When my daughter was younger and feeling down or insecure she would crawl into my lap. Then she would nestle her head in my chest. I would wrap my arms around her. Then I would tell her I loved her and she would always let out a deep relaxing exhale. It’s as if all those things that were weighing on her left her shoulders. It still happens, but now that she has gotten bigger she more cuddles up next to me, but when I tell her I love her she still lets out the same calming breath.
As a girl grows up, men will come in and out of her life, but the one man who will always be there is her father. The father-daughter relationship plays a vital role in his girl’s journey to adulthood. Below are 7 things a daughter needs from her dad. Our printable version is below. Also, be sure to check out the 7 Things a Son Needs from His Dad.
1. She needs you to be involved.
A daughter needs her father to be actively interested in her life. “Actively interested” does not refer to the second-long conversation that sometimes happens between a father and daughter when he asks how her day went and she replies with one word. A father should participate in his daughter’s hobbies and activities by displaying interest. For example, if she is interested in collecting coins, take her to coin shows. Use the Internet to learn about rare coins and talk about them. Is your daughter talented in the any sports, such as volleyball? Whether she wants to play or just enjoys watching the games, become an enthusiastic fan and supporter! Show your daughter that you are interested in her life by learning more about it and trying to become a part of it.
2. She needs you to demonstrate a healthy marriage.
The first relationship a daughter experiences is the one between her mother and father. If her father disrespects his wife with physical or emotional abuse, a daughter might come to believe that is the expected relationship with a husband. However, a father that displays physical affection, respect, and a true partnership with his wife provides an incredible example that his daughter will want to mirror in her own life.
3. She needs you to support her.
Even though a father may not always agree with his daughter, she needs to know you will support her. When a father fully and wholeheartedly supports his daughter, she will develop strong self-esteem and a positive self-image. This doesn’t mean that you always have to agree with her, but show her that while you might not agree with a choice she is making, you will always believe in her as a person and have confidence in her abilities.
4. She needs to trust you as a confidant.
When your daughter discusses personal issues or problems, treat them with respect and confidence.When your daughter does come to you and discusses personal issues and problems, she needs to know that you will treat them with respect and confidence. They shouldn’t become dinner-table conversation with the rest of the family.
5. She needs your unconditional love.
Just as our Father in Heaven demonstrates unconditional love, fathers on earth need to display this as well. Unconditional love requires that a daughter knows no matter how badly she messes up, her father will be there, not to ridicule and demean but to forgive.
6. She needs a strong spiritual leader.
A father should be the spiritual head of a household and should take charge of his children’s religious education. Pray with your daughter! Don’t be shy about bringing the Lord into your conversations with her.
7. She needs a positive role model.
Many daughters today lack a positive male role model in their life. A father is the first man in a girl’s life that she will intimately know. Her father sets the standard for all other men in her life, and a positive role model will help her choose a good husband in the future. Take a moment for some self-reflection. Are there any habits you need to break? Are there some areas of your own life that could use a “spiritual overhaul” and prayer? When your daughter sees that you are willing to examine your own life and make changes when necessary, you provide the best example she could ever have of accepting responsibility for her actions.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your daughter and ask, “What is your favorite father/daughter activity?”