Fathers, be good to your daughtersDaughters will love like you do~ “Daughters,” by John Mayer
We hear a lot about the importance of male role models in a boy’s life. It is indeed important. But what’s often missing from the conversation is the importance of fathers in a daughter’s life as well.
let’s consider the psychology of father-daughter relationships.Children really do learn what they live. Not having the perspective of older people, they consider whatever their family is like as their “normal.” 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 and what to expect of men’s attitude toward women.
His relationship to her mother or his significant other is her template for what her relationship with a man will be when she grows up.Those early learnings are powerful. Regardless of what happens as a teen and adult, a girl who identifies her gender as female has already created a set of assumptions of what that means for her to be a woman by the time she is 4 or 5 years old.
At each stage of her development, she is watching and learning from the women — and men — around her to figure out how to be successful as a woman and how to be in a relationship with a man. When that learning is positive and helpful for negotiating the world, a daughter will grow up to be at ease in her own skin and in her sexuality.
When it is conflicted or creates expectations that are demeaning or less than useful for cooperating with others, her relationship with herself, with other women, and with men will be troubled.What all this means for a father or father figure is that he counts. He counts a lot. Regardless of whether he wants the responsibility, a father’s relationship to the world and to women sets down a template that will be played out for another generation. Men who take their job as a father of a daughter seriously are men who know the importance of their daughter well being