My teenager doesn’t want to see her dad again after we split | Ask Philippa

You seem to be making yourself ‘right’ and your daughter’s dad ‘wrong’ – with her a pawn in this fight. Don’t be in league with her against him

The question My teenage daughter has been depressed for 18 months. During the past two years, I have been in the process of separating from her dad and their relationship has deteriorated to the extent that when we move apart she says she no longer wants to see him. She is not attending school and is struggling to engage with learning despite it being an important exam year. I have taken a step back and, together with the school, we have allowed her to only go in when she can, maybe for an hour or two.

Her father sees this as giving in and allowing her to be “lazy” and says giving her this freedom means she will just take advantage. According to him, she needs more structure and discipline, and she needs to get used to the fact that pressure is a part of life. It feels as if he can’t acknowledge that she is depressed, despite her GP confirming this to be the case. I can see she has started to respond well to having the pressure taken off.

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