I am a single dad to a 10 year old daughter who will be 11 next month. I have developed an extreme hopelessness and utter sadness recently about all of the years that have passed in my child's life. I will sit in her room on her bed and just cry looking around at her stuffed animals and dolls that she use to enjoy. I think about all the memories of her as a child and how innocent children are. I was a decent dad, but not the best dad I could have been. I have always provided financially for my daughter and given her a safe home, as well as many luxuries many kids don't have. I feel, however, that I have not provided the type of emotional support and spiritual support that a kid deserves. I have been plagued with depression and anxiety most of my adult life which has hindered my ability to parent to my fullest potential. My deepest feelings of guilt and sadness come when I think about my daughter's loss of innocence. She is at the stage when kids do anything they can to fit in...or be ostracized or bullied. I know that kids are maturing a lot faster, and I have already found scraps of paper with boys names and phone numbers on. I can't even bear to try to start a conversation about it with her, so I always just say in a round-about manner that boys won't bring her happiness and that she needs to learn to find happiness from within. I tell her to focus on school and she will be able to go anywhere she wants in life. I just can't bear to think my little girl is slowly losing her innocence.
MattBrown0761 MattBrown0761
31-35, M
2 Responses Dec 30, 2015

I know exactly what that’s like. Reading your post I was thinking I could have written most of this myself. My situation isn’t exactly the same as yours, but I can totally relate to what it’s like when your daughter is past the toddler/young kid stage. Her world has gone from being about daddy, stuffed animals and toys to social cliques and boys. I never realized how hard it would be when my own daughter grew out of that wonderful innocent stage. It doesn’t affect some parents as much, but for some of us it’s literally one of the hardest things we go through in life. And I know that shock you feel when you find something that shows that she’s growing up, like the phone numbers you found. Just today I found out that my 12-year-old daughter has been surfing a whole bunch of web sites for information about puberty (and was looking at some inappropriate things in the process). Her mom and I have been talking with her about puberty and related stuff, so she’s not clueless, but adolescents do get very curious about this stuff and biology is a powerful force. You’re right, it is so very hard when our little girls grow out of their innocence. It’s like they’re a totally different person now and the sweet little pea you used to know is just gone. This sounds kind of goofy, but sometimes I wish that the five-year-old version of my daughter from years ago could somehow step out of a time warp and come back and visit every now and then. It’s just so sad that that person doesn’t exist anymore. I can’t magically tell you anything to make it easier, but I’m with you, I know how it feels.

who cares