I watched The Real World with Jellie during our weekly bonding session (don’t judge, it reminds me how lucky I am to have such a good kid). Its our ritual to bond while watching a reality show and since controversial topics usually pop-up, it’s a way to talk to her about difficult subjects. I mean I can’t just plop myself into her room and randomly bring up alcohol, teen pregnancy, etc.
On the episode we watched, one of the girls hired a private detective to search for her dad. So during the commercial, I turn to her and ask, “Do you ever think of your dad?” In typical teen fashion, she said, “No.” Of course I had to probe, then she replied with, “You can’t miss something you never had.” Then I asked, when you’re older, would you hire a private investigator to look for him? Jellie said, “No, if he was worth knowing, he would have stepped up and stuck around.” I don’t know if this is incredibly mature of her or if she’s suppressing any feelings of abandonment.
As a single mom, I worry my kids are deprived of normal family life because their dad is absent. I haven’t introduced them to anyone because it’s been a long time since I’ve been in a serious relationship.
Jellie never met her dad. She was spared disappointment if he missed a birthday or any other holidays, since she never expected it. As one of the first grandkids in my family, she’s been showered with love from my parents, my sisters, my cousins, and me. We also shower her with advice and guidance, sometimes it’s welcome and since she’s a teen sometimes unwelcome. I feel terrible she got the mom and not a dad too. I’m amazed at how mature and well-adjusted she appears to be, yet I worry it’s a façade. How do you know if your child is really ok?
Any thoughts on how to raise confident, independent teens or how to deal as a single parent?