There is something magical about the bond between father and daughter. It is also an extremely influential relationship when it comes to a girl’s development. The way a daughter gets along with her dad can have a major impact on her life, helping shape her self-image, self-esteem and confidence, as well as her future relationships with men.
However as daddy’s little girl starts to grow up, it can be hard for fathers to maintain that strong connection. When piggy back rides and bedtime stories are outgrown, being pushed aside by hormones, boys and makeup, many fathers may instinctively back off. However, research shows it is integral for dads to keep working on their relationship with their daughters and to keep lines of communication open.
They need to continue to be there to listen to their daughters and maintain trust within the relationship so she feels comfortable opening up.
Research into father-daughter relationships also consistently finds these things help cultivate connection:
Whether you are kicking the ball around, taking a run together or training her soccer
team, taking time to “play” in this way helps maintain that bond and gives her your attention. Even watching the footy on the couch together or going to a live game is a great bonding exercise and gives you a shared interest.
2. Doing something together
This could be helping with a school project, fixing something around the house or teaching her how to change a tyre. The very act of doing something together promotes shares experiences and connection.
3. Get away
It may be a day trip, a weekend camping or a bonafide holiday, but taking whatever time you can to spend dedicated one-on-one time with your daughter will help you get to know and understand each other better, as well as making some wonderful memories.
4. Little rituals
Think about establishing something like a regular breakfast date, watching action movies together on a friday night or swapping playlists on a sunday. These rituals make space for your relationship – a constant that your daughter can trust will always be there, even when things get tough in the rest of her life.
A father should always be the main man in a girl’s life, but if dad is not around it is still important for a girl to have a good connection with another male role model such as an uncle, grandfather or family friend.