Are you a Father with a wonderful daughter who is going through those monumental changes from young girl to an adult women? How does that make you feel? Most dads feel a bit uneasy and ackward around their growing daughters. In fact, many fathers all over the world have a hard time adjusting to their ‘little girl’ as she turns into a young lady. Many times it is our own ego that gets in the way of us being as close with our teenager daughters as we were when they were little.
In fact, girls often say that they feel their Fathers are distancing themselves from them as the change from girl to woman occurs. Our daughters are very keen to what is going on around them and they sense their Dad’s dismay and discomfort at the changes their bodies are going through. And these young ladies are missing the easy comfort of hanging out with Dad.
Studies have shown that young girls who have been interviewed for these types of family questions say unequivocally that this distancing has an affect on how they tend to feel in their relationships with boys. While it is innocent for the Father, to her daughter’s mind it is her first taste of betrayal by the opposite sex and this insecurity will carry into her relationships down the road.
Remember, our goal as successful parents is not to cause issues in our children, but rather to prevent them. And particularly in this situation, your daughter may develop a sense of discomfort with the opposite sex and for something that they have absolutely no control over.
The best parenting advice that we can give to Fathers out there who want to avoid these situations as your daughter is growing up is to simply continue doing activities with her. As your daughter moves through adolescence, keep doing the same things with her as you did before. If she likes to go bike riding, then go bike riding with her. If she likes movies the take her to the movies now and again. The same goes with sports, or any activities that she may be interested in.
Girls who enjoy sharing important moments with their Dads say it makes them feel important in his eyes. This also gives them more confidence and self esteem. And you can continue to help build this confidence and self esteem by doing something with your children every week, or even more often than that if the time permits.
Go to the park and splay ball together. See a movie and then talk with her about it afterwards. Attend a sports event together. Go shopping for a friend or family member with our daughter. The main point is to stay connected as best you can so that trust and communication can continue.