Father Daughter Relationship – Why It’s Important In Today’s World
We always talk about a Mother-daughter relationship and how mothers play a significant role in a daughter’s life. A father is generally seen as the provider in the family, and many times, his role does not get the limelight it deserves. No matter his parenting style – disciplinarian, indulgent, uninvolved or authoritative, he plays a key role in any daughter’s growing up years. And hence, he has a long-lasting impact on her value systems and outlook towards life.
However, I see a significant shift in fathers of our generation and the current one. And this can be attributed to a “VUCA “world that the current generation of teens lives in. I have defined the “VUCA” world of our teens further in the write-up.
If anything, a father’s role has become more important and relevant, especially for daughters as they explore newer avenues to make a mark in today’s world.
- Father Daughter Relationship – Why It’s Important In Today’s World
- My Father’s World
- Today’s Father’s World
- 5 Important Roles That a Father Plays in a Daughter’s Life
- 1. An Adventurous Father Helps Daughters Take Risks
- 2. A Father’s Unconditional Love and Acceptance Help Raise Confident Daughters
- 3. A Father Who Encourages Open Conversations Help Daughters Respect Different Opinions
- 4. A Father’s Outside-in Perspective Helps Daughters View Life With a Different Lens
- 5. A Father Brings in a Sense of Security in Daughter’s Life
- Concluding Remarks
- 5 Reasons Why Fathers Daughter Relationship Is so Important
- Other Parenting Posts
My Father’s World
We are three sisters and have been extremely blessed to have a father who believed in us, supported us, and gave us the wings to fly and create our own identity. Though we were born in a generation when people preferred to have a male child, we never for once felt any remorse from our parents for having three daughters.
My father’s childhood memories are of a man who used to be sitting in his room reading his book or listening to his music while we were studying for our exams. And he would continue to stay awake till we were awake with no questions asked.
Or he waiting patiently for hours together outside my eldest sister’s hospital, where she was working as an intern without a single reminder of his presence. He was never the one who would make loud claims of how he would always be there for us .. but he would do so in these small gestures, which had a big impact on our mind.
I don’t remember him ever pushing us to get the best grades or be the top-performing students. Incidentally, I am the only non-medical person in my family of doctors. And when I was doing my high school, and under tremendous self-inflicted pressure of getting through a medical institute, he used to jokingly say – don’t worry, we have not taken the ownership to heal the whole world. You can do your bit in other ways, and the medical field is not the only option available.
Sometimes when I look back and think about all these incidences, I realized how my father stood beside us like a rock but never imposed his thoughts on us. Rather he instilled in us a sense of self-confidence and self-monitoring. He let us define our own rules and value systems with no constant interference or a prescriptive way of doing things. This helped us blossom into mature, compassionate, independent young women. Of course, all this while, he had full confidence that whenever we are at crossroads in life, the value system that we had grown up with will be our guiding light.
We continued to be his world till his last breath.
Today’s Father’s World
Fast forward to today times, my husband and I have two daughters, and we are bringing up our daughters in a very different world than what we grew in.
I define today’s kids world as the “VUCA” world.
V- VOLATILE– Liable to display rapid emotion changes depending on whether the internet speed is acceptable or have the expected “Likes” on social media posts. Their relationships come with an expiry date, and can lead to them either becoming too causal or completely aloof.
U- UNCERTAIN– of what they want to do or where their priorities lie. These change every day due to the exposure to social media, influencers, and friends & of course, the ever-cautious parents.
C- Our kids certainly live in more COMPLEX times than us due to a plethora of choices to follow, from clothes to career to numerous online challenges. Along with all this, social media dictating how one should eat, sleep, dress and most importantly, live our lives. Terms like Cyber Bullying, FOMO, Body-Shaming & Imposter Syndrome are things happening in our world & maybe closer to home.
A- We live in times that are, in many ways, AMBIGUOUS. Maybe that’s why kids want precision in what they read, hear & expect – they don’t like that moral ambiguity. But we as parents are still transitioning from the morals of yesterday to the realities of today. That’s where the conflict arises. Therefore all their choices, questions, likes & dislikes are influenced by this complex world.
Hence fathers tend to be more cautious and over the edge than fathers at our time. This also means they need to be more communicative and involved with their kids, especially their daughters.
While mothers tend to get the credit for all the efforts they put in raising kids, today’s fathers play an equal role in developing emotionally strong individuals. My husband is usually outnumbered by the three of us in our house. However, his thinking, opinions, and inputs are vital for my daughters to have a balanced perspective on life and what it brings forth.
5 Important Roles That a Father Plays in a Daughter’s Life
It’s said opposites attract. And I completely agree with Susan Cain “Opposites attract, and I think temperament is so fundamental that you end up craving someone of the opposite temperament to complete you.”
And in our case, both my husband and I have very different temperaments regarding certain things, and our girls will hopefully imbibe a healthy mix of the two. This also means that my girls get exposed to so many new things thanks to their father, which probably I would never do.
