A girl’s father plays a significant role in her life, from infancy to adulthood. A father’s impact in his daughter’s life forms her self-esteem, self-image, confidence, and ideals about (towards?) men. According to experts, daughters establish their personal and independent life later on, using their father’s approach in life as a foundation. What is important in this relationship is that the father seeks to set an integral and honest lifestyle, avoid hypocrisy, and accept his faults and problems, so that his daughter gains a realistic and positive example of how to face real life situations. He must emulate a reflective approach to life’s critical questions, so that she can and will do the same. If you’re a new or expecting father of a little one, here are some things to keep in mind.
Infant to Toddler
In this day and age, fathers have the same responsibilities in caring for their children that mothers do. From day one, it’s now common for fathers to participate in hands-on activities like changing diapers, putting them to sleep, feeding and taking your daughter to regular checkups. This presence is the start of a very crucial stage in the life of the daughter and these responsibilities shouldn’t be shirked. Fathers have to allot time to their infant daughter, caring for her, playing with her, and making sure her physical needs are met. Even something as simple as shared daily playtime is crucial to the father-daughter relationship.
Tween to Teen
During these years, hormones spike and many daughters tend to be moody and distant, which some fathers simply ignores until the relationship with their daughter slowly diminishes. At this stage in their daughter’s life, fathers must concentrate on developing a trusting relationship. It can take time, but it’s simply a matter of communicating to them in their way. In doing so, daughters will feel must more comfortable approaching them with problems or questions. For instance, fathers should never be afraid to apologize, as this indicates respect. Though they’re not an adult, daughters want to be treated like one. At the very least, they want to be treated as equals.
Effects on Self-Image
As mentioned earlier, a father’s relationship with his daughter is a vital piece in the cultivating of a positive self-image. Experts have determined many ideal attributes of the so-called “common sense” parenting for fathers, such as words of encouragement, a consistent presence in her life, and making an effort to be aware of and sensitive to whatever it is that their daughter might feel or go through.
The father-daughter relationship may also influence the kind of partners that a woman prefers, especially those they might have long-term relationships with. Many believe that girls learn relationship queues from their parents. For instance, assuming your daughter is attracted to men, it would make sense that she would gravitate toward men with similar attributes to her father. This holds true no matter if a father is a good parent or bad one. This can be illustrated by the tendency of women with alcoholic fathers to marry alcoholics.
Being a parent can be scary, and is definitely a big responsibility. It’s good that you’re concerned, but that’s likely enough to ensure that you’re making good parenting decisions. No parent is perfect, but a concerned and dedicated parent will normally be on the right track.
Barry Rivers writes about parenting, education and more. His most recent work lists the Top Colleges Online for busy parents