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The Role a Father Plays in His Daughter’s Life

The Role a Father Plays in His Daughter’s Life

Fathers and daughters share a unique bond. Women lucky enough to have had a good relationship with their fathers as children can look back fondly on special occasions such as birthdays and family parties, whilst also treasuring memories of everyday pleasures like trips to the park or cozy bedtime stories.

Not only does a girl’s relationship with her father shape her childhood experience, but it will also influence how she interacts with men in her adult years. If a father is absent or erratic in his behavior, this sets his daughter up for feelings of low self-esteem and trouble with trusting men in general. All parents should therefore appreciate the importance of understanding the father’s role in his daughter’s life, as his presence (or absence) will play a role in her self-image and wellbeing for decades to come.[1]

Research has shown that women who enjoy more supportive, close relationships with their fathers tend to be less stressed and to view themselves in a more positive light compared with those who have more conflicted or toxic bonds.[2]

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So what are the traits a man should look to develop in order to build a strong father daughter relationship?

Model a Respectful Attitude Towards Women

A good father does not make sexist jokes or speak disrespectfully about women. He has the intelligence to realize that his daughter’s self-image will suffer if he does so, and knows that it is important to uphold the idea that women are of equal value to men.[3]

Inspire His Daughter to Reach Her Goals

A father should encourage his daughter to follow her dreams and show her that he believes she has what it takes to succeed. Girls habitually look to both parents for guidance and support, so fathers must make the effort to inspire their daughters whenever possible/[4]

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Teach His Daughter That She Is Worthy of a Respectful Partner

A father who treats his daughter – and his daughter’s mother – with respect is sending a clear message that women deserve good treatment from the men in their lives. This can make all the difference when his daughter begins dating. If she is used to positive support and kind behavior, she is less likely to tolerate it from abusive dates and partners.[5]

Make Time for His Daughter, No Matter How Busy He Is

One of the most important things a father can do is simply show that he is willing to be around. He should make the effort to attend special events at his daughter’s school, engage her in conversation, and take an interest in all areas of her life. This will build her self-esteem and let her know that she is a worthwhile individual.

Enjoy Activities Together

Healthy activities such as walking, biking and swimming are a great way of building memories and teaching your daughter that exercise is an important habit. Keeping fit will help her maintain a good body image, which will be a real asset as she develops into a teenager.

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Be Consistently Loving but Firm

Daughters who do not receive affection and approval from their fathers are likely to seek it elsewhere as teenagers and adults, and this may lead to an unhealthy dependency on men. Fathers can prevent this happening by telling their daughters how special and loved they are, whilst maintaining appropriate levels of discipline and upholding firm boundaries.

Know When to Ask for Forgiveness

No father can be perfect all the time. When you mess up, explain how you plan to do better next time and tell her that you are sorry. For example, if you accidentally miss her piano recital, plan an outing to make it up to her. Ask for her forgiveness and learn from your mistakes.

Always Treat Her Mother Well, Even If They Are Not Together

If a daughter witnesses her father treating her mother poorly, she will receive negative or mixed messages about how men and women relate to one another. Even if you are not with her mother, always take the high road and act in a civil manner.

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Take Her on Special Trips and Outings

Let your daughter feel special by making the time to take her out on a regular basis. A simple trip to the park with a picnic is enough to show her that you care enough to make her a priority. Take the opportunity to show her how men should treat women – with respect and dignity. Engage her in conversation and talk to her as an equal.

Show Her That Men Can Be Comfortable with Their Feminine Side

Even if you are a traditionally macho man, it is healthy to show your gentle side once in a while. Allow your young daughter to paint your nails, or why not go to a spa for the day when she is a little older? You should also be comfortable showing affection through kind words and gestures. This will allow her to grow up with a balanced view of the different ways in which men can behave.

Remind Her That She Is Beautiful Inside and Out

There is nothing wrong with telling your daughter that she is pretty, but remember to tell her how much you value her intellectual abilities and character. This will prevent her from relying on her looks to carry her through life and from placing too much value on what others think of her face and body.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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