Research says that a strong father-daughter relationship could be the key to raising strong, confident and successful girls.
Several studies have found that young girls who grow up in the presence of a loving father are more likely to become successful, excel academically and lead a stable life. They are also less likely to develop loneliness, anxiety and depression in their later life.
The influence of a parent in a child’s life is phenomenal and it starts right from the day the child is born. Though the beautiful bond of a mother and child is often emphasized, research shows that a father’s presence in a child’s life is equally important.
From changing her nappies to holding her in her arms to teaching her the right values and morals as she grows, this journey of a father-daughter relationship lays the foundation of her attitude towards life, men and her own self. A girl’s relationship with her father shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men.
The Importance of Father-Daughter Relationship
Studies show that girls who are blessed with an active father, tend to have a better outlook on life. They grow up to be more confident, practical and headstrong women. They are also less prone to suffer from mental health issues and perform better than their peers academically.
Here are 5 reasons why the father-daughter relationship is so important –
A father’s presence can protect her mental health
Fathers bring a sense of security, love and trust to their daughter’s life. Research has shown that a positive father-daughter relationship can help protect the child’s mental health against loneliness, stress, depression or anxiety. Studies also quote that a strong father-daughter relationship can help regulate the cortisol levels in the child. Such girls are less likely to develop eating disorders or issues related to body image.
A father’s presence can boost a girl’s self-esteem
The empowerment that a young girl gets from her father becomes the bedrock for her self-esteem. Experts say that fathers who praise, support and love their daughters unconditionally raise women with higher confidence and self-image. Furthermore, studies state that young girls, especially teenagers, who share a close bond with their fathers are less likely to suffer from body image issues.
Fathers create the foundation for greater achievements
Numerous studies have shown that girls who grow up with a loving father show superior results in intelligence tests. Kids with active fathers also perform better academically and are more inclined toward their goals and career. They are less likely to develop behavioural problems and have higher levels of sociability. They are also practical and better at decision-making. A recent survey also found that daughters who grow up in their father’s presence are more likely to have high-paying jobs.
Fathers can set the relationship bar high
Fathers are role models for their daughters and they have a strong influence on the kind of men the girl would date or marry. It is the father who sets the standard for a young girl on how she expects men to treat her. According to several studies, young girls who have a strong father-daughter relationship are less likely to become sexually active at an early age. Statistics also suggest that such girls have more satisfying and long-lasting marriages.
A father’s presence can lead to a happy marriage
Daughters who share a positive bond with their fathers feel more secure and loved. They are pickier when it comes to choosing their husband and are more open to discussing their dating life with their father, which can help them make the right decisions. Also, a father’s attitude towards the mother sets the expectations of a girl from her partner. It is also seen that girls who grow up in households with marital problems tend to be insecure, anxious and aggressive.
How to Strengthen a father-daughter relationship?
Girls love their fathers. They share the most beautiful, hero-dad-princess-daughter bond. However, like every relationship, the bond of father and daughter can also be strengthened with effort and communication. Here are a few tips that can help strengthen a father-daughter bond.
The journey begins the day she is born
It is a common notion that handling a newborn is a woman’s job, but men too can play their part. Being actively involved with the child, caring for and nourishing her can help build an organic relationship. Spending quality time with the child not only lets the baby connect with the father but also strengthens the bond between the husband and wife.
Be a part of her learning journey
It is natural that a child looks up to her parents for learning about life and the world around them. Being an active part of her learning journey can help build a strong bond. Whether it is something as simple as kicking the ball or building the blocks or practising maths, just helping her learn will foster a relationship where she will look up to you.
You can be her best friend
Listening is one of the most important skills when you are dealing with a child. Most children in general are expressive and they will come up to you with their problems, make sure you listen to them. Give them your undivided attention and allow them to confide in you without the fear of judgement. Pay attention to her words, interests and actions. Connect with her on her hobbies and resist the urge to discipline her every time she breaks a rule. Most importantly, never break her trust when she shares something with you.
Love Them Unconditionally
One of the best ways to strengthen your bond with your daughter is by telling her how much she matters to you and how much you love her. Tell her you too love her for everything and be careful not to ridicule, shame or demean her for her mistakes or poor choices. Encourage her to try new things, and give her the courage to fail and the inspiration to learn continuously. Be calm, patient and loving with her as she is very sensitive.
Give her your validation
Everyone seeks validation, especially the young girls who are trying hard to find their place in the world. Tell them that they are attractive, and perfect just the way they are. Society, peers, and even her teachers can demean her confidence, and you can help dismantle the stereotypes and help her focus on her strengths.
Be a good role model
A daughter gets the idea about men from her father. So, make sure that you are setting a good example by treating her mother right. Daughters who grow up in a house where parents share a loving bond grow up to become more secure in their relationships. They are also more likely to have successful marriages.
A father’s role in a daughter’s life is instrumental in terms of her development and his absence whether it is because of separation, divorce, death, job or any other reason is sure to cast an effect on her. As they say, behind every successful woman is a father who believed in her.
However, it is also important to note that just living in the same house does not mean being present. It takes active and positive participation from the father in his daughter’s life to make an impact. From giving hugs to showing warmth, kindness, respect and support, a father can help his daughter see the world in a beautiful light.