Dear Dr. Bill,
I’m a single mom whose little girl is quickly approaching puberty! Under the circumstances, I feel I’ve done my best as her mother. But I know I can never provide what she needs from a dad. Do you have any suggestions about how I can find positive male role models for my daughter?
You didn’t mention if your daughter’s dad is involved in her life, but it sounds like he’s not. If that’s the case, one of the best places to look is your own extended family.
Does your daughter have a good relationship with your dad (her maternal grandfather)? If she does, and your dad is a positive role model, ask him if he would be willing to commit more time and energy to his relationship with her.
If he agrees and lives nearby, you might arrange to have your daughter to spend one weekend a month with her grandparents. If grandpa lives far away, consider allowing her to spend some of her school vacations at grandma and grandpa’s house.
Another place to turn is your church. Ask your pastor if there is a trusted older couple in your church who might consider acting as “surrogate grandparents.”
It could be extremely valuable for your daughter to develop a positive relationship with a caring older couple. She will benefit from her relationship with both the husband and the wife, and have a chance to see a positive marriage relationship modeled in front of her eyes.
Also, does your church have a male youth pastor who is married with a family of his own? If so, you might talk to him, let him know about your concerns, and ask him if he and his wife would be open to including your daughter in some of their family activities.
Thanks for writing Heidi!
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