5 Reasons Why Dads Are Important to Their Daughters
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While mothers are considered natural caregivers and nurturers, we can’t simply overlook fathers’ role in their children’s lives. And although most people recognize this as particularly true for young boys, girls also need a positive male role model.
A daughter’s relationship with their father can play a key role in their psychological development. It can affect not just their confidence and self-image but also their opinions of men and their ability to trust later in life.
Fathers who constantly make an effort to connect with their daughters can have a true and lasting impact. Research suggests that the relationship girls had and have with their dads can affect their ability to sustain or maintain satisfying relationships, be effective parents, find fulfillment in life, and speak up for themselves.
Why father-daughter relationships matter
The father-daughter relationship is complex, and fathers are more than just providers. The way dads approach life will serve as a model for their daughters to create and build their own.
This is also the reason why daughters with a healthy and loving relationship with their father:
- Are usually more secure and more content in their romantic relationships
- Do better academically or get good grades
- Make better choices in who they date, spend time with, and marry
- Feel more confident and better about themselves
- Are usually assertive but not aggressive
And women who grow up with emotionally absent fathers can make bad choices in their lives and have low self-esteem. They may develop an anxious attachment style and live in a state of distrust and fear.
Below is an exploration of the 5 reasons why fathers are important to their daughters:
1. When fathers are involved, daughters do better at school
Fathers who are involved in their daughters’ studies don’t just demonstrate the importance of education. Dads who continuously encourage their daughters to do well in school or offer help whenever they’re struggling can instill a positive attitude about learning and curiosity.
This will then enable the kids to enjoy school more, participate in extracurricular activities, or do well academically.
Even seemingly trivial acts can make a huge difference. Helping them with their projects or homework or simply motivating them to take on challenging courses can give daughters the confidence to do well and achieve career and economic success.
Being there for them, like showing up to their plays, recitals, or games, can also have a positive and lasting impact.
2. Dads set the standard for their daughter’s romantic relationships
According to research, girls with good childhood relationships with their dads are more likely to choose romantic partners that resemble them.
Fathers set the standard on how their daughters should be treated by future partners and what they should expect in adult or romantic relationships.
Young women tend to judge all the men who come into their lives based on the example set by their fathers. If women were treated with respect and care by their fathers, they would expect the same from a romantic partner.
A good father-daughter relationship bolsters their girls’ confidence and provides them with a good foundation for self-respect. It is also suggested that girls with strong and healthy relationships with their dads are less likely to become sexually active early on and less likely to experience teen pregnancy.
What daughters need from their fathers is to make a constant effort to talk or spend time with them. This can then teach young women that men can be caring, nurturing, dependable, and flexible.
They will learn not to settle with the man who’s just cute or says nice things but with the one who loves, accepts, and respects them.
3. Fathers affect their daughter’s confidence and self-esteem
Fathers serve as the first male figure and role models in their daughter’s life. This is why a loving and strong father-daughter relationship can positively impact a girl’s assertiveness and self-confidence.
Dads who constantly provide affection, validation, and affirmation can help their daughters grow to become secure, strong, and confident adults.
Girls who have a close bond with their fathers tend to have a more positive self-image and increased levels of self-esteem. This can help them become more ambitious, self-disciplined, and successful.
The best part is fathers don’t need to make grand gestures or extreme efforts to make a positive influence. Just being there and lending an ear and hand is often enough.
4. Dads can help promote a positive body image
Another reason why fathers are important to their daughters is that they play a huge role in how girls view their bodies. Daughters take much into consideration, not just the way their dads speak about their appearance, but of other women’s as well.
Good fathers know the value of respect and speak in such a manner about how other people look regardless of their size, shape, or weight.
Studies, furthermore, have shown that girls who had healthy relationships with their dads were less likely to develop anxiety or depression. There is also less risk of being dissatisfied with their appearance, which means less likelihood of developing body dysmorphia or eating disorders.
This can translate to better mental and emotional health, which is beneficial in dealing with stressful situations effectively.
5. Fathers empower their kids to take risks and chances
According to studies, girls’ confidence plummets to 30% between the ages of 8 to 14. Dads, interestingly, are better at spotting this confidence drop. This then allows them to engage more with their daughters and encourages them to believe in themselves.
Empowering daughters in their early years provides a good foundation for success in the future. When dads (and moms) nurture their daughters to believe in themselves, they are then encouraged to explore more and do things outside of their comfort zone.
They’ll develop a sense of adventure and learn that there are upsides and downsides to taking risks. They’ll also know what to do when challenges arise.
What dads can do to strengthen a father-daughter relationship
Another important reason why fathers are important to their daughters is that they can impact their daughter’s well-being. This also includes their self-esteem, relationship choices in the future, and the way they feel about their appearance.
With present and emotionally available dads, young women can grow up to become more self-assured, confident, and have better chances for success.
Here are a few suggestions for creating a healthy relationship with your daughter or strengthening it, no matter what their age is:
Shower your daughter with love and affection
Show and remind your daughter that you love them unconditionally and no matter what. Say “I love you” often, give hugs several times a day, and reassure them that you’ll always be there for them during tough times.
Tell them that they’re smart, worthy, and capable. It is also a good idea to compliment their appearance, but don’t link it to their size or weight.
Show that you love and respect their mom or your wife
Little girls (and boys) learn by observing adults, and this includes how their moms and dads interact with each other. Be sure to treat their mom with love, respect, and kindness.
This will show and help them know what to expect in their future relationships with men.
Be actively involved and interested
This is what most daughters need from their fathers. Ask not just about how their day went but also about the things they like or are passionate about. Then, make an effort to get involved.
Show support and attend their games, events, and other activities. Doing so will make them feel valued, which can then strengthen your bond.
Always make time to connect
This means setting aside undivided time to connect and interact with your daughter. It could be as simple as having movie time, playing games, or even eating meals together. Even simple, everyday moments mean so much.
The key is being consistent with having father-daughter bonding days, so your relationship can grow and stay strong.
Validate them constantly
Make them know that their emotions and thoughts count. Remind your daughter that you believe in them and validate their accomplishments, way of thinking, and unique personality traits. Doing so can let them know that you understand them. This can then help your daughter feel supported and connected.
It’s important to take fathering very seriously, but you should remember that there isn’t a model for an ideal father. Ultimately, it’s about being emotionally available and meeting your child’s needs.
How online therapy can help
Whether you’re struggling to maintain a strong father-daughter relationship or want to strengthen your bond, talking to a mental health professional is worth considering.
A therapist can help you develop a better understanding of your daughter (especially during teenage years) and recognize what daughters need from their fathers. Therapists can also provide you with suggestions on how to treat your daughter right, as well as the steps to take to restore and improve your bond.
The good news is you can do this at the comfort of your home or wherever you are on Calmerry. Online therapy or counseling lets you talk to a licensed mental health professional without having the need to travel or commute.
You can also schedule your sessions to fit your lifestyle. The best part is the setup – it is more flexible and accessible, as it can be done through a messaging app or live video chat.
Don’t be ashamed of getting professional help. Acknowledging that there’s a problem and taking a step to solve it can improve your situation, or in this case, your father-daughter relationship.
The willingness to make a change, along with professional guidance, can set you up for success or help you become a positive role model for your daughter.