If you are the father of a baby girl, you might find it difficult to see her going off to school, playing sports, dating, landing her first job, or even choosing a husband. However, those days will arrive sooner than you think, so be prepared!
Why Is the Father-Daughter Relationship so Important?
Research shows that a strong relationship between father and daughter helps a girl to develop healthy levels of security, self-esteem, femininity, and competitiveness. It may even improve her competency in math and science. Also, girls with good relationships with their fathers are less likely to engage in early biological behavior or use alcohol or illegal substances when they’re young.
A Role Model
A man is also a role model for his daughter’s opinion of men and future relationships. Still, many fathers feel in alien territory and bow out of building a good relationship with their daughters. What they don’t realize is that although the mother’s and father’s roles are different, they are equally important for a daughter. A dad must start bonding with his daughter when she is still a baby.
While there’s no right or wrong way for a man to create a healthy bond with his daughter, there’re some suggestions on how to do it.
The Baby Time (first 24 months)
- Diaper, bathe her, dress, feed, and read to her.
- Don’t insist she only plays with the so-called girls’ toys.
Toddler to Preteen Years
- Do silly things with her, like having tea parties and playing Barbies.
- Introduce her to sports, even to those dominated by males.
- Become involved in her school activities, sports teams, field trips, and projects.
- Teach her how to make and repair things around the house.
- Don’t ever imply that femininity is somehow inferior when making gender comparisons.
The Teen Years
- Remember that the qualities you have will influence your daughter’s future relationships with men, and be a role model for her. Your girl is no longer a baby.
- Reach an agreement with your partner about tough topics like extreme dress, substances, and risk-taking. After that, be prepared to talk with your daughter about these issues. This way, you will teach her how to make good decisions and to say no when necessary.
- Pay attention to what your daughter says, thinks, feels, and dreams rather than focusing on her looks. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to tell her she looks pretty as appearance is an important part of her.
- Promote healthy eating and exercise instead of dieting.