Talking to Your Adult Daughter - Ask Noah

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Q: I'm divorced in my mid-50s. My 22-year-old daughter has gotten involved with a guy who is 41. I'm trying to be understanding, as I've dated my share of younger women. Still, as she's my daughter this feels very different. Please help me be the good guy who lets his grownup daughter make her own choices.

A: Questions you might ask yourself...

Why do I need to be the good guy?

What does being the good guy look like?

Do I feel guilty about the impact my divorce has had on my daughter?

You cannot change how you feel regarding your daughter dating an older man. You can begin a conversation regarding her motivation for seeing this older man.

It is important to listen to her reasons for dating this guy. So get acquainted with her real feelings here, rather than ambiguously labeling this scenario as "different." That point of view will not help the situation, nor will it help to compare your past dating life with your daughter's.

Stop being concerned with your desire to be the good guy. Regardless of your guilt in divorcing her mother, you must stop trying to be your daughter's buddy.

She is only 22 years old. As her parent, you have a responsibility to alert her to what could be a very dangerous situation. While you don't have the right to forbid the relationship to continue, your voice needs to be heard. In this scenario, being the good guy does not mean turning a blind eye to parental instincts.

You are her dad. You have an obligation to be very skeptical.

I love hearing these questions. Please continue sending them to ASK NOAH at nskass@gmail.com.

Have a profitable and peaceful week.

Noah

Noah Kass is a psychotherapist specializing in addiction, relationship issues and work stressors. He has been Clinical Director at The Dunes: East Hampton and Realization Center in Union Square. Mr. Kass was a frequent guest on MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show," featured in a segment called "Kass' Couch" and regularly blogs for The Huffington Post.

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