13 yo: helping teen with bio-dad issues


I told 13yo DD a long time ago to never speak poorly of bio-dad publicly, but that she could privately vent with me, or a therapist. He's a lousy father and worse co-parent. She assumes he's lying about reasons for canceling visitation (which is frequent and he has lied). I tell her to believe what he says; if he's lying, that's his problem. When she doubts his love and interest, I tell her she cannot think for him, that of course he loves her. When he messes up, I tell her that if he really understood, he would do better. His best right now is what it is because he lacks awareness......I know developmentally, logic is kicking in and she sees differently. Her complaints and perceptions are spot on. I have a thought it's not healthy for her to look down on, speak badly of her father - though she has reason. I tell her to talk to him about all this stuff and she says she can't. Sometimes her venting is rather sarcastic and ridiculing. I fear her power in relationships with males will suffer from her experience with bio-dad. Should I listen and say nothing or insist she speak respectfully of him if at all? Any magic words?

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