1. An Adventurous Father Helps Daughters Take Risks
I am not adventurous at all. From eating the same dishes in a restaurant to taking the same route while driving, I’m not particularly eager to change things working for me. And outdoor adventures are a No-No. I err on the side of caution always, and that’s by nature.
My husband is a completely outdoor person and loves experimenting, whether it’s food, travel or adventure sports. He is a sports buff and the most enthusiastic cheerleader for my girls
Therefore, as a father, he instils a habit of experimentation and adventure in girls, two skills that will help them explore new things and new experiences in life.
A corollary to the above point is that they are willing to take calculated risks when they are adventurous and willing to experiment. This is an essential requirement and a must for their VUCA world.
Needless to say, me being totally a risk averse person, this trait is definitely appreciated.
2. A Father’s Unconditional Love and Acceptance Help Raise Confident Daughters
A daughter needs unconditional love and acceptance from both her parents to gain self-confidence and accept herself. Today’s kids, especially tween and teens, come under huge pressure for their looks and academics. A supportive father who focuses on the efforts put in rather than the result will help the daughters look at life and its challenges more confidently. His time and attention have their own place in a daughter’s mind and cannot be compensated by the mother.
3. A Father Who Encourages Open Conversations Help Daughters Respect Different Opinions
There is a huge difference between the conversations that I had with my father and the way my girls communicate with their dad. Today’s kids are more open, frank and forthcoming with their thoughts, opinions and decisions. They may be a generation of instant gratification, but they are more aware and sensitive about what’s happening globally than we were.
It’s a known fact that daughters are generally more comfortable with their mothers and their conversations usually lead to a mutual agreement. But in a house where daughters can freely share and challenge their fathers’ thoughts and conversations, they learn to listen, respect, & reflect on difference of opinions. An essential trait that will add an important dimension to their personality.
In our house, gender diversity discussion is fairly common, and in such discussions, it’s always good to have a different perspective, and dads are certainly more vocal than moms.
These conversations also help them question and appreciate the mindset of the other gender and build their own tolerance threshold.
From birth to adulthood, the level and quality of communication between a father and his daughter play a heavy role in a daughter’s ability to express her feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
For all those interested in knowing how we use these conversations to determine our parenting approach, please read my blog on Reverse Parenting.
4. A Father’s Outside-in Perspective Helps Daughters View Life With a Different Lens
I feel we moms sometimes get lost in the daily chores and multitasking and may miss looking at things objectively. We also tend to get more emotional and may hesitate to take some difficult decisions for our girls. That’s when father’s Outside-in perspective comes in handy.
Every time my girls get enamoured or deeply impacted by what’s going on worldwide, their father brings in an element of objectivity and helps them view the world from a different lens. Maybe it’s got to do with Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus thinking approach, but it gives my daughters’ a very unbiased objective view of a situation.
5. A Father Brings in a Sense of Security in Daughter’s Life
Fathers bring in the sense of security that things will eventually work out, especially for daughters, maybe because they were the ones who fixed their toys when they were young or scared away the ghost.
So, if, as a father, you have been an active participant in your daughter’s growing up years, she will look up to you for helping her in her math problems to life problems. But dear dads, don’t worry about mistakes or failures sometimes. Just be honest with your daughter because that will teach her that failures are a part of life and learn from their mistakes.
I think a father-daughter relationship actually matures as the daughter grows older and starts having some open conversations with her father on other men in her life, her beliefs, thinking and opinions. From here, it can go two ways- it can either blossom or plateau out. It all depends on how a father can manoeuvre this relations ship at this delicate stage and create a lifelong bond.
And another important point, daughters also get a first-hand experience of a man-woman relationship as they watch their parents, and she sets benchmarks for her relationships.
A father-daughter relationship has its own challenges, especially if the daughter has taken after the father and has strong personalities. But who said life was easy, especially with teenage girls around.
“A good father-daughter relationship can empower daughters to believe in themselves. It can bestow upon a girl a sense of belonging, self-efficacy and resilience for life .” Madonna King.
I came across this lovely Ted Talk which summarises this relationship beautifully in less than 5 minutes.
This one’s especially for the wonderful father of my daughters – “ A daughter can lead to baldness, but the remainder of the road is just as smooth”.
My elder daughter is 16 now and will leave for University in the next couple of years and no points for guessing who would be missing her and calling her the most.
Three Cheers to all the wonderful fathers out there. Remember, you are equally cherished by your daughters no matter what their age.
If you agree, please share this blog with all the wonderful father-daughter duos you know so that they realise how special their relationship is.
In loving memory of my father who will always live in the hearts of his three daughters, We Love You !
A big thanks to my sister Dr. Minni Chadha for the artwork on the blog header.
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5 Reasons Why Fathers Daughter Relationship Is so Important
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