By: Karen Boyarsky.
Remember when you were little and your dad would lift you high above his head, or tell you that you were his special girl? Your pop was helping your practice your skills with men for the future in a safe environment and while we can’t always depend on pop songs to teach us the truth about life, John Mayer got it right when he crooned, “Fathers, be good to your daughters. Daughters will love like you do.” Krohn and Bogan argue that for girls “inevitably our fathers determine how we view the opposite sex, and much of how we fit in the outside world as it is, in fact, it’s still a man’s world. And Norman and Chappell claim, “the bond between father and daughter is the strongest in the world….[and] if the father and mother are the right role models, the daughter will grow into an independent young woman.” While studies show the importance of a father-daughter relationship, other studies show that this relationship is facing some challenges today. It’s time for fathers to consider the impact they have on their daughters’ lives. Many fathers understand that they are the role model for their sons, but they are just as much a role model of manhood for their daughters. They teach and model the type of man their daughters will eventually find themselves dating and marrying.
5 Ways Dad Can Teach Daughters to Build Caring and Trusting Relationships with Men:
1. Work on your relationship with your wife.
Daughters choose a spouse based on the actions of her father and his relationship with the mother. According to a study done on college students, girls whose parents were divorced are less likely to get into relationships even if they’re short-term. Also, women whose father mistreated their mothers learn a cycle of abuse that allows them to date and marry less than desirable mates.
2. Encourage mental stimulation.
Women who are successful often cite their father’s role in guiding them intellectually. Their fathers read to them and showed interest in what they were learning in school. Fathers should also share their own interests and hobbies in order to model a healthy intellectual life. Researchers also found that girls who didn’t have a strong intellectual father figure perform less effectively at home. Likewise, daughters who were taught self reliance in academics showed more confidence in their careers down the road. For example, Sharon Lyman suggests her father’s example was the most influential as she completed her rn to bsn online.
3. Praise her looks.
It may sound less important and more shallow than encouraging mental growth, but instilling confidence in a girl’s looks is also very important. Telling your daughter that she’s pretty and that you admire her style is imperative to building a well-rounded sense of self esteem. Given the barrage of photoshopped images of close to perfect women, girls face the challenges of skewed body image. Girls with loving, praising fathers are less likely to develop eating disorders. Studies show that effective conflict resolution skills developed between father and daughter help deter the kind of self doubt that encourage eating disorders.
4. Be the kind of man your daughter wants to marry.
Fathers are the model for manhood and daughters model their future partners on their fathers’ behavior. A daughter sees how her father treats not only her mother, but also other women. Involvement, not just treatment, helps girls develop relationships. Girls who didn’t have much contact with their fathers have difficulty developing long term relationships in the future. It’s not just about the presence of a bad relationship; it’s also about the absence of positive interactions. A completely absent father can very negatively effect the trust that girls will be able to build with future boyfriends.
5. Show your daughter how to build all types of relationships.
Daughters are not looking at fathers just to see male-female relationships. They also see how fathers treat other people and how they develop friendships. Theorists suggest that the father-daughter relationship shapes patterns of interaction between women and friends in college. Modeling good manners will also make your daughter a great match for a refined man.
Girls are facing more and more pressure from culture. The level of care a father takes in teaching, bonding with, and developing good models for their daughters will make an extreme difference in the girl’s ability to move from girlhood to womanhood.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author Karen Boyarsky is an advertising copywriter and an avid blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @Boyarskykareni.
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