Q. Every time I look at my daughter I feel like I see a stranger. She has rejected me and mocked everything I try to do since I divorced her father. When I tell her I love her, she flies into a rage. I need to get on with my life, and get over my failed marriage, but I can't with her this way.
A. Don't doubt for a moment that your daughter doesn't want or need your love, she does, and badly. Why she is behaving like this could stem from many reasons, but most likely she feels very insecure about the divorce, and may feel that it didn't have to end this way. She could very well blame you for the fact that the family is no longer together - right or wrong, your daughter's feelings and opinions rare very important to deal with and treat as valid concerns. If you brush her off as being too emotional or too attached to her dad, if you try to point out all her dad's faults to help her understand your point of view, or expect her to move on at the same pace that you are, you will only alienate her and not help her at all. She is hurting and unhappy. You are her mother. Put your feelings to the side for now so that you can help her heal through listening, understanding and not by arguing or demanding respect. Your kindness and sensitivity to her during this time will earn you respect in her eyes automatically. As you do this, God will reveal things about yourself that will heal you too.