For Dads of Daughters

Given the heightened awareness of how women have been taken advantage of through the years and the #MeToo movement, it’s never been more urgent for dads to step up and protect our daughters while preparing them for the future. Dads often struggle to understand and communicate with our daughters—particularly when they reach the teen years. But when we can tune into our daughters’ hearts, we can instill confidence, discernment and security in them like no one else. More and more research is confirming that a woman’s sense of worth as a woman, and as a person, is commonly rooted in her experience with her father.

How can we invest in our daughters in the most effective way? That’s what this section of is all about.

We have an in-house expert on the topic, Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield, who has years of experience working with young women and their dads. Look below for more information about Michelle as well as some recommended articles. Further below is our archive of content for dads of daughters, where you can take a deeper dive.

For now, a few nuggets to challenge you:

There may be many things you want to tell your daughter, but you have to earn the right to speak by listening first. She wants to be heard, and if all her dad does is lecture, she’ll grow frustrated and probably seek out other people who will listen and offer their counsel—and there’s no way of knowing what they’ll tell her.

Also, don’t underestimate your influence as a role model. As a girl tries to figure out what men are like, the first one she watches is her daddy. You can be one very significant example of a man who is consistent, trustworthy, and sensitive to feelings, who places his family at a high priority, who keeps promises, and who invests in the lives of those around him.

And finally, don’t hesitate to show her affection. If you don’t, she may think you don’t care or that something’s wrong with her. Your daughter needs to know that you cherish her as a person and you admire her as a lovely young woman. Make it clear that, although you find her beautiful, she is more attractive because she is a unique, gifted and worthwhile person.

For more, here are some featured articles to help you with your daughter. Be sure to see the entire collection below as well.

How to Bond with Your Daughter

How to Raise a World-Changing Daughter by Michelle Watson

Daddy-Daughter Date Ideas for Committed Dads by Jay Payleitner

Daughters and Mirrors – audio clip from Michelle Watson

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield


At the National Center for Fathering, Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield plays a leading role in our efforts to encourage and equip dads of daughters. Michelle is a licensed professional counselor, founder of a 9-month group forum for dads of daughters, host of a weekly “Dad Whisperer” radio program and podcast, and author of two books for dads of daughters. Find out more at

Recent For Dads of Daughters Articles

Daughters and the Power of Listening

Scott revitalized his relationship with his teen daughter Emily by devoting more time and energy to her as part of his everyday commitment.

Mars, Venus, and the ABCs of Fathering Daughters

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield: Here are three quick-and-to-the-point components of being a dialed-in dad for your daughter.

What Dads of Daughters Need to Know in 3 Words

Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield: Dad, you will do more damage to your daughter’s heart through your anger than anything else.

Dad, Turn Your HEART Toward Your Daughter

Dad, Turn Your HEART Toward Your Daughter

by Michelle Watson Canfield – A girl needs head connections with her dad in order to navigate life, but heart connections with him are vital to her ability to thrive in life.

How to Raise a World-Changing Daughter

How to Raise a World-Changing Daughter

Dad, if you want to raise a confident daughter who believes in herself and steps forward to change the world around her for good, be assured that you are part of that equation and your input really does matter.

Halftime Shows & Helping Our Children Define the Line

Halftime Shows & Helping Our Children Define the Line

As fathers, we should be aware of what our children (and grandchildren) are seeing and hearing in the media and elsewhere, and we can view these events as opportunities for thoughtful discussions with them.

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