protecting your daughter

Protecting Your Daughter As a Single Dad

One of your primary roles as a dad is protecting your daughter. We are meant to shield our daughters from the traps of the world. Our intentional investments in them make all the difference. It helps determine whether they’ll grow into strong and confident women. When you think of protecting your daughter, what comes to mind? Perhaps something like D.A.D.D. (Dads Against Daughters Dating)—which may be used on a T-shirt, but doesn’t carry any real weight.

A father’s protection of his daughter isn’t some cliché saying for a hat or t-shirt, but one of the most precious gifts we will ever be entrusted with. It is with the utmost diligence that we should give attention to this. As a single father, protecting her throughout her life starts now. Here’s how.

Listen to her.

If you are interested in protecting your daughter, you have to listen to her. According to one fathering organization, the #1 wish most young women have is for their fathers to listen more. Your time with your daughter may be stretched thin and the stress of life may run high, but don’t miss these subtle and crucial opportunities.

Honor her mother.

Good or bad, how you treat your daughter’s mother conveys a strong message about how women should be treated. Stay aware of your words and actions toward and about your daughter’s mother, as they influence your daughter’s relationship with and thoughts about her. Set personal feelings aside for the greater good of healthy parenting. If your daughter’s mom isn’t present, speak highly of her anyway and seek out strong, positive female role models to influence your daughter as she grows.

Know her friends.

Let her invite her girlfriends to your house for lunch or dinner. Check her social media regularly and be sure to ask the tough questions about boys. Speaking from experience as a father who shares custody of his daughter, look for appropriate opportunities to engage in these conversations, such as during daddy-daughter dates.

Have integrity.

Part of protecting your daughter is protecting your integrity and morality. While single, I was trapped in the bonds of sex and pornography for decades. When I started to see those women as someone’s daughter, once so sweet and innocent, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened. Would I ever want someone to lust after or pursue my daughter that way? The thought repulsed me. Sexual deviation, whether in person or virtually, puts our children at risk, because the integrity of their protectors, us, is now on the line.

Communicate her value.

By spending quality time with her, showing her affection, and knowing her well enough to give her good gifts, you communicate your daughter’s value. You show her that you believe she’s worth the investments of your attention, time, and money—you show her that you treasure and cherish her. In simple ways, you set her up to feel valued and to know that any man she eventually dates is supposed to treasure her, too.

Sound off: What else can you do to protect your daughter?

Huddle up with your daughter and ask, “What is the greatest compliment you have ever received?”