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Dr Miriam: DAD'S A DRUNK.

Byline: Dr Miriam Stoppard

I'M always making excuses for my ex-husband. He promises to take out our nine-year-old daughter and hardly ever does.

They made plans to go to a theme park last week and she was really excited about it but he didn't show up.

It breaks my heart to see her so upset and disappointed.

He spends all his money in the pub or at the bookies and sometimes arrives the worse for drink, cadging money off me to buy her a burger.

Should I tell her he's an alcoholic and a gambler?

I'M glad you accept your daughter's relationship with her dad is so important to her that she forgives him and starts afresh.

I realise you're angry and it's tempting to criticise him. But don't. Take your lead from her.

Next time he doesn't show, sit her down, give her a cuddle, and say you need her to try to understand his behaviour isn't a rejection of her.

It's just that some people have problems controlling their drinking and her dad is one of them.

Let her know it's OK to love him even though he's not perfect.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2005
Words:192
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