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Re-Establishing Relationship With Daughter

By Jodie Lynn


My husband and I have four little girls and he has one daughter from a previous marriage. We moved across the country to be with his mom, who is getting older and needs help, and also so he can visit with his daughter. His ex-wife has made it very difficult for him to actually be in her life and he's really taking it hard. Should I personally try to help with their situation by talking to his ex-wife or even to his mom who gets to see her more often than he does?


It sounds like his ex-wife has a few sour notes under her belt, as she is certainly entitled to at this point. She has raised their daughter on her own and now all of a sudden he wants to re-enter their life. If I were her, I'd scrutinize his every move until I know for sure he is not going to disappear again. - J. N. in Miami, FL


Oftentimes when people get divorced and it's a bitter situation, whoever has custody of the children may have animosity towards the former spouse. Therefore, the kids end up being used as some type of leverage in all sorts of ways to prevent a good, ongoing relationship. This may be especially true if one of the parents moves away. The distance in itself makes for a very difficult situation in seeing children and being active in their life. Since I am not sure why his ex-wife has decided to try to keep his daughter away from him, he is going to have to have a private conversation with her and see if this is maybe some sort of outward punishment as a result of him moving away in the first place and not being in her earlier life. If it is, then she may be resentful to you as well, since you and your children together are his new life. With this in mind, taking it upon yourself to talk with her is not a good idea. It sounds as if his ex-wife has at least kept a good relationship between their daughter and his mom. So, he may just have to show her that he is serious about trying to make up for lost time and doing the right thing. Or, after he talks to her, he may decide he will have to get a lawyer and actually go to court to either regain a parental right of custody and/or visitation that would be fair. Either way, stay positive and encourage him not to give up.

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I have a 7-year-old daughter and a 9-year old boy who play in a neighborhood park that I can see from our house. I am almost always with them, but lately, they have asked to play there without me. Although it's a safe area, I was wondering at what age they should be before I actually let them go to it without me.

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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