Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Dear Counsellor | Husband kicked pregnant daughter out of home

Published:Wednesday | October 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q: Our teenage daughter is pregnant and my husband told her to leave the home. This is a drastic shift on the part of my husband because she was the apple of his eye. She is now in sixth form and did very well in her examinations. My husband would boast to relatives and friends of how well she did in school. He was delighted that his daughter did better than his friends' children. He was very supportive of her. Once her laptop was malfunctioning and instead of fixing it he bought her a new one. He was also very supportive of her extra-curricular activities and would attend all her netball matches. He was very protective of her and she could not go out without his permission. In fact, the one boy who he approved of got our daughter pregnant. The boy is not in a position to help her financially. She is our only child and I do not want her to leave our home. I want her to finish school. I am now the go-between because they are not talking to each other. She will not say she made a mistake and he is not willing to look past the disappointment. Both claim I am on the side of the other. What am I to do?

A: You have your hands full. It is important that you make arrangements for your daughter to complete her studies and, hopefully, she can prepare for her examinations during the pregnancy. If the delivery is due during the time of the examinations, then ensure she does the exams after the delivery of the baby.

Your husband had built up his life and sense of esteem around his daughter. This is always dangerous. He needs to recognise that she will do good things and will also make mistakes. You need to explain to him how you feel about the matter and that you understand his disappointment. In addition, share with him the financial burden on the family to find somewhere else for your pregnant daughter to live. Furthermore, please indicate to him that your daughter needs his emotional support at this time. Perhaps he will come around after a while.

Your daughter needs to recognise that her pregnancy is ill-timed and no harm would be done in admitting to her father that she made a mistake, but that she is determined to bounce back.