DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #24

Dear Granddaddy, my daughter is always complaining. Frank D. – A worried single-dad.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


 Frank, I want to pat you on the back for stepping up and being a real man. Real men don’t run away from being a single dad if that’s what’s needed. About 25% of households are led by single fathers, so you’re not taking this journey alone. There are a lot of others out there like you whom you can connect with for some support.

Now, in regards to your daughter, we guys aren’t that good at dealing with complaining daughters, especially since some of us grew up in the strong, and silent culture of Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson. Hollywood taught us not to complain and not to get emotional. When our daughters complain to us, it throws us guys off a little bit.

But guess what? Sometimes a little complaining is a good thing. Our kids’ days are filled with stressful academic demands, and they are surrounded all day long by other children all day long at school. They may not like some of these other kids, or may not even know them, yet, they’re expected to wear a smile and act civil all day long. Sometimes our kids can pull off this public face of delight because they know they can come home and put on their private face on and vent about their frustrating day.

Another thing to consider is that our daughters’ complaining to us about their day means that they feel comfortable enough with us to do so, and that’s a good thing. Also, if our daughters are complaining to us, it means they’re still talking to us. And that’s a good thing, too…

So, in the end, Frank, it’s good that your daughter feels comfortable enough to complain to you. And here’s a secret. You don’t have to solve her problems. Most likely, she just wants you to listen so she can vent. Just put on your concerned Dad face and smile every once in a while. You can be sure that she’ll tell you if you need to fix anything.

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: