Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Reconnecting With My Daughter


​​My situation with my daughter is kind of complicated. I was a single mom when she was born and her real father and I haven’t been together for a long time. My daughter has lived with my parents most of her life, and now she is moving from one state to another to be with me and my husband. What advice do you have to help me reconnect with my daughter and teach her what she needs to know to get through life and not go down the wrong path? She has a lot of abandonment and behavioral issues; she also is defiant and very immature, and only socializes through social media.​


connecting with daughter

This will be a huge transition for everyone in your household. We do not know if your daughter is a teenager or a younger child, but our overall suggestion would be to make her feel welcome, accepted and nurtured in your home. A good place to start is by developing a discipline plan that includes teaching her your house rules and what behaviors you expect from her in your home.

We don't know what your parents' expectations were, how your daughter behaved for them or if they taught her any skills, like how to greet others, how to accept "No" for an answer or how to make friends. You mentioned that she just wants to be on social media. But parents need to put limits on how much time their kids spend on it and be aware of what kids are saying or sharing. This requires constant monitoring. Also, parents must encourage their kids to spend face-to-face time with people so they will grow emotionally and socially.

Boys Town has a good book that can help you with your parenting plan. It's called "Common Sense Parenting,' and you can check with your local library or visit to obtain a copy.

You also shared that your daughter is displaying some inappropriate behaviors right now. If she is struggling with abandonment issues, it would be wise to get her in to see a counselor to help her process the changes she is experiencing. Be patient and calm with her, but be sure to address these behaviors by teaching her positive replacement behaviors. For example, if she yells, "I have to finish this text first!" or "I'll be there in a minute!" when you ask her to set her phone down for dinner, you should teach her that the appropriate response is to say, "Okay, Mom," and put the phone down right away. Also let her know that you expect those appropriate behaviors from her the next time you call her for dinner.  You don't have to use negative consequences right away while she's getting familiar with your rules and expectations, but make it clear there will be consequences in the future for negative behaviors.

We wish you well during this adjustment period. Please call the Boys Town National Hotline® at 1-800-448-3000 anytime you need help and a crisis counselor will be more than happy to visit with you.