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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

More by this author

Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Published on November 28, 2018

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

How to Do Meditation at Home to Calm Your Anxious Mind

The woman in yoga pants sitting in a lotus position atop a rocky cliff, overlooking a valley draped in fog — this is the glamorized version of meditation you’ll come across as you search. Yet if you’re seeking meditation to calm your mind, a fantastic setting with no distractions is rarely available.

So how to do meditation?

The truth about meditation is it’s an everyday practice for anybody. You could be a mountain climber or you could be an accountant — either way, your home is just as good a place for meditation as any.

Are you seeking to corral your racing thoughts and relieve a sense of unease, awkwardness, or uncertainty? Look to home meditation to cultivate a laid-back, creative, confident, and organized frame of mind. According to extensive scientific research, meditation relieves stress and anxiety, decreases blood pressure, improves sleep, and improves your ability to pay attention. [1]

From start to finish, this article will give you quick, easy steps to follow so that you can meditate at home regularly. You’ll begin by assessing, identifying and altering things that need to change in your home environment. You’ll end by understanding the basics of meditation so that you can let yourself do what you already know how to do deep down in the hidden reality of your mind.

You’re ready to let your mind be, and just be, in your own home — let’s begin.

1. Find the Right Space in Your Home

Where is your right space for meditation at home? Is it in your basement, your bedroom, your living room, or your study?

The right space will be one with the least distractions built in to its purpose. In that case, it may be your bedroom. If you’ve set up your bedroom to be a place for sleep and only sleep, it will lend itself well to meditation.

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The right space will also be a reasonably spacious one. Although comfort is not your goal, you need room to sit. Choose a space that is private, spacious, and quiet. If you don’t have a space in your home like this, create one. Free it from clutter and get it ready for you to meditate there any time.

Ultimately, your right space is one you feel comfortable meditating in, the space you can enter with no other expectations.

2. Improve the Feng Shui in Your Home and Meditation Space

Feng shui means “wind and water.” It’s the ancient Chinese art of placement.[2]

Feng shui improves harmony with nature. Adherents to the principles of feng shui believe all things have energy (chi). The focus of feng shui is to send negative chi (sha) out of the space and attract positive chi (yun).

Here’s the truth about feng shui: it’s not complicated or hard. The following will influence feng shui positively in your home and meditation space:

  • Living things, such as plants
  • Beautiful objects, such as sculptures or even a well-polished piece of driftwood
  • Mirrors in symmetrical placement with the lines in a room
  • Mellifluous sounds, such as trickling water or wind chimes
  • Furniture away from walls
  • A centerpiece, such as a small table with books or an ornate lamp on it
  • Incense or something else that smells good
  • A lack of clutter and an attention to organization that emphasizes the usefulness, purpose, and essential being of each item in your house

Given that feng shui is connected to Taoism and Buddhism, it will complement the meditative atmosphere you want to cultivate in your home.

3. Eliminate Pervasive Distractions That Can Harm Your Wellbeing

In part, meditation is about accepting the existence of distractions. When you meditate, you don’t judge and assign a positive or a negative value to distractions — the ticking of a clock, an itch, the barking of a dog — you let them occur and let them dissipate like waves.

However, in the same way that feng shui removes objects that attract negative chi, there are certain types of distractions that don’t belong in your meditative space. You must remove them.

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In a survey of 1,700 people who visited social media sites at least 30 times per week, 30 percent reported high levels of sleep disturbance and 25 percent presented symptoms of depression. [3]

Those individuals who experience sleep disturbances or mental health issues due to social media are not setting boundaries between themselves and their connected devices.

Part of learning how to meditate at home is learning how and when to set boundaries between yourself and your connected devices and social media accounts. If you need your phone for a timed meditation practice, but you normally receive social media notifications on your phone, set it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode during your meditation time.

4. Flow into Meditation Through Time

Next, set aside a time for meditation each day. It’s right to be structured and disciplined about your meditation time.

