i have to mow the lawn as well. where i could mow the lawn on a sunday after church and still go see my friend, he wants me to cut the time with my friend and mow the lawn in between.

there are other examples but the fact is i hate him so much i want to run away or just die. it might be my teen phase but i am sure that if you got the full picture youll understand.

please please help me

ill check in daily

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Slater, I have just seen your message. I will write to you now. Stand by. I won't be long. :)

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

If your dad were to beat you after reading this message, he'd be a fool, Slater. He should be giving you a hug, and be working with you to try and make things right. But he'll probably never see this message, so I guess we'll never know.

The examples you wrote about certainly do show your dad is a control freak. I'd like to be able to tell teenagers like you what to do to stop your dad from being a control freak ... but unfortunately it is not that simple. Some fathers just stay the way they are, despite the best efforts of their children.

But here's the good news for you and every teenager. Despite who your father is or how he treats you now, you will soon have the power to change your relationship, and how you feel.

You might be stuck with a control-freak father until you are old enough to move out of home, (and I really do understand how hard that can be), but there's some things you can do to make the wait less awful. I'll give you some ideas. :)

I'm going to post this answer now, and write some more to you. I know you're checking in daily and I don't want you to think I'm not answering you!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

I don't know what time is it where you live, Slater. If it is early where you are, might you have time to race out and mow the lawn after school today? If you can do that, you will get rid of the need to mow the lawn on the weekend.

Can I ask what kind of church you attend? Is your father a church-goer as well? I'm puzzled by the fact he's threatened you with death before, and was so unsupportive of you when you expressed thoughts of suicide. Kids shouldn't have to be scared of their fathers.

Does he go to church? Does he pray? Maybe there's some way of making him see what he's doing wrong if we can figure out a way to present the problems you are having with him in some kind of 'churchy' context. What do you think?

I understand being forced to do schoolwork during vacation must feel really mean. It can't be fun being the only one of your friends doing schoolwork. (Although, I can see a couple of advantages for someone who is trying to avoid their control-freak dad. Can you escape to your bedroom, saying you're going for an extra bit of study time? lol.)

If you can't get your dad to ease up and respect the arrangements you made for study this term, I do hope you will actually study hard - even though he is controlling when you study. Instead of wasting effort and energy being resentful about it, I suggest you just ace your exams so when you leave school you can get a good job or go to uni ... and leave your dad behind you.

Here's a couple of other thoughts I have after reading your message:-

- It is easy for people to tell you it is 'wrong' for you to hate your dad. But they haven't been in your position. Lots of kids hate their dads, but they grow to be happy adults with happy lives. Some of them eventually develop better relationships with their fathers. Some don't. Whether or not your dad gets smart and treats you differently in the future remains to be seen. But you should just plan your life - and get on with it. You honestly don't need to have a good relationship with your father to enjoy good relationships with other people in your life!

- You wrote, 'the fact is I just hate him so much I want to run away or just die.' I do notice you're clever enough to comment that it might just be your teen phase. And, yes, it might just be your teen phase. Lots of kids go through this stage and survive it. (I did as a teenager, as did millions of other adults.)

But you listen to me when I say this, Slater, because I mean it with all my heart. If you EVER honestly feel that you only have two options, run away or die ... you get running.

Running away causes its own set of problems. But if you give it some thought and don't just run from trouble with your dad to other (maybe even worse) troubles, running away can actually be a solution to bad family problems.

If your father beats you, and you can't think of any way to escape the problems in your home, then run away. You're 17. I'm sure you could cope.

Running away is always a better option than killing yourself. Lots of runaways get their lives back on track. You can't do that when you're dead.

So write to me again. Write to me any time. If you need some advice on running away, I'm happy to share my thoughts on that as well.

I'll watch for more messages from you. Please wait for me to answer you. (I'm as quick as I can be, but I understand if you think I'm too slow. lol.) Take care.

