Father and daughter touching--What is appropriate?
A male is divorced and has two children. The daughter is 12. He is 42. He sees them every two weeks. The parents are extremely overprotective and sheltered. In fact, the kids don't have many friends. Also, very important is that the dad treates the daughter like she is helpless. She is overweight. He waits on her hand and foot. VERY IMPORTANT: He thinks the kids are still "babies" and treats them so. He may be acting out of guilt of divorcing the mother.
The question which has nothing to do with the above info. I just wanted you to have some background: A friend has witnessed the dad as he is hugging the daughter. He will rub his hands across her breast and on her stomach. He gives her a rub down while he is kissing or hugging her. He has even rested his hand over her breast and may talk to people or her. This takes place in front of a crowd so it's not like he is trying to hide it. I honestly think he still thinks his adult daughter is a baby and he is doing nothing wrong. Instead, she is shaving, has boobs and has probably started her period. How to approach this without offending.
This manner of conveying affection is inappropriate. This twelve-year-old is not an adult, she is in the stage of early adolescence. It would make sense for anyone who has a sound relationship with her father to say, in a calm and straightforward manner, that he/she has noticed how the father displays his affection, and that it's better to refrain from such physical touching. This does not mean that a parent should not employ physical gestures of affection with their early adolescent children. Quick hugs and kisses on the cheek or forehead are perfectly fine, for example. The relationship the father has with the person who tries to convey the message will in great part determine how well he will hear it. Hopefully he is acting in a well-meaning but naive fashion and not out of some problematic need of his own that generates the type of physical affection you describe.
In 1994 I married my wife. She had two children. A boy and a girl. I jumped right into being a father at age 19. My wife did things that I thought at the time were gross, such as drinking out of the same glass as the kids, kissing them on the lips before bed, etc..Over the years I found these thing were not gross, but loving your children so much, it didn't matter. Today my daughter is 13 years old. We have a very special bond. We are not only father and daughter, but best friends. We can tell each other anything. While she was growing up, and I became more and more comfortable being a dad, I would allow her to kiss me on the lips before bed as well. She would always my wife, so it was no big deal for her. I told my son that I wouldn't kiss him, because boys didn't kiss boys on the lips. Today I still kiss my 13 year old daughter on the lips. When she is going somewhere, before bed, etc.. I love her so much, it just doesn't seem like a big deal. I see other parents do it, but than I also hear people say it's wrong. We are a very close family. Hugs are very important in our family. I love my daughter, but is it wrong to still show this love by kissing her?
It would be an oversimplification to say that a father kissing a 13-year-old daughter on the lips is not a good idea. What's more important is the nature of the kiss and the sentiment it conveys. Is it possible to kiss a daughter on the lips without it being inappropriate? Sure. It's not a cut-and-dried matter.
I am 22 years old and I still kiss my dad on the lips when I see him. It is not a big deal to me, but my husband has always found it strange. In my husband's family there was a possible molestaion with his sister and father, so I can understand my husband finding it strange. It depends on the family and intentions. But touching in areas like the breast is not right. If the daughter has visiable breasts then the father has to have noticed them and must know this is inapproprite, and needs to be told so.
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