Why does a daughter need a good dad?
Fathers have a tremendous influence in their daughter's lives. The research shows that daughters need their fathers and this influence determines a great deal of how the future will go.
There is something special about the father/daughter relationship. I am the daddy of two very awesome little girls so I have firsthand experience and a keen appreciation for this subject.
I want my daughters to have the best start in life possible. The responsibility I feel is weighty especially after I read the information below about how crucial a father's role really is.
The Reasons Daughters Need Their FathersStrong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker, M.D. Dr. Meeker is a pediatrician. She has seen what a father's influence means in the lives of girls from the counseling she's done in her practice. If you are a daddy of girls, then you need to read this book. It should be mandatory for all fathers with daughters. I'm going to borrow some of Dr. Meeker's stuff today to help you see why fathers are so important to the future success and happiness of their daughters.
Here are three reasons daughters need their fathers:
1. Your Daughter Needs Your ProtectionProtection comes in many forms. Of course, when girls are young, they need us to protect them physically. However, as they grow up and venture out on their own, we can't always be right there with them. But, we can still protect them by instilling in them confidence, wisdom and a sense that they are loved deeply by the most important man in their lives. You see, whether you want to admit it or not, our culture can sometimes be a very toxic and dangerous place for young women. Here are just a few of the disturbing statistics that Dr. Meeker cites in her book:
- Over 40% of girls 14 to 17 years old engage in unwanted sex because they fear their boyfriends will get angry if they don't. That's 4 out of 10!
- Almost 12% of females will experience forced intercourse.
- Over 35% of high school girls will have sad, hopeless feelings for longer than two weeks.
- Over 11% of females attempt suicide.
2. Your Daughter Needs to Know She Is LovedA father's love is central to a daughter's sense of well-being. A strong and loving father helps young girls avoid many of the mistakes that lead to the bigger problems in life. According to Dr. Meeker:
- A daughter's self-esteem is best predicted by her father's physical affection.
- Girls with good fathers are less likely to flaunt themselves to seek male attention.
- Girls with involved fathers wait longer to initiate sex and have lower rates of teen pregnancy.
- 76% of teen girls said that their father influenced their decisions on whether they should become sexually active.
3. Your Daughter Needs You to Be InvolvedIt is not enough for a father to just be present. He must be actively involved. This requires spending time alone with your daughter on a regular basis. Time that you initiate and devote to her alone. You have to talk to her. "One of the great myths that our society perpetuates is that teenagers need their space," says Dr. Meeker.
"Even in affluent families, girls become sexually active and pregnant earlier if they don't live with fathers, according to the largest and longest-term study on the problem," cited an article in USA Today.
You need to affirm your daughter verbally and often. Tell her that you love her and that she is pretty, but don't stop there. Praise her for other desirable qualities like intelligence, courage, loyalty, integrity, a sense of humor and generosity. You want her to know that she's valued for much more than just her physical appearance.
Get involved in things that she likes. This may be a little uncomfortable for some dads, but you've got to put all that aside and do what's best for your daughter. She needs to know that she's important to you and that you're willing to engage with her on her terms. An involved dad that is affectionate and spends quality one-on-one time with his daughter is investing in her future. This investment will pay off in big ways.