Autumn 7 months ago

Hi. I hate my dad. Plain and simple, but I don't hate him for no reason. I hate him because he emotionally abused and harassed me and also verbally abused me. He cheated on my mom repeatedly and made me keep the secret for more than a year. After my parents spilt up he started dating my friends mom. I got so pissed off at him. that relationship don't last long but it did weaken one of the friendships I cherished so much. Anyway, after that he found another woman and started dating her. The one memory that makes me literally shake with anger is Father's Day. I agreed to go to the movies with him for once cause it was Father's Day and I felt bad. Oh and he has a habit of making you feel terrible about yourself because of a smallest thing. That's why I went to the movies with him. So on the way to the movies he said that he needed to make a quick stop. Next thing I know he comes up to the car with this woman and says "this is ********" (I don't want to add her name). He didn't even tell before the movie that we were going to have an extra guest. WHAT THE HELL! Any way, he also yelled T me for closing my eyes because I was tired, and yelled at me for not answering a text message. I came into one of my friends house crying because of something he did. My friends mom saw that and now she hates him too. And now he is forcing me to go to Hawaii with him and his girlfriend. I didn't even get a choice. He repeatedly lies as well, and when I chat he him lying he starts yelling at me for being a terrible child. So yeah. It might not be the worst story or there but he is such a terrible person and I Have been feeing terrible because I hate him. But I'm going to get over it eventually. After all I found these two amazing people that helped me through it and are still helping me through it because it hasn't stopped. By the way, he is the reason I have anxiety attacks too

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 7 months ago from Australia Author

Hi Autumn. I'm glad your friend's mother is supportive. Sometimes we need to 'borrow' another mother to listen to our troubles. It sounds like you are not alone, which is good.

Gee, your dad was rude saying he had to make a quick stop and then surprising you with his girlfriend. Father's Day is a day you expect to spend with your father, so I understand how disappointing that must have been. I think he should have been pleased you were prepared to go to the movies with him. If that went well, then he could have suggested another movie night ... with his friend. But I agree with you, it is unfair to suddenly expect you to cope with that kind of surprise.

And what a shame your relationship with a friend suffered when he started dating their mom. It seems to me your father is more concerned about himself than your feelings. Sadly, there are lots of parents who seem to forget they have a responsibility to help (and protect) their children ... but luckily, most kids manage to cope with disappointments and bad parenting and can still grow into responsible, loving adults (and parents) themselves.

You're right, of course. You don't have the worst story (thank goodness!), but you and I both know this isn't a competition. A disappointing dad who just doesn't seem to understand his child, or his child's feelings, is still a bad father. So yes, you're one member of a very big 'club' of kids who wish they had a different father.

And there's nothing wrong with that, Autumn. Don't feel terrible. I think you're just going to have to accept that your father will probably continue to disappoint you ... so maybe if you don't set your hopes too high, you won't feel too crushed the next time he does something stupid. (And I can see from reading your letter, that he's the kind of man who will keep doing stupid things.)

I wonder if 'accepting' the fact he'll keep yelling and behaving badly might help you avoid anxiety attacks. I don't know for sure, and I'm just talking to you friend-to-friend. But I know for me when I was young, if I stopped worrying about things that 'might' go wrong, and just shrugged my shoulders and 'knew' that things 'would' go wrong, it was a lot less stressful. Sometimes I'd actually be pleasantly surprised when things didn't go as badly as they could have gone. (Does that make sense to you?)

I'm greatly relieved that it sounds like he is not physically violent towards you. Although I do understand that emotional and verbal abuse is horrible too. Can you talk to your own mom about the problems you are having? Might she be some help to you? Or is there someone else you ask for ideas about how you might best avoid the problems you are having? Anyone at all who understands your father?

Now, about your trip to Hawaii. I don't know how that's going to go for you. Do you think he might be on his best behaviour in front of his girlfriend? If he is trying to impress her with what a 'good father' he is (and that might be what he's hoping to do by bringing you along), you might find he doesn't yell at you at all. But of course, that might be expecting too much of him. What do you think?

Has he told you anything about the trip? How long will it be? Where will you be staying? Does it sound like you might all be able to relax and chill out? Take some good books and anything else you can use to occupy yourself and hopefully avoid having to get caught up in difficult conversations. (Even if you have to take a couple of school books so you can look like a nerd / 'good child'.)

I will log in and check for more messages from you, Autumn. Feel free to write to me any time you feel like it, and I will answer you as soon as I can.

Take care!

kidfromIndia 4 months ago

Well, my father is not physically abusive. He just has high expectations which he very well knows is impossible to reach ( like getting 100 out of 100 in all the subjects including sports). Not only that but i am "blessed" with a really talented cousin sister who excels everywhere and is great at games. Dad sets MY limits according to HER limits, and they are impossible to reach. He is a bit of a control freak. Dad likes my sis a lot more than me cuz he always wanted a girly girl (my sister) and i am a tomboy. I am not jealous of my sister AT ALL.

He and my mother fight A LOT. It's getting hard for me to support both of them since they have completely opposite views.Now he hardly ever speaks to us. Even when he speaks he always bad-mouths my mother's family and i don't know how to react. It's really hard for me to agree with him since i love all my family members.

Once when he was not nearby, i took out his phone and looked through some of the pictures and videos. It was shocking to see that he has had affairs with THREE women.

