Having a healthy dad-to-daughter relationship can play a vital role in a girl’s life and psychological development — even more than you may realize. In fact, having a father with a consistent and positive presence in his daughter’s life will help a girl grow up with a strong sense of who she is. She may become more self-assured and confident, as well as have a better understanding of what she wants out of life.
In this article, we share things you can do as a father to create a valuable connection with your daughter, as well as how you can foster this as your little one grows.
1. Don’t limit what she can do.
While taking a less authoritarian approach doesn’t mean you’re letting go of every rule, not limiting your daughter means being more open to things she may or may not like. Even if you set boundaries, make sure to leave room open for negotiation and give her the chance to say what is important to her. Girls shouldn’t be limited to playing with dolls and make-up; let her explore the world around her until she makes up her mind about what she likes and what she doesn’t.
2. Get involved in her activities.
It may not be obvious, but a father-to-daughter relationship entails that you need to be actively interested in her life. “Actively involved” means participating in your daughter’s hobbies and activities or even just showing interest. For example, if she has a dance recital, do your best to be there.
Equally, if your daughter is more into soccer and has a game on Saturday, be there for her to cheer her on. Whether she’s into sports or tea parties, you need to be her fan and supporter. Show your daughter that her interests are also important to you by learning more about them and actively working to be a part of them.
3. Compliment her — focus on the inside.
Unfortunately, modern culture tends to send the wrong messages to girls. Social media and media in general make it look like the only thing that matters in a girl’s life are her looks. As a father, it’s up to you to get rid of these harmful stereotypes by focusing less on your child’s physical appearance. Because your daughter is born with features she didn’t choose herself, you should instead focus on things she has control over.
Complimenting her on her choices and actions reinforces that she can be beautiful in many ways, such as her intelligence, her sense of humor, her fashion sense, and many more. If she presents you with a dress she picked out herself, compliment how great it looks and how she did well in choosing it. If she does well on a test, give her kind words on how smart she is and how proud you are to have a smart daughter.
Even the smallest compliments that aren’t about her appearance will give her self-esteem a boost and will let her know that looks aren’t everything.
4. Don’t ever say anything negative about her appearance.
Her heart is far more beautiful than her appearance, and, as a father, it’s your job to remind her until it is imprinted on her soul. This is especially important because, unfortunately, once you say one negative thing about the way she looks, it can stay with her like a scar for life.
Many women actually remember things their fathers have said from years ago so long as it’s about their appearance and it is negative. Because of this, you need to be extra careful not to say anything bad about how they look. Instead, try to deliver the message as a question, or do your best to say something positive in its place. Again, remember that you need to establish a connection with your daughter, which can only be done through positive reassurance of their character, not their looks.
5. Be supportive, not overprotective.
As girls grow up, they will start seeking more independence. As a result, our jobs will shift from being protectors to supporters.
Instead of making decisions for them, our daughters would much rather make decisions for themselves. While it’s natural to want to keep your daughter safe, being overprotective won’t help you foster a close and open relationship with her. Instead, stand by the sidelines and watch her use her critical thinking skill to overcome a problem or obstacle rather than handing her a ready-made solution.
6. Treat mom well.
This is an important thing to learn right from the start since the first relationship a daughter will see with her own eyes is between her mom and dad. If you disrespect your wife through emotional or physical abuse, your daughter may believe this is what she is to expect in her own relationship. But a father who displays true partnership, affection, and respect for his wife is setting a wonderful example of what his daughter should look for in a husband.
7. Spend one-on-one time together.
Every father needs to spend quality time with his daughter every now and then. Setting aside valuable one-on-one time with your precious little one won’t just bring you closer together — it will also let you create great memories that you can share and talk about for years to come. It also doesn’t have to be anything too expensive or elaborate; simply going through the toy store, going out for ice cream, or even going camping is enough.
As your daughter gets older, you can try doing more active things like biking, hiking, or swimming together. You can also take them to see a sports game, a movie, or even a concert. This way, you are creating fun memories together in a safe and positive environment, which can make a huge difference in your relationship as father and daughter.
Daughters with dads who make the effort to spend time and build a strong relationship with them will not only see and feel how strong, intelligent, and unique they are, but will also go through many points of their lives with guidance and wisdom.
By supporting their goals and interests, you also effectively show them that girls are important and deserve to be treated with love, respect, and kindness. Above all, you will build a strong bond and make plenty of happy memories as they grow up.
What are your thoughts on the topic?
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