As someone who grew up with two very different interactions with her parents, I've firmly learned the difference between a parent who tries to have a relationship with their kids and a parent who doesn't. I can also confirm that parents don't really need to try that hard to forge that connection. The only thing that parents ought to do is just listen to their children and show some interest in what's going on with their lives and what they have to say.
Parents don't need all the answers and they sure won't always have them anyway, but reassurances that you're there for your kids are always appreciated.
Unfortunately, not many people can claim to have that kind of love from their dads, if this trending TikTok is any indication. One daughter briefly vented about the awkward drive she had with her dad on the way to school, and practically the whole internet can relate.
This daughter briefly shared her thoughts on the awkward ride to school she has with her dad.
If her posts are any indication, Shana on TikTok (@shananayandeggs) deals with a lot of emotions on a regular basis. But one video in particular has plenty of folks voicing their agreement.
In her brief six-second TikTok, Shana describes the awkward drive she has with her dad whenever he takes her to school. It's probably an easy enough drive to make, but an awkward silence can make anything feel like an eternity.
In her TikTok, she wrote "The painful silence between me and my dad on the car ride to school because we know nothing about each other's lives."
As of this writing, the video has over 4.5 million views and over 1 million likes, suggesting that plenty of folks have a similar issue.
Plenty of people in the comments have admitted that they have similar issues with their own parents. In most cases, they're usually calling out their dads.
One person felt plenty of validation from other people's experiences, writing, "My dad's always been there, but he just doesn't know how to communicate."
Another person typed, "We say less than four words to each other every day."
For the most part, people have even admitted that they don't go through this because they don't love their dads. Most have admitted to simply finding difficulty in being able to talk with them on an emotional level.
One TikToker even wrote, "I love him [and] he's a good dad, [but] I just don't know how to talk to him."
Another person even admitted that their mom acted as a middleperson in order to jump start conversations with the whole family.
They commented, "I always love whenever my mom would come with us so she can make the conversation, but if it's me and him, it's just awkward."
Sometimes, awkward silences with dads aren't the only problem. In some cases, a dad can ramble and rant for hours about every aspect of his life and endlessly entertain himself with the sound of his own voice while his kids are in the room. And if you try to chime in or share your own topics with him, he'll shift the conversation back to himself and continue rambling as if he didn't hear a single word you said, making you wonder if your presence or your feelings register to him in the slightest.
Y'know, just spitballing there.
The best case scenario for a parent or guardian is that they're there for their kids to lean on. But no matter how old they are, those kids will notice when their parents can't provide that for them.