The relationship you have with your daughter is like no other. From the day she is born, you play a key and unique part in her life, and will influence the woman she becomes.
Naturally, if you have a son, you might find it easier to bond with him, and may be unsure how to connect with your daughter. However, it’s important to work to find common ground and ways to build a relationship and engage from a young age, through to adulthood. Stay close, be there and engage in her interests.
Fathering and raising your daughter will come with many fulfilling but also challenging moments. As a Dad, your role will change as your daughter gets older. What starts as protecting them physically and emotionally as a little girl, turns into being a father figure who she can come to for advice, a listening ear and shoulder to cry on, but most importantly, to show her how she should be treated by a man.
Spend quality time with your daughter, take your daughter out on a dad date, spend time with her, go on a picnic, do things together that she enjoys. Don’t underestimate how important you are in the future of your daughter’s life.
- Use words of affirmation. Tell her every day that she is worthy, capable, smart and beautiful inside, and out.
- Be there. No matter what the situation, let your daughter know you are always there for her, through the good and the bad. Be a safe space and listen, you don’t always need to provide solutions.
- Make quality time a priority. Give her your undivided attention – whether it’s drawing together, going on a dad date, reading or playing games.
- Do the school drop off when you can. Time in the car with your daughter is very underrated. This is a time where you can sit side by side and chat, hear about her day, her friends and school-life.
- Show affection, give her hugs and let her know she’s loved.
- Speak words of positivity. A girl’s self-esteem is built on healthy, supportive relationships, especially with her dad, so be considerate of this.
- Role model respect. Girls form strong messages about future relationships from the way their fathers treat their mothers/partners so be aware of this. She is watching.
- Ask your daughter for advice. Ask for her thoughts and opinions. Never put her ideas down.
- Encourage the skills she’s good at. Never push things you want her to do onto her. Let her make her own decisions and choices, and encourage them.