The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives. We hope you can use their post to start a conversation with your adolescent.
So like many teenage girls, I argue with my parents, but a lot more with my dad and about way more sensitive topics. My dad is a great father , he provides me with food, clothes, and a place to live along with other non essentials. All of that stuff is great, but what I’m looking for from him is something he could never buy me: love.
My dad is a very straight forward, black-and-white man. He doesn’t take others feelings into consideration when he makes comments. A lot of the time he degrades me about the way I look, and he says it in a way that really hurts me. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and he always says he will try to do better, but he never does and at this point I consider it to be manipulative behavior. I understand that I am not perfect, but the things he says about me or about my sister, who is my half-sister, my mom’s daughter, really hurts me deeply. When I try to explain that to him, he always turns it to be my fault.
As a teenager, there’s always something in the moment that I’m worried about whether it is clothes, makeup, my friends, or boys. A lot of the time a girl’s first heartbreak was from her first boyfriend, but for me mine is from the lack of love and support from my father that causes me to be really insecure and anxious, especially about relationships.
My mind has been trained to think that hurtful words and neglect is love and I tend to go to very toxic boys who treat me the same way my father does. I look for love in other places but it doesn’t always work. I’m an emotional eater, which isn’t good. A lot of the times when I get upset about my dad, I just eat whatever is in the house and feel upset about it later. It is a vicious cycle that I try my hardest not to fall in.
Sometimes I think parents think that items and nice things can buy their teenagers love, when in reality, the only thing we want is a loving family to make us feel better about the not so fun parts of life.
What is your relationship like with your child? What are your interactions like with them?