“Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.” ~Joseph Addison
One evening last year I accompanied my friend to an elementary school FATHER-DAUGHTER dance she was hired to photograph. While she was snapping away, I got a kick out of watching all the men taking formal pictures, hand-in-hand with their daughters and then escorting their little ‘princesses’ onto the dance floor, swaying to the music.
Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a young girl with her father. A daughter’s relationship with her father is usually her first male-female relationship. From Dad, little girls gain their first reflection of themselves as a female. Daughters need to know that they are safe with certain males and Dads ought to set the standard.
Father-daughter relationships are an important place to learn how to negotiate fairly and compromise. When fathers exercise absolute authority, and rigidly set rules, daughters quickly learn to rebel. If a father is overly-critical, men become the enemy. If a father is fair and listens to his daughter’s thoughts, she will gain self-confidence and pride in her own opinion. It is important for Dads to listen to their daughters and appreciate their views, even if they don’t agree.
Daughters also learn about marriage/relationships from watching how Dad treats Mom (or any woman in his life). If Dad is disrespectful or aggressive, then in the daughter’s eyes, men are considered to be people who are allowed to get out of control and be hurtful. If Dad didn’t treat his so-called partner as an ‘equal’, daughter may learn to devalue herself in the presence of men thinking that’s the way it should be. Though it’s untrue, to her it can be perceived as normal behavior.
So what can a father do to create a loving and secure relationship with his daughter?
*teach her new things (from riding a bike to changing a tire)
*make time for fun
*tell her she’s BEAUTIFUL
*inspire, understand and support her while she’s growing up
*BE A GREAT EXAMPLE OF MANHOOD!!!
I am fortunate to have a father who enriched my life. He made (and still makes) me feel like his beautiful princess (hee-hee) and also values me as an intelligent individual. I have fond memories of him getting me to and from school everyday, the playground every weekend, and teaching me how to drive as a young person. My Dad never felt the need to raise me with an iron fist either. I submit that since he spent many years as an educator, interacting with different types of children and their behaviors, he gained a different sense of fathering. I guess you can say I ‘got it good’ :-).
I’m proud to have male friends who are fathers that are constants in their daughters’ lives. They haven’t relinquished their parental responsibility for any reason, and ALWAYS provide for HER, regardless of whatever woes HE may have. I commend them wholeheartedly!
When dads are not part of their daughter’s lives, step-fathers and other male figures can sometimes meet these needs and that’s certainly appreciated, but…
“Never underestimate the importance of ‘daddy’ in our little girls’ lives.” ~K. Neycha Herford