I can't tell anyone because no one believes me. I have not complained to my mother since she will go straight to father. PLEASE HELP.

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 4 months ago from Australia Author

Hello, kidfromIndia. There's nothing wrong with being a tomboy, and there's nothing wrong with being a girly-girl. You and your sister should both be loved and appreciated for being individuals. What a pity your father makes you feel he likes your sister more than you.

I am pleased to hear you are not jealous of your sister. That is very wise. There is nothing to be gained from being jealous. You'll make your own way in the world, doing things your way. And she'll follow her own path. It shouldn't be a competition. You'll still be sisters. :)

It sounds like you try to be a peace-maker between your mother and father, and I understand that. But your parents need to work out their own relationship, and their own issues. I don't think it is a good idea to put yourself in the middle of their arguments.

Give them space. As difficult as that can be, we all need to appreciate that adults need to work out adult relationships. Yes, whatever they choose to do will influence the lives of their children, but they should be the ones who decide that. Don't you think?

You are right to love all your family members, and I'm sure your mother will appreciate it if you occasionally mention to her that you love her family.

To be honest, I am not sure why you looked at your dad's phone without permission. I don't have anything bad in my phone, but I still expect my children to ask me before they take my phone for any reason. Many adults have personal business in their phones and computers (like bank statements and other financial documents) that kids and teenagers have no business looking at.

If you had not looked at his phone, you would not be worried about him having affairs. That's making your life even more complicated and difficult, and I can see you are in a difficult position. To tell anyone will require you to admit you sneaked a look at his phone. Taking your dad's phone was a mistake. I hope you don't look at his phone again.

If you tell me how old you are, and give me a few more clues about your interests etc, I might be able to come up with a few ideas about how you can busy yourself during this difficult time.

The main goal for you, I think, is to not let yourself feel too pressured by what is going on between your parents. Unfortunately, there's not much that kids can do to resolve problems between parents. You probably can't make things better. Just try not to make them worse.

And, please, remember this. You know how you said that your dad has expectations that are impossible to reach? I don't want you having expectations of yourself that are impossible to reach either. Don't expect yourself to be able to stop your mother and father fighting.

As much as you'd like to help your parents, I believe the person you need to be watching out for right now is yourself. You need to stay strong, and focus on creating a good future for yourself. So please don't get caught up in all the drama of this year. Keep looking to the future, and dream of the happy years to come.

Today's problems will one day be 'the past', and your life will be much more peaceful and fun.

Guilt ridden 4 months ago

I don't know if I really hate my father, but I think it's safe to say that I dislike him and don't miss him when he's not around. When he's around he gets on my nerves so much, my irritation would turn to hatred until I could not speak to him at all.

He's not abusive, a drunkard or any other things which are so common in such cases. I grew up with my mum's parents since I was little, because my mum would be busy working during the day and my father would be working in another state. As such,my father would only be back during the weekends.

So to this day, I'm very close to my grandparents, and also my mum. Now, this closeness to my grandparents, is something that I'm very sure my father disliked or envied. Of course, he never talked about this out loud, but as always action speaks louder than words. Even as a small kid I noticed this dislike. Whenever I mentioned my grandparents, a frown would creep on his face. During meal times, he does not speak to my grandparents at all, but proceed to watch the TV all by himself, and seem to be in a hurry to leave the house. These little things gave me the impression he did not like my grandparents so some dislike of him crept into my heart as a child.

But still, being young, I do not dwell on it. During the weekends, I would talk to him while he's reading novels, but he ignored me mostly, just giving me a glance at most. I did not know what to make of it. He seemed eager to separate me from my grandparents, but, after having his wish, do not really interact with me at all, instead just talking to my mum. This continued until my teenage years, when my perception of relationships is stronger.

I noticed many things about my father that increased my dislike. For instance, I find him very pretentious, and I generally strongly dislike this trait. My peers were often shocked to find out that he is my father, for he and I are so different from each other. Also, he's condescending. I'm turning 19 soon, and he treats me as I know nothing. His opinions are always right, and mine unimportant. He often uses the phrase 'you're so lucky', and his tone while using it made my blood boil. While my parents do have the dough to afford an overseas education for me, I do pull my weight, I work very hard in my studies, just to secure scholarships. In fact, for my A Levels, I worked every day from morning to night. So, this remark is very unfair to me. If he feels such, I would rather not touch their money at all. Even now, I do not ask them to buy any gadgets for me. I cannot choose being born into this family, so why must he be so ungracious about it?

