With Father’s Day coming up, now is the time to strengthen the crucial bond between father and daughter.
In her book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, Dr. Meg Meeker stresses the importance of father-daughter relationships. Dr. Meeker says, “Fathers have a power in a daughter’s life that mothers just don’t have.” Moreover, “a girl’s first experience of love with her dad puts a template over her heart on what male love is all about.”
According to Rick Johnson, founder of Better Dads, based on the need to empower men to lead and serve in their families and communities, “women who have not had a model of healthy masculinity in their lives often have trouble detecting predators, abusers, and men who will abandon them.” Clearly, the father’s role in a daughter’s life is extremely important.
According to Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed. D., here are ten basic principles for men to help them be positive role models in their daughter’s lives:
1. Love her mother
Regardless of your relationship with her mother, treat her mother with respect and consideration. Even if her mother does not return the respect, a man that lives an honorable life shows his daughter(s) a healthy model for a future mate.
2. Attach to your daughters
Research shows that girls with a solid sense of self hold a good relationship with their fathers. Spend quality time with her and let her verbally know that you love her!
3. Attach with safety
National surveys report that 9 to 28% of women have experienced sexual assault or abuse during their childhoods. To prevent this from happening to your daughter, teach her about privacy, modesty and appropriate boundaries.
4. Celebrate her mind
Research has shown that most successful women have had fathers who were interested in their intellect and academics. Read to your daughter and show interest in her interests.
5. Go to her events
Although you might not find genuine interest in her events, go anyway. Daughters need a solid male presence in their lives to witness their achievements and efforts.
6. Tell her she’s pretty
Help build her self-esteem with sincere positive comments about her appearance.
7. Show her that real men can negotiate differences with women
In a conflict with your significant other, female relative, or female friend, show your daughter that you can work through differences in a calm, logical, and reasonable way. In this way, your daughter will be less likely to start a relationship with a bully.
8. Treat all adult women the way you want your daughter to be treated someday
Take care of and don’t abuse the women in your life! Your daughter is watching your every move and listening to your every word.
9. Treat her the way you want her future partner to treat her
If you treat your daughter with love, care, and respect, she will expect her future mate to treat her the same way.
10. Be the kind of man you want your daughter to marry
Don’t forget that you are the prime model for the kind of man your daughter will marry! If you genuinely want your daughter to marry a faithful, hardworking, honest man, be that man!
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