Strengthening Adult Relationships with Our Fathers-Part 1

Our relationships with our fathers change as we get older.  Sometimes this transition can be difficult, depending on the relationship, personalities, past hurts, and other challenges.  If you realize your relationship with your father is not what you want it to be, check back daily as we provide tips:

Communication and Boundaries

It’s important to remember that communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship.  Make sure that you are communicating what it is that you need from your father (emotional needs and physical needs).  If you recognize that there are some communication problems, you may start with looking at what boundaries need to be set.

Boundaries are essential in a parent-child relationship.  If there are things that your father does that are unhelpful or hurtful, it’s ok to ask him to stop.  Boundaries are meant to protect you—they are like the white picket fence around your house.  As the gatekeeper, you get to decide what you will and won’t accept.  Some examples of boundary setting are:

“When you put me down and belittle in front of my children, it hurts me and hurts my relationship with my children.  Please stop doing that.”

“When you take the time to visit my siblings, but don’t make time for me, my feelings get hurt.  I would really love more time with you.”

“When you make nasty comments about my spouse in front of me, it makes me angry.  Please keep your opinions to yourself.”

Of course this is not an all-inclusive list, but just a few examples of boundaries.  Check back this week as we discuss more ways to improve your relationship with your father.

Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW

Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group.  Christy enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling.  Christy also provides family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.

Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.