Buddhist monks whose lives revolve around meditation are very structured and organized with their tasks each day. Structure provides the balance your being needs. Once you are meditating, your mind has no need for time. Outside of your given meditation time, you are completing tasks essential to the wellbeing of yourself and your home.

Consider meditating as the sun rises. This is a quiet and contemplative time of the day when it is natural to set your day’s balance through meditation.

5. Recognize the Rightness of Doing Nothing

At home, you’re probably used to always doing something. When you do meditation at home, you are being, which is doing something and nothing simultaneously.

Maryville University points out that successful people unplug by doing nothing. [4] Not only this, but they set the right expectations for the time during which they will do nothing.

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We oftentimes look forward to the future by expecting something to happen and by expecting something of ourselves. To meditate from home, look to that time and that space by expecting nothing. You will not do any chores. You will not catch up on work. You will do nothing but meditate for a certain amount of time each day.

This might sound crazy, but in taking on meditation from home, you’re not expecting yourself to improve and become a better person. As Ram Dass put it, you are expecting yourself to be here now.

6. Choose from the Incredible Variety of Meditative Practices

As I outlined in my post on types of meditation, there are many different and not-so-different types of meditation from which to choose.

Many beginners find it right to choose guided meditation, for which there are apps, videos, and audio tapes available.

If you are not necessarily a beginner but are merely moving your meditative practice into the home, you can facilitate a practice such as Nada Yoga — sound meditation — by placing a fountain in your space or listening to ambient alpha wave music.

If you’re used to meditating outside of your home — perhaps you are drawn to the outdoors because of the sounds of nature — a practice like Nada Yoga can help you transition into your home space.

7. Understand You Can Meditate Any Time at Home

What if I told you to throw out all of the tips that came before this? Sounds crazy but that is how radical mindfulness meditation really is. We don’t think of it as radical because it is now ingrained in our popular discourse.

Mindfulness meditation does start as a sitting meditation practice. It goes like this:

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  1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
  2. Focus on breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and exhale slowly.
  3. As distracting thoughts arise, don’t judge them and don’t hang onto them. Let each thought go as you focus on breathing.
  4. Treat all physical sensations and feelings in the same way you do thoughts: register them, then let them go, returning to breathing.
  5. Extend this practice to everyday activity, remaining “in the moment” of the body’s activity with each new breath.

As you practice mindfulness around your home, note the physical characteristics of the things in themselves. Note physical sensations: sounds, smells, textures, appearances, tastes. Stop now and then and do a body scan from head to toe, noting what each section is doing and how it’s feeling.

Note thoughts that come and the emotions attached to them: let them go. Concentrate on the breath and the physical activities — including the details of the objects with which you’re interacting.

You’ll notice that your home will lend itself to a meditative state when things are in order. This is where true feng shui originates. You will naturally sense how the arrangement of things affects the energy in a room.

Clutter will disappear because mindfulness tells you to dispose of unnecessary things. Plants will bloom. Birds will make their nests in your backyard. Your home will smell pleasing and people will naturally be attracted to it and your presence.

You’ve Reached the Beginning and the End

Once you are able to do mindfulness meditation even as you are attending to the normal and abnormal requirements of your home, the mundane and the unusual, you are at both the beginning and the end.

You are at the beginning because meditation never ends. Continue setting aside time each day to do sitting meditation in the space you’ve set aside. Continue practicing mindfulness as you attend to the energy of your house, your own energy, and the energy of those around you.

You are at the end because you grasped what it means to do meditation at home: it means letting go of cares and concerns and being in your home as you attend to the right tasks. The right tasks are those necessary for being in your home.

As you sit in your home, rise, open the door and you leave, you are calm in your mind because you are home.

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Healthline: 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
[2]Marquette University: Feng Shui: The Wind and Water
[3]Rutgers University: Social Media and Well-Being
[4]Maryville University: How Successful People Unplug

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