Father’s often discount the importance of their relationships with their daughters. It is common for father’s to believe that the mother is the most influential role, when really, father’s have an equally important role in their daughters lives. Mothers are important, but father’s offer specific things to their young daughters that mothers cannot provide.
Stats About Daddy’s Girl
· Girls with a father figure have higher self-esteem, and are more likely to get along with people and attend higher education.
· Girls with fathers who are actively involved in their life show higher English and math skills, as well as having a higher IQ.
· Girls with active dads tend to be more determined, more successful in school, more self-nurturing, more independent, and are less likely to have abusive relationships.
· Dad’s that are loving tend to have daughters that are less likely to try drugs, and less likely to be truant or delinquent.
· When a father support his daughter playing sports, he is helping her lesson the pressures of sex roles, and helping to promote her social independence.
Dad’s Are Important Too
It has been said for far to long that dad’s “take a backseat” to moms in the relationships with their daughters. If this is true, then daughter’s are suffering because of it.
Father’s often focus more time on their relationship with their sons because they may believe that mom will take care of their daughter’s needs. Sometimes dad’s don’t realize how important they are to their growing young ladies, and if they did, it may shock them.
Father’s are very important role models for their daughters, especially in the puberty and teen years. A father is the first male that a girl comes to intimately know, and he can set the stage for how his daughter interacts in future relationships, especially with men.
If her father is a loving, supportive, encouraging, protective, honorable husband and father, his daughter will seek out relationships that mimic these positive qualities in other men. Father’s have this unique ability to inspire their daughter’s, and daughter’s give their father power like no other male in their life.
Father’s can help daughter’s build self-reliance and self-confidence by letting her know she is special and can achieve anything she wants to. Daughter’s who have actively engaged fathers are also less likely to experience depression, become a teen mom, develop body image problems, use drugs/alcohol, or engage in criminal activity.
Father’s teach their daughter’s adventurism and achievement, assertiveness and self-worth. The way a father relates to his daughter will determine how she will relate to herself and others, and what type of a family she will create in her future. Father’s also teach their daughter’s leadership, humility, and courage.
Still think dads should take a backseat?
Effects of an Absent or Unengaged Father
The effects of an absent or neglectful father can be devastating. Daughter’s can go through depression, self-esteem and self-worth problems, anger, patters of seeking approval from others with no satisfaction, failed men-women relationships, and fear of failure and rejection.
There are some unhealthy father-daughter patterns that have been identified from the book “The Father-Daughter Dance,” by Joan Minninger;
Lost Father and Yearning Daughter-Father abandons the daughter either physically or emotionally. The daughter becomes obsessed with trying to understand his reasons, or blaming her own shortcoming, or with struggling to earn his acceptance.
Abusive Father and Victim Daughter-The father persecutes his daughter through physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The daughter identifies herself as a victim and grows up seeking other relationships in which she can play the victim and/or rescuer and/or persecutor.
Pampering Father and Spoiled Daughter- The father makes a pet of his daughter, giving her everything she asks for, and more, without requiring her to earn it. The daughter learns to control others through charm or temper, yet lacks inner control and a sense of personal competence.
Pygmalion Father and Companion Daughter- The father mentors his daughter, molding her into an exceptionally able woman and his ideal companion. The daughter grows up feeling special and priveledged, yet believing that she owes it all to her father.
Runied Father Rescuing Daughter- A previously distant father turns to his daughter in trouble, expecting her to take care of him. The daughter sacrifices her own well being in order to win her father’s approval.
These are just some of the examples of unhealthy father/daughter relationships. So what does a healthy father/daughter relationship look like?
Healthy Dads=Healthy Daughters
To figure out what a healthy relationship between fathers and daughter’s looks like, we first need to define what makes a good father. Here are some qualities of good father’s that I have come up with through my own research and understanding;
· Shows love and unconditional acceptance
· Loves and respects others, especially mothers and grandmothers in the family
· Can appropriately and fairly discipline his children
· Is a honest an honorable leader of his family
· Values his daughters feminism and encourages her to be herself
· Sees his daughter as an intelligent and independent person
· Knows how to be silly and have fun
· Can communicate his feelings appropriately
Suggestions for Stronger Father/Daughter Relationships
Spend quality alone time together getting to know each other. Daughter’s ask your dad about his life experiences, dad’s ask your daughter about her future hopes and dream.
Talk about personal or meaningful things. Dad’s and daughter’s have wonderful things to share with each other. There’s no reason why father’s and daughter’s shouldn’t be able to trust each other, confide in each other, feel relaxed together, and get to know each other.
Cook together, clean together. Showing her how dad’s can do those things to is better than just telling her that those things aren’t just moms job.
Let her know that you care about her and that spending time with her is important to you. Find out how she thinks and feels about everything.
Involve her in decision-making. Sometimes you may not agree or understand her point of view and she may do things you think are uninteresting and boring, and sometimes she may not agree with you and think the things you do are boring. That’s okay-you can disagree on many things and still have a good relationship.