Monday, August 10, 2009

Parental Relationships

Recently a Dad came to me for coaching about a situation with his 12 year old daughter. He has been divorced from her Mother since she was 2 years old and the Mother has remarried with 2 other children. She lived 500 miles away. The daughter while close to her Dad has asked to change her last name to match the family that she lives in most of the time. He was so distraught about this decision. We talked about what is the most important aspect of his relationship with his daughter. They talk twice a week on the phone and have visits every other month. They both feel they have a close and loving relationship. The daughter, at 12, doesn't want to feel 'different' by having a separate last name from her Mother, Stepfather and two sisters. In the end, this Dad decided that a name didn't define his love for his daughter.....but the bond they had did. He choose to respect his daughter's needs at this time and let her do it. Sometimes as parents we make hard decisions to benefit the strength of the relationship!