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Evangelicals for Social Change
Fathers, Your Daughters Need You

Author : Tom Graneau

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Statistically, fathers devote significantly less time with their children than mothers, 7 hours per week compared to 14 hours per week for mothers. Even so, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that fathers spend a greater portion of these moments with their sons as oppose to their daughters. Within the context of male bonding, the idea could be similar in thinking that girls will benefit more by associating with females as oppose to males. Yet while mothers maintain a great capacity to affect their children, fathers have the same opportunity to display an equally or even greater degree of importance in their lives, particularly in a father-daughter relationship.

If you have a daughter, you have the opportunity of becoming the most important man in her life. Assuming you conduct yourself in a loving, caring, and responsible fashion toward her, she will most likely build her life based on what she sees in you.

What you should expect from your daughter

Like adults who often feel the need to vent, teenagers are no different. They need to be able to express deep anxiety and fear. These emotions have the tendency to rise to threatening levels, and without a safety valve to release the pressure, something could go wrong. The right word from you can help ventilate the mind, diminish neurotic fears, and bring healing to the heart.

By 12 years old, girls become skittish about their possessions. This includes your daughters as well. She will expect you to regard her property with equal or greater care as any other valuable item in your possession. Understanding this will minimize conflict between the two of you, and keep the communication line open indefinitely.

Like boys, girls want to feel loved and wanted. Your daughter is no different. The way she feels that you perceive her is just as important as how she believes her mother feels toward her. She wants to feel that you love her, need her in the family, care about her interests, and respect her as a unique individual in the family.

At the same time, she wants to have the freedom to be herself. This means that there could be times when she may challenge your rules, attempting to do things that may cut through certain beliefs and values in the family. Allowing her some flexibility to express her individuality will be more beneficial for the relationship than suppressing the unwanted behavior or thinking. In time, the undesirable conduct may run its course, and she will appreciate you more for your minimal involvement.

Evangelicals for Social Change

What your daughter expects from you

People are born into this world as children (boys and girls), knowing nothing about anything. Shortly after birth, they get curious about everything and seek to understand the world around them.  Gradually, they begin to recognize their parents, siblings, and others relatives in their family. Meanwhile, God’s plan is that parents, who ought to be intelligent, wise, and experienced in matters of life, should protect, support, and guide their young ones into adulthood. Thus, this cycle is not only divinely ordained but also necessary for survival.

Children naturally look up to their parents for help and support. Like boys, girls want to see a wise, mature woman as a mother, one who loves and respects the father in the home. She wants to identify with her wisdom, courage, and marvelous ways of motherhood so she can emulate the same in her own family.

While growing up, she expects peace and harmony in the home. At times, she wants her mother to be chief executive officer on some issues, and other times, she wants her father to be chief executive officer on other issues. That way the household can retain balance and run as smoothly as possible. Along with this, your daughter expects to glean from you (fathers) an intelligent perspective about life. This means that she will be listening to your conversations and watching your mannerisms even when you’re not aware of it.

Innately, she’s also expects you to lead the family in a responsible, fatherly way. This includes establishing boundaries around here so she knows what she can and cannot do. Though at times she may attempt to cross the line, she wants you hold your position, nevertheless. Yielding to her every demands depicts a sign of weakness and lack of courage, although she may not mention it when it happens.

At the same time, she expects you to teach her: Tell her what is right and wrong, guide her in moral and ethical conduct, make her feel special, and support her goals, even when they conflict with family values.

This means that your daughter expects you to display a great sense of moral and ethical courage:

  • Kindness to others who are somewhat disadvantaged in life
  • Love for family and others, despite their belief or behavior
  • Forgiveness that comes naturally without restriction or favoritism
  • Wisdom on issues that are likely to lead into judgement or criticism
  • Courage to stand for the truth and do what is right in the face of criticism or hostility.

No one can display these traits to your daughter as well as you. While her mother has the chance to demonstrate the quality of a fine woman to her, you also have the responsibility to reveal the qualities of a fine man. If you attempt to do your job well enough, she will love you as a father and respect you as a fine man. In time, she will most likely choose her mate based on what she learned from you.

As a good father, your presence and function in the family is indispensable. The fact is that good things happen to children that are supported by both parents. A higher amount of father-children involvement increases their social stability, educational achievement, and marriage as adults. Furthermore, children who are raised with fathers in the home are believed to be more cognitively and physically capable than those who grew up without fathers. And finally, mothers who raise children with fathers are reported to have less severe disputes with their offspring during the course of their development.

Obviously, your job as a father should never be taken lightly. It’s a God-given responsibility that should be cherished for good reasons. The truth is that no one in the world can raise your children as well as you.

But the job is not easy. Those who do it well deserve standing ovations. Essentially, they are building young hearts and minds into adulthood, people that will eventually make the world a better place to live for themselves and others.

As such, you should feel proud about the task that’s been given to you. This means putting your tough shoulders under the weight, and enjoy the journey ahead. Your daughter especially will appreciate it, and the whole experience will be personally rewarding. I promise.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Should fathers be equally involve with their daughters as they are with their sons? What would you say to men who shun their responsibilities of being a father?



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