Fatherhood is both a beautiful and complicated subject to delve into. Or, it can seem confusing, depending on who you ask.
Even though there has been plenty of comprehensive research on the importance of fatherhood over the years many people still believe that a father’s job is just to make money and provide for his family.
Nothing could be further from the truth for both young girls and boys. With girls, for example, the role of the father extends to many things, from setting a good example for how a man should act to helping her grow up to be socially active, self-confident, and emotionally secure.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the key points every father should try to hit in their relationships with their daughters, according to most research:
- You have to listen to her. For millennia women grew up being taught that their opinions didn’t matter and they should just listen to the men around them. Because of that many women led unsatisfying, unhappy, and unfulfilling lives. Thankfully, this has started to change. Show your daughter that her opinion matters and that people will be willing to hear what she has to say.
- You must always be by her side. Life is scary, especially when you’re little. Boys and girls alike always need the reassurance that their father is there to protect them. This doesn’t mean raising spoiled children – it means giving them the confidence that you will always have their backs.
- You must make her feel loved. Love is the building block of confidence. If your daughter feels loved, she will grow up knowing that she deserves to be loved. If not, however, she’ll most likely grow up believing that she’s not worthy of it.
- You should set a good example. Just like boys learn what a good wife is by watching their mothers, girls learn about men from their fathers. So, your job as a father is not to show your daughter how a “standard” man acts but how the men she should look for act. You show her that a good man is loving, good, kind, capable, supportive, trusting, and any other quality you deem appropriate.
- You should trust her so she can learn to trust herself. We all know the clichéd joke about the father welcoming his daughter’s date with a shotgun in his hand, right? And we get it – fathers are protective and always want the best for their girl. However, that joke often “misfires” too, if you’d pardon the pun. Because it hints that you think your daughter’s date must be threatened with a gun to behave and yet you’re still willing to let your daughter go out with him. What does this say about the quality of men you think your daughter is dating? What does it say about your trust in her choices and preferences?
Instead, your job as a father is both to raise a smart and capable daughter, as well as to show her that you trust her.
- You should be her teacher too. Of course, to raise your daughter into a smart woman you must be a good teacher too. Teach her about life, people, morals and ethics, about history and science, and every other crucial aspect of going through life.
- Giver her unforgettable memories. At the end of the day, childhood is not just about learning and growing, it’s also about experiences. Whether you have a daughter or a son, make sure that you give them a happy and fulfilling childhood.
- Be ready to let her go. Every father wants to protect his daughter from the world but we can’t do that forever. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you raise a competent, capable, and smart daughter, so she can one day “fly away” from the next and be safe and successful.
It sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, fatherhood can be that too. And, at the end of the day, we can never get it 100% right. But we must always do our best for our daughters’ sakes.