You’re scared. You’re tired. You’re worried. You’re a father. You love your daughter more than you ever thought possible, and it’s been incredible to see the change she’s made in you. It started when she was a tiny little bundle, with you wrapped around her little bubbly fingers. As she grew, so did your pride in your little daddy’s girl. You’ve enjoyed watching her discover new things, experience life, develop her own personality, and create her own world. You’ve spent countless hours trying to protect and support her, keeping her safe. So how did you end up here?
Many fathers find themselves asking that question when they realize their little baby girl is a struggling teenager who needs help. They have seen their tiny little girl in their mind’s eye all this time, and it’s sometimes difficult to see her as a near-adult woman – one who isn’t perfect, innocent, or helpless. The realization that your teenage daughter is troubled and needs legitimate help is painful, even traumatic. But it is an important step for every father to take if he is to help his daughter before it is too late.
Maybe you’ve noticed falling grades. Increased “attitude.” Drug use. Criminal activity. Sketchy friends. Dangerous boys. Eating disorders. Promiscuous sexual conduct. Depression, anxiety, or other mental and emotional disorders. Defiance. The issues coming from troubled teen girls can be of a wide variety, but they are all serious and potentially dangerous for her development as a healthy, happy adult.
As her loving father, you’ve probably tried speaking to her and setting consequences. There are often meetings with teachers, school counselors, even therapists. But what do you do when nothing seems to be working? Surely putting her in some kind of home or boarding school is unreasonable, right?
Actually, it might be your best bet and only hope. A therapeutic boarding school does not indicate failure on your part, but a loving commitment to seeing your daughter become all that she can be. A therapeutic boarding school can provide the targeted support and therapy which you cannot provide alone, in an environment of consistency and welcoming.
The key is to continue as you have before – with love, concern, commitment, and your father’s duty. Do your research and involve your troubled teen daughter in the process as best you can. Come from a place of hope and with a broad vision of the future, and her incredible potential. Help your daughter to become who she is meant to become, despite her current troubles and struggles. She can overcome, and getting her the help she needs is far from giving up. It’s what being a father is all about.