By Teresa Maples, Your Tango, .
Daughters are vulnerable, and as babies, they need protection and care from their mother and father. Both parents have a role to play in their daughter’s development, even though families come in different shapes and sizes these days. There are single-parent households, remarried-parent households, and the more traditional married households.
In all cases, every daughter needs a male role model, even if he is a stand-in father. How daughters relate to males is based on what they observe and experience with their own fathers or father stand-ins. Let’s take a look at fathers and celebrate how a father’s love protects his daughter. Since father’s are doers, let’s also celebrate what they do.
1. Fathers work to provide financial resources for things like clothing, food, and shelter. He spends his time and energy working, so his family can benefit from his toils. He takes great pride in his work accomplishments and ability to financially provide for their family. A daughter benefits by experiencing that her basic needs are provided and met.
2. Fathers do chores around the house to help out the family, most of us are familiar with the proverbial honey do list. A father gets a sense of accomplishment when he finishes a project that benefits his family. A daughter, then, learns she is valuable and worthy of the labor of another.
3. When a father spends time with his daughter, he lets her know she is important and special to him. Daughters will be loyal to their father’s relationship and abide by his wishes if she feels he values her. Daughters have a built in need for acceptance. The safest place to feel accepted is with a father. If he doesn’t spend time with her she will have an unmet need and will fall prey to the first male who showers her with attention.
4. When a father understands his daughter and validates her feelings, he brings emotional closeness and belonging to them both. This eliminates the need to seek solace with someone outside the family.
5. When a father is an emotionally safe person, a daughter can seek him out to answer her questions about life including sex. Most daughters are clueless about what boys are like as teens. Daughters need their fathers to share their experience of being a teen so she can be prepared to protect her heart from love gone awry.
6. When a father models what a healthy relationship looks like with his wife, he shows his daughter how a woman should be treated by a man.
7. When a father models being a safe person, his daughter can explore the world and have her daddy be her safety net. Dad’s can provide comfort to a daughter when she has experienced hurt in the world. He can also share in her joy.
8. Fathers show their love by sometimes saying no to activities that could cause his daughter harm, so that she stays safe. This might mean that he allows her to be mad at him without threatening his relationship with her.
9. Fathers provide unconditional emotional support so a daughter can grow into the woman she was meant to be.
A father’s time, understanding and approval go far to help a daughter feel secure in herself. His role is vital to her growth and health. Without a father (male role model), a daughter may have wounds she can’t see or identify. It is hard to grieve something you don’t know you don’t know.
So, let’s celebrate where fathers do show up to contribute to his daughters wellness. This Father’s Day let’s celebrate the small and big ways your father has shown up for you, as a daughter, by commenting below about ways your father has shown up for you.