Dads and Daughters: Strengthening the Bond
Dads play a critical role in their daughters' development, yet many dads underestimate their significance. According to psychologist Margo Maine, PhD, author of Father Hunger: Fathers, Daughters, and Food, men often "feel the pressure around economics, but don't realize they have a broader role [within the family]."
What Can Fathers Do?
Start EarlyFather-daughter closeness begins when your daughter is born. Remember that dads can be just as nurturing and as good at child-rearing as moms! Sharing parenting responsibilities and interacting with your daughter are the beginnings of a positive relationship.
Focus on Puberty and RelationshipsComments and interactions can help or hinder how a girl accepts her body and sexuality, shaping her social interactions with males. By acknowledging your daughter's development, encouraging romances, and painting a realistic picture of yourself, you may be able to increase the odds of your daughter being self-confident and capable of forming positive relationships with men.Dr. Maine adds, "It's really important [that] girls get grounded in a relationship with men early on, one where they can feel respected and valued."
Pay Special Attention to SchoolA study done by the National Center for Education Statistics looked at the link between fathers' participation in school activities and children's academic success. Co-author Jerry West says, "In general, we find better outcomes for students whose fathers are involved."Create a routine where you check in with your daughter about her education:
- How is she doing in school overall?
- Which classes does she excel in?
- Is she struggling with any subjects?