Rekindling Family Relationships

By Dr. Robert Wallace

May 29, 2019 4 min read

DR. WALLACE: I read a column of yours from a teen girl; she wrote to you saying her parents were divorced and that the first year after the divorce, her father came to see her every Saturday morning and took her out to breakfast and the local mall for about four hours. This girl stated that she loved her father but the four-hour Saturday arrangement was infringing on her free time and social life with her friends.

Well, I sure wish I had this problem! I'm 15, and my parents have been divorced for over four years now. My mom received custody of me, and my dad used to visit me once every two weeks way back then, when they first split up. About six months later, my father met a new lady friend, and, soon after that, he stopped seeing me altogether. He eventually married this lady, and I have not heard from him at all for over two years now. He didn't even bother to send me a birthday card for my last two birthdays. I was pretty sick a year ago, and my dad never called us to see how I was doing, even though he was told I was in the hospital at that time.

So, I would like to tell this girl and your other teen readers to enjoy every minute shared with their fathers. Those are moments and memories that can't be replaced. I sure wish I could spend at least a little time here and there with my father. Even once a month would be great for me. — Out of Contact, via email

OUT OF CONTACT: Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story with our readers. I hope your father is given a copy of this column and gets a chance to read it. He is surely busy with his new life, but he should once again seek to become a responsible parent to you. He was a father to you well in advance of becoming a spouse to his second wife. Perhaps you can send him a Father's Day card with a note inside, saying that you would like to see him and you miss him. This may provide you a logical way of breaking the ice by sending your card to him. Hopefully he will follow up with you, and even if he does not, you will always know that you did the right thing by reaching out to let him know how you feel. It could be that since time has passed, he's embarrassed or unsure of how to approach you again. You are now becoming a young lady; you were a young girl when you moved away. Your card and note can be a great indicator to him that his follow-up would be well received, and that may trigger him to take action.


DR. WALLACE: I'm a competitive swimmer and train six days a week. My goal is to become an American Olympic swimmer. The butterfly is my specialty. I am lean, but I'm also strong.

Recently, we got a new coach. The first thing he did was strongly encourage us to consume carbohydrates right before our competitions. I thought carbs were fattening. To my knowledge, fat and swimmers are not compatible. What's up with this? — Swimmer, Jacksonville, Florida

SWIMMER: Many dietitians advocate a high-carb diet for competitive athletes because carbohydrates promote the storage of glycogen, which the body requires for strength and endurance. Those are precisely the qualities you'll need to get a berth on our next Olympic swim team. I wish you all the best with your Olympic goals!

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: kaboompics at Pixabay

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