I want to talk to about the importance of a Father-daughter relationship and how to take the complexities out of it and to help it
become a very natural beautiful experience for both father and daughter.
It is well known and documented that a Father’s relationship with his daughter sets her up for life. If a father has a strong, healthy and loving relationship with his daughter, he sets her up for success in her relationships with boys and men. If a father has a negative or distant relationship with his daughter, he sets her up for lack of confidence, low self-worth, little value within herself and trouble relating to boys and men in her life.
Often daughters who have negative experiences with their fathers find themselves struggling in their teen years and put themselves in relationships that are abusive or neglectful ending in heartache as grown women in unhealthy relationships.
Fathers have one of the most important positions in life for their daughter; it is the father’s love or lack of love that develops her expectations, thoughts and filter system through which she views the opposite sex. Fathers can often feel very out of their depth and overwhelmed when it comes to relating with daughters. I understand how it can be difficult as we females can be hard for you men to understand at times.
To help with this, it is important for dads to start as soon as possible to be involved with their daughter’s world. It is in the most simple things that girls feel appreciated and valued; it doesn’t have to be complicated. When your daughter starts to play with her girly toys like “My Little Pony” or her cute little dolls etc. don’t be put off by that, get down with her, listen to her as she plays and find out what she is enjoying about them and join in with her. It doesn’t have to be a long time, as a little one, her attention span is short anyway, however, as you listen and join in she will see that you value her and she will begin to feel significant even as a tiny one where it should start.
The simple things like reading to her while she sits on your lap, sitting with her as she watches her TV shows and talking to her about the characters asking her which one is her favourite and why. She will be learning how a man that loves her is interested in her as a person, not an object.
I can remember as a child I always loved sitting on my father’s lap as he ate his roast lamb dinner every Sunday lunch time. Dad would often have me on one knee and my sister on the other at the same time. My brothers were often teasing us about how we were “Daddy’s spoilt little girls”, we didn’t care, we just loved being special to the most
important man in our lives at that point. Maybe that is one of the reasons Roast Lamb is still my favourite meals and I love cooking it for my children and their families when they come over.
I’ll jump off memory lane now and come back to this article.
Taking your daughter on “Father Daughter Dates” is an excellent idea. Again, they don’t have to be complicated. You can take her to the park or beach, and, as you swing her on the swing, climb the climbing equipment with her, take her in the water, build a sandcastle or dig a big hole for her to sit in you will build up a rapport with her. Her value system is being fed a healthy diet of Fatherly love and appreciation.
If your daughter is not a Toddler any more it is never too late to start doing bonding activities with her. What extra activities is she involved in after school or on weekends? Take her to them, watch her, compliment her on her input with this activity, don’t criticise her even if she isn’t very good at it, appreciate her involvement and find something positive you can say to cheer her on.
Taking her to a movie of her choice or live entertainment is a great way to connect to her world and she will be collecting data in her memory bank of how a man should be treating her. Ask her what she wants you to wear and tell her how pretty she looks when she comes out dressed ready for the outing. Treat her with something special like an ice cream of her choice or buy the programme for her to keep as a memory of the outing. Treat her like a princess that she is, if she is old enough ask her where she wants to sit and open the doors for her. If she doesn’t want to go with you alone, take one of her friends, that’s OK you are still adding value to her. Sometimes two are better than one. You can often learn things as you listen and say nothing in the car. Their conversations are of great interest and can help with your future interactions with her.
Tell her how special she is to you and why she is so special. Talk about boys and why she needs to be sure she only dates boys that appreciate her for who she is not just their pleasure. Don’t scare her but just encourage her to make sure if she ever feels uncomfortable or unappreciated to say so and give her strategies to deal with these situations. Talk to her about why it is important she respects herself and understands how unique and extraordinary she is so she never sells herself short settling for boys who don’t value her as an important special person.
As she is valued and honoured by her father, she will learn to honour and value herself and grow to expect the opposite sex to treat her with value and honour. It is much easier for boys and men to take advantage of girls who aren’t loved, valued and honoured by their fathers.
One of the most powerful ways as a father that you can set your daughters up for success or failure in life is how you treat their mother and other women in your life. As their father, you are setting the tone for them, as they observe your behaviour towards women and your interactions with women. Through you, they are learning how to let men treat them. What tools are you giving your daughter as a father to equip her for her relationships with men in the future.
If you are a single father you have a big job on your hands, however, you are just as equipped and never feel it is just all too hard even when you may feel a bit overwhelmed. You will be surprised just what a great job you can do with simple little things of placing value upon her.
MOTHERS I have a critical word for you too, are you ready? You need to do everything in your power to help Father and Daughter to have a strong, healthy bond. Encourage the father, give him ideas on how to relate well with your daughter, do not cause division among them as this will damage your daughter. Teach her to honour her father; he isn’t perfect but neither are you. Help set her up to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex. Work with her father and give him confidence when he steps out and attempts to enter her world as it is often a foreign land for him. I have a small video for all of you to watch and to receive some ideas. I hope you enjoy it and if it helps even just one father, I am pleased.
The most important bit of advice I can give is:
Value and honour your daughters, their mothers and other women in your life and have fun whilst doing so. Your daughter will grow into a woman quicker than you think and you will reap great rewards yourself when you invest into the relationship no matter how old she may be. Relax and enjoy the ride, let me know how you get on.