When fathers treat their daughters well, this relationship becomes one of the most cherished for their daughters. It often shapes their daughter’s lives, making them more resilient, giving them permanent armour for the rest of their lives. A father holds the keys to his daughter’s feminine identity, her sense of self-worth, and her future relationships.
Girls need fathers to make them feel like a princess: cared about, loved, safe and secure. To feel very special. Feeling like a princess is not about looking super-beautiful, being showered in expensive gifts, being spoilt, avoiding doing chores around the house, being rude and disrespectful to others. It is more about how girls feel inside: their self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-love.
From infancy, girls draw conclusions about what men are like from the men in their life. If there is a father (or a male in her life who takes a father role), that man becomes her guidepost for what to expect of men.
Spend quality time with your daughter. Do things she enjoys doing. Play with her. Give her hugs and share laughs.
Celebrate her mind. Read to your little girl. Be interested in what she is learning in school. Pay attention to her interests and be sincerely curious to learn what she knows about them. Share interesting things about your work and your hobbies with her.
Go to her events whether it is sport, dancing or musical theatre. She needs you there as a witness to her talents, her efforts, and her achievements.
Tell her she’s beautiful and the most precious gift in your life. Look at her with admiration. This will be one of the building blocks for her self-esteem.
Treat all women the way you want your daughter to be treated someday. Take care with what you say about women and never ever tell or laugh at a sexist joke. Your daughter is listening. Your attitude about women is part of the attitude she is developing about herself.
Treat her the way you want her future partner to treat her. The way you interact with your daughter is what she becomes used to when relating to a man. Treat her with respect, dignity, care and affection and she will expect to be treated that way by other men in her life.
Be the kind of man you want your daughter to marry one day. Make no mistake; you are the model for manhood your daughter is likely to look for when she starts to date. If you want her to find a man who is caring, faithful, honest and hardworking, who knows how to have fun, who uses money wisely and who doesn’t abuse people, drugs, or alcohol, then you need to be that kind of man. It is not what you say that counts, but what you do.
And then no matter what obstacles she will encounter in her life, the bullies she will meet, the nasty things she will be told, she won’t care because she will know deep in her heart that she is a very special, intelligent and beautiful person no matter what.
Behind every happy daughter is a truly amazing dad!