Dads and daughters

Matthew 6:8 For your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him.

Many men may have grown up with sisters and learned about women from their spouse, but none of these set of experiences can prepare him completely for the father-daughter relationship. A father that knows a child always knows her basic needs. Fathers absolutely love all their children, but it seems that some dads spend a lot more time with their sons. Peradventure they think that they have more in common with their boys, or maybe they are a little intimidated by the girls. But with a little more understanding, fathers can feel just as comfortable around their daughters as they do around their sons. Some fathers mask under providing for the family and they use this as an excuse not to get involved in bonding with their children. They probably feel the “mothers” have to do all the bonding because they have little or no role to play in child development especially when it comes to raising girls.

Most African fathers feel they are only useful when it comes to making their children ‘do’ what their mothers can’t make them do. Some fathers instill fear (you come back from work as a father and your children disperse in fear) in the process of making their kids ‘do’.”Doing” is concerned with achievement, production, action, control, and competition, whereas “being” encompasses the qualities of connectedness, nurturing, acceptance, and allowing. We usually think ‘doing’ is associated more with manliness (father) and ‘being’ with feminineness (mother), although deep down we know that all of us have some combination of each of these qualities. If you wait to become involved with your daughters until they are teenagers—if you only step in as an enforcer when their moms can no longer control them—you’re in for an uphill battle. However, if you take part in your daughter’s life from the beginning (taking part, not taking over ), the dreaded teen rebellion is likely to be less intense because your daughter will know that her father understands her and has clear expectations of her behavior. One major problem between fathers and daughters is fathers struggle to relate physically and emotionally as their little girls begin to develop into women, and so they distance themselves. “This can be a irksome time for girls: ‘All of a sudden, my dad isn’t interested in anything else in my life except whether I have a boyfriend or if I have male friends.’ Dad is no longer physically affectionate and he has become overprotective(he’s everywhere), and the girls wonder what they did wrong or what is wrong with their dads.” And, given dads’ importance to the social and emotional development of their daughters, fathers have every reason to be concerned because a father’s influence in his daughter’s life shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men.

All fathers are teachers of the life: they teach their daughters what they can expect from men.

You might be thinking in your mind that you’ve never been a girl, but that needn’t be a barrier to father daughter bonding. You want your daughter to grow into a self-confident young woman – then she’s going to need her dad on her side. Many men feel a little uncertain, even fearful, talking to their daughters about their body frame(positive body confidence) or appearance. They may be thinking: “How can I help? This is so not my area. Don’t worry about not having all the answers. Instead, sharpen your listening skills and work through the problem-solving process with her, encouraging her to share her thoughts and come up with possible solutions. Guiding her to trust in her own capabilities will help her confront other challenges in her life and build her self-esteem.

Comments directed towards girls often focus on appearance. “You look beautiful” or “your face’s so pretty,” for example. As her dad, you know your daughter is much more than a pretty face. You see her personality, talents and intelligence – so make a point of telling her. It helps to be specific, from “you were so kind sharing with your sister just then” to “the way you solved that homework was really smart”. Taking the emphasis away from how she looks will help your daughter focus on all her qualities rather than her good looks alone. This will make her feel more self-assured. Ironically, NOT talking about her body( whether fat or slim) can actually help to boost her positive body confidence.

Benefit of Father-daughter Relationship
It is certainly important for fathers to connect with their daughters. Usually, daughters who have secure and loving relationships with their fathers:

  • Feel more confident and better about themselves. They are usually expressive.
  • Are more assertive instead of being aggressive.
  • Maintain a good mental health and stable emotional development. They do well academically as a result.
  • Feel more confident in relationships with men in general. They can love right because their father has taught them love by showing it to both the mother and the daughter.
  • Know how to treat others well especially in authority.
  • Expands her involvement in career and occupational pursuit.

The most paramount of these benefits is related to the development of the girl’s ability to achieve, be competent, pursue goal-oriented activity, and compete. That is not to say that mothers don’t have a lot of influence in these areas too, but rather that these specific qualities which are usually associated with masculinity are embodied more by fathers, who in turn have more influence in instilling them in their daughters. Having a daughter with those attitudes and directions is worth a lot to a father. But in addition to the lifelong positives of a father-daughter relationship , nurturing that kind of relationship can be a real opportunity for a father to bond in this time and space.

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