He throws away my clothes at his whim and fancy, even today. This dislike now has turned to full blown hatred, and I've been guilt-ridden ever since. He does provide for me, and make an effort to see me every weekend, but I still don't like him. I'm confused by my strong reaction. Everybody has their faults, including me. I still love my mum, even though she is very controlling. So I'm not too sure why is it I hate my father so much. Am I too selfish and blinded by my hate? I seek an honest and unbiased opinion on this. I'm willing to accept that I'm wrong.

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LongTimeMother 4 months ago from Australia Author

So here's my answer to you, Guilt ridden. Firstly, let me say I think you are being too hard on yourself. There are many reasons why a person might justifiably feel guilt-ridden, but I don't believe you need to feel dreadfully guilty about having trouble coping with your relationship with your father. Do you hate your father? Maybe. But I suspect you're just a teenager with a difficult father. And, from his point of view, he probably thinks he's just a father with a difficult teenager.

Life's like that. We tend to see things from our own perspective (which is natural), and struggle to understand what's going on in someone else's head. With time, you might discover you understand each other a little better and have conversations reflecting back on your teenage years.

But, for now, you are living with what's happening in your home ... and I can understand that a father who throws your clothes away and ignores you when you try to communicate with him would be really annoying.

I do wonder why he keeps saying you're 'so lucky'. Did he have a dreadful childhood? Does he talk to you about his childhood and teenage years?

Perhaps you could try asking your dad questions occasionally. Maybe ask him what his first job was and what he did when he left school. Then ask him if that's what he wanted to do, or if he'd really wanted to do something else.

Did he have dreams as a teenager? Did his life turn out the way he'd hoped?

You might learn some interesting things that help you understand your father better. (That doesn't necessarily mean you'll like him, but it might help you hate him less.) Or perhaps he'll just ignore your questions or answer you in an unsatisfactory way .... but at least you'll have tried to communicate with him.

You are absolutely right, my friend. Your father should be more gracious in his attitude towards you. (I believe all family members should treat each other with respect, but unfortunately that isn't the case with many families.)

Good on you for being such a hard worker, by the way. Being successful in your studies will help you create a good, positive future for yourself. But don't be too quick to reject any financial help your father offers you. You still have to eat and pay your bills while you get set up!

Guilt ridden 3 months ago

Hey, thanks for such a quick response!

Yes, I think you are right when you say I'm being narrow minded and difficult. That's a trait I do see in myself, ha. And feelings come and go, I suppose. I guess I've been selfish just thinking about my feelings only. Others do have their troubles too, so I should be more generous in this respect.

Thanks again for your time and kindness! For your kindness and good efforts, may you reap the benefits in your life!

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 months ago from Australia Author

You're welcome, and thanks for your kind wishes. :) Wow, you are way too hard on yourself, my friend. I don't consider you to be narrow minded, or difficult. It perfectly natural to feel the way you do.

Here's a few tips I'd like you to remember:

1) You are allowed to be human! (Please don't scold yourself for being less than perfect.)

2) We all strive for personal growth. (At least most of us do. Even when we're old, lol.)

3) Every relationship is like a work in progress. Relationships change and evolve. Of course, some bloom and others fester ... but that's a whole new conversation.

Please don't expect too much of yourself. None of us are born with the knowledge, experience and perspective that develops with age (in people who are open to it). It is absolutely understandable that you feel frustrated by your father's actions. I do hope you'll read my previous answer again and see I'm certainly not saying you are narrow minded or difficult. Those thoughts never crossed my mind!

I'm hoping you can see that I wasn't saying you are wrong when you talk about hating your dad. My goal was simply to offer you food for thought that might help defuse some of that hate. Asking him questions might help you understand him a little better if he answers you honestly. And even if he doesn't answer you or actively engage in conversations with you, your questions might spark memories in him that help him understand where you're at in your life.

My genuine hope is that he begins treating you with more respect. You are, after all, almost 19. You are a young adult. It would be great if he could see that and acknowledge it! There's no doubt in my mind you are very different to your father, as you mentioned in your first note to me. I can't imagine you would ever be as rude as he's been to you.

Please keep working hard and pursuing your dreams. I'm excited about your future. You show maturity in your writing, and I'm greatly impressed by the fact you took the time to reach out and seek feedback and another opinion on how you're feeling. Every event in our lives changes us a little, and hopefully our brief interaction makes some small positive contribution to your life. Perhaps in years to come when you are a parent, you'll remember how frustrated you were as a teenager ... and make an effort to embrace your children in your life, so they don't feel the need to talk with someone like me.

Take care. You're always welcome to give me an update on how things are going for you at any time. I'd love to hear from you again. :)

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