Single Dads Raising Daughters: What A Girl Wants

Dads, you  have a great deal of influence over the healthy development of your daughters.  You have the power to influence their self esteem, their sense of independence and their healthy body image. With this much influence, what does your daughter need from you to develop to her fullest potential?

Your daughter needs you to be present in her life. She needs you to be interested in what she is going through and what she has to say. If you listen to her when she talks and show her that you value her opinions when she expresses them, she will be more inclined to believe in herself and develop a strong sense of self esteem.

As your daughter matures, she faces many different life changing decisions. She will need the benefit of your experience and wisdom as she learns to make wise choices. Giving her the male perspective not only provides her with valuable insight into future relationships but it also teaches her a balanced approach to all aspects of decision making.

This is where most fathers feel the most confident.  Physical protection is something you understand and feel comfortable offering.   Most fathers who are able want their daughters to feel comfortable and know that they are physically safe. However, there are other types of dangers from which daughters should be protected: 

What about the emotional and moral dangers? How do you protect your daughter from the damaging images the media portrays of what women can and should be?  You can start by guarding against the negative influences that will try to damage her self image and decision making ability. 

If you are not in the home with your daughter to monitor what she watches on television, hears on the radio or sees on the internet, at least talk to her about the images she sees and messages she receives. Find out how she feels about it and how they affect her self image. Affirm her with verbal praise, letting her know that you love and support her just the way she is. Let her know that she does not have to conform to any image in order to gain your approval.

Also, encourage her independence by teaching her to protect herself physically and mentally. There are times when you will not be able to be physically present and your daughter is going to need to know how to protect herself so that she can feel secure. Use roleplay to discuss dangerous situations and teach her what to look for when she is on her own. Have “what if” conversations on situations ranging from “what if you had to walk to your car alone in the dark?” to “what if you found out your friend was using drugs?” to “what do you think of that outfit that woman is wearing?” and others.

Fathers, don’t forget how important your role is in the healthy development of your daughters!

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Single Dads Raising Daughters: What A Girl Wants