STAGE 6:  Age 12-16/18 – Peers

Defining factors:  She distances herself somewhat from her parents as she learns to define herself as a unique person not defined by her parents.  She may not want her parents to be with her when she is with her friends. 


Observations From 101 Dads of Daughters

  • As she entered puberty I noticed subtle changes.
  • She suddenly wanted more freedom.
  • I feel a little more isolated from my daughter these days.
  • She’s not moody every day—but she can get pretty emotional.


  • And then… she started getting interested in boys.
  • Did I Talk to my daughter about sex…
  • It’s scary how some kids get sexually active so young.
  • She’s had some very positive influences.
  • Friends and peer pressure are a strong influence.


  • I have a pretty good relationship with my daughter.
  • We’ll even talk about her menstrual cycle of she wants.
  • I work hard to be a good dad—but it’s not always easy.
  • It’s been difficult for me to connect emotionally with my daughter.
  • My daughter is noticing I’m much easier to be with now.
  • I love being a dad to my daughter.



“She was always my little girl. She used to always give me a kiss before she got out of the car when I dropped her off at school.  [Then] I think seventh grade, she wouldn’t do that anymore. 

But she promised me she would always be my ‘little’ girl.  We had that conversation, I remember that.”

Mark, forty-four year old Navy pilot, father of a fifteen year old daughter and an eleven year old son (divorced when his daughter was seven but stayed involved as a dad)