10 Reasons Fathers Are so Important to Their Daughters
Fathers Play a Role in Their Daughters' Self Esteem, Self Worth, and Body Image
1. Fathers Shape Their Daughters' Self Esteem
Fathers play a key role in the psychological development of their daughters from the moment they are born. The difference between a loving father and an absent father makes a huge difference in how the child grows up.
When fathers are absent, either physically or emotionally, their daughters are effected in many negative ways. When fathers are present, and loving, their daughters develop a strong sense of self and are more confident in their abilities. In order to develop positive self-esteem, a healthy father-daughter bond is key.
2. Fathers Influence Their Daughters' Body Image
Separate from self-esteem is the body image of a female, however this aspect of a woman's personality is just as important, if not more so. Our body image is how we view ourselves physically, and often has no bearing on the way we are portrayed by others.
Fathers who show their daughters and wives unconditional love have higher rates of fostering a positive body image in their daughters, which sticks with them for much of their life.
Fathers who berate either their daughter or wife negatively impact the psyche of the daughter, which has been shown to foster a negative body image and can even lead to the development of eating disorders in the child.
This negative body image can also develop if a father gives off verbal or non-verbal signs that the way a female looks defines her. This can happen via body-shaming comments, watching television that highlights the importance of the way a woman looks, as well as the way a father views and talks about his own body image.
3. Father-Daughter Bonds Have Been Shown to Correlate With Academic Abilities
Recent studies have shown that a strong father-daughter bond not only shapes her self esteem, her body image, her relationships, and her behavioral traits, but it even impacts her ability to perform well academically.
Although research is still trying to figure out why this happens, females who had healthy relationships with their fathers for most of, if not all of their lives, performed better in school and on tests than females who had no relationship with their father, or if their relationship with their father was unhealthy.
4. A Father Helps Develop Behavioral Traits in His Daughter
Psychology used to put a heavy emphasis on the bond between a mother and her children, but recent studies have shown that a father has an even greater influence on his children than a mother when it comes to the development of behavioral traits.
Fathers who show love to their daughters and accept them as they are help foster a positive sense of self in the female. Negligent fathers, on the other hand, can send their daughters down a dark path of depression, substance abuse, and psychological problems.
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5. Fathers Impact Social Traits in Their Daughters
The father-son bond comes much more naturally to fathers than the father-daughter bond, especially as she ages. Unfortunately, a lack of communication between a father and his daughter can have lasting effects on the way she interacts socially with others.
Studies have shown that daughters who communicate regularly with their fathers, and in a positive way, communicate better with both males and females in their lives.
From when a child is conceived throughout her entire life, the level and quality of communication between a father and his daughter plays a heavy role in her ability to express her feelings, her emotions, and her thoughts.
Wise Words from a TV Dad
For those who watch Modern Family, you know Jay, the older man with two grown children who he raised with his ex-wife, and two new children he has raised with his new wife. With years of experience on set and off the set as a father, Jay, played by Ed O'Neill, hit the nail on the head when he said during an episode that "90% of being a dad is just showing up."
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6. Fathers Show Their Daughters How Women Deserve to Be Treated
Although mothers play a critical role in the lives of their daughters, much of what women learn about life comes from their father. From an early age, daughters pick up on the way their fathers treat other women, typically their mothers.
Fathers who are abusive, verbally or non-verbally, neglectful, or hurtful towards their spouses are unknowingly teaching their daughters how females deserve to be treated. Most women who wind up in abusive relationships later in life report some form of abuse as a child, even if it is a minor occurrence.
Fathers who show love to their wives and daughters teach their girls that females should be treated with respect, loved, and cared for by others in their lives.
7. A Father Can Help Determine His Daughter's Persistence
The "magic" fathering style that has been linked to the development of persistence in daughters is called authoritative parenting. This parenting style is characterized by warmth and love, yet a strong accountability to rules and responsibility.
According to researcher Laura Padilla-Walker, "fathers who are most effective are those who listen to their children, have a close relationship, set appropriate rules, but also grant appropriate freedoms."
8. Fathers Help Define Future Romantic Relationships for Their Daughters
Scientific studies have proven that the early stages of a females life can shape her future through both her conscious and unconscious perceptions of others around her, like her parents. From an early age, a girl learns what to look for in a romantic partner by watching her own father's actions, behaviors, and traits.
It has been proven that the healthier of a relationship a daughter has with her father, the easier it is for her to find a loving, caring partner in the future.
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9. Fathers Also Help Define Non-Romantic Relationships
Scientific studies show that from an early age, fathers set the standard by which their daughters will judge other men, romantically as well as platonically. Being a father means being a role model and setting the standard on how she will view other men and how she believes that she should be treated by others.
A father who shows love to the women in his life, is nurturing and compassionate, is a father who helps his daughter avoid unhealthy relationships with other men as she ages.
Do you have a strong relationship with your father?
10. Fathers Are Role Models for Their Daughters, Whether They Like it or Not
Daughters don't choose to be born, but parents choose to have children—this is an important distinction and a key factor as to why healthy father-daughter relationships are so important. A father is supposed to be a role model in the life of his daughter.
As I have already discussed, studies show that daughters that don't have a healthy bond with their father have shown to be more likely to engage in aggressive behavior, practice unsafe sex, perform poorly in school, develop unhealthy relationships with others, and even develop psychological problems compared to daughters who have strong bonds with their father.
Neglected, abandoned, and/or abused daughters also typically feel abandoned, depressed, and rejected. They often see themselves as failures because of their lack of a relationship with their dad.
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal