Raising Daughters Part 4 – self-esteem and confidence
This month we have been exploring tips from four key areas of life to help dads build a strong father–daughter relationship.
These tips are from a special eBook series created by The Fathering Project to help dads who are big enough to reach out for advice and recognise that their most important job is fathering.
A father signals to a girl how she can expect to be treated by men, i.e. how high she ‘sets the bar’. You act as an example as to how she should expect to be treated by men.
- Get your daughter to teach you how to do something you don’t know about, even if it’s the latest app or computer game. This builds confidence and mentoring skills.
- Encourage your daughter to dream big and then work hard to achieve those dreams.
- Support your daughter in all she does. Let her know you believe in her, but be careful not to set limits for what you believe she can do.
- Tell your daughter that your love does not depend upon her performance at school or sport.
- Make a clear distinction between not loving what she says versus not loving her as a person.
- Don’t confuse unconditional love with trying to be their ‘pal’ rather than their parent.
- Surprise them by doing random, unpredicted kind acts for them.
- Avoid overusing the word ‘but’, e.g. “I love you, but….”
Accept her as she is
- Make sure she knows you accept her regardless of her performance in all aspects of her life, and that you will give her the support she needs to be confident.
- Encourage her to do her best and let her know that you love her no matter what.
- When your daughter fails, it’s especially important to express your continued love for her.
For more information on this topic:
- Listen to our Raising Girls podcast with Steve Biddulph.
- Refer to our eBook edition ‘Dads and Daughters’