Father’s Day is approaching. And with the discussions we’ve been having about daughters, we thought we would delve into the effects that an active and engaged father has on his daughters. Some of our findings were expected. But others took us by surprise…so we are excited to share, and hear your thoughts…
In their research, the Institute for Family Studies found that girls who had close, secure, supportive and communicative relationships with their fathers were:
Less likely to get pregnant as teenagers and less likely to become sexually active in their early teens;
More likely to find themselves in romantic relationships that are imitate and fulfilling;
Less likely to be “talked into” having sex;
Less likely to become clinically depressed or develop eating disorders;
More likely to achieve educational goals before marriage;
Less sensitive to stress; and
More willing to change career plans if their fathers disapproved.
Contrary to what we might assume, it is a father’s relationship with his daughter that has the greatest effect on her self-esteem and self-worth. Daughters are looking to their fathers to appreciate and validate their intrinsic beauty, unique qualities and talents.
It is important to understand that girls deprived of this closeness are likely to seek substitute male affection with attention from male peers. If WE aren’t the ones hugging, snuggling or complementing our daughters…they WILL look for validation elsewhere…and often, not in a healthy or safe way.
One of the greatest gifts a father can give his daughter, is quality time together. From infancy, display an interest in what she has to say. Choose activities to engage in together. Go on mini daddy-daughter dates. And show her how she should expect to be treated.
Surprisingly, while we tend to focus on the influence a father has on his sons’ lives…it is really his daughters who stand to gain in the most life-changing and profound ways…all from a close relationship…with Dad.