A father's relationship with his daughter is not important just because people say it is. There are volumes of studies and statistics supporting the critical role a father plays in the psychological, social, and developmental role of his daughter. For example, the North American Journal of Psychology states that a father's engagement with his daughter directly correlates with his "daughter's self-esteem and life satisfaction." Additionally, a father has "greater impact on (his) daughter's ability to trust, enjoy and relate well to the males in her life" according to a Wake Forest University study.
As a father of two girls, I often feel the weight of the role I play in my daughters’ lives. I am ever conscious of how my words and my actions are impacting the development of my girls into young women.
But what specifically do daughters need from their relationships with their dads?
Here are 5 basic things every daughter needs from her father:
1. Be Encouraging
As dads, we sometimes have a tendency to push our kids too hard. On more than one occasion, the Bible specifically warns fathers to not provoke their children so that they do not become angry or discouraged. (Col. 3:21, Eph. 6:4) Being an encouraging voice in our daughters' lives does not make them weak, it makes them strong.
2. Be Affectionate
Our daughters crave our affection. If they don't get it from us, they will seek it elsewhere. Affection can be in our words, in our touch, and in our actions. The important thing is letting them know they are loved. Researcher Paul Raeburn concluded that "girls who grow up with an engaged, involved father have a reduced risk of early puberty, risky sexual behavior, and teen pregnancy."