Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

What to Do When You've Been an Absent Parent

What to Do When You've Been an Absent Parent

Ask Dr. Meg

Hi, Dr Meg,
     I am the father of two daughters, 21 and 23 years old. I think I am the typical father struggling to provide for the family who realizes that I have been absent and that this has affected my youngest daughter the most (at least that is what I perceive).

I know that you can't advise without the necessary context, but I dare to ask an expert like you if in my case the phrase "it is never too late to start" could also be applied.

I'm willing to do anything, including starting from scratch. I would be so grateful for any advice you could give. 

          -Desperate Dad 

Dear Desperate Dad,

Thank you for writing. Let me first tell you that it is NEVER too late to make amends with your daughters!

No matter how old they get, they will always want your approval, attention, and love. The tricky part is that if you have been absent from their lives, then you need to address the hurt they felt because of it.

Ask them to forgive you for not being available to them. Be sincere. Be patient because it may take them a while to come around and believe that you are sincere and that you’re not going to leave again.

I do recommend that you read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters because it will help you understand how your daughters see you.

You CAN do this but it will take time so never give up and be patient with them and with yourself.

Photo Credit: ©Faith Life

Meg Meeker, MD is a best-selling author and pediatrician. To find her online parenting courses or listen to her podcast Parenting Great Kids, go to To send in questions of your own, email them to