Daughters and “The Real Thing”

How would you train someone to spot a counterfeit bill? Well, you’d probably make them aware of the common methods of copying the original, and you’d point out telltale signs of fakery. But most of all, you’d want that person to be very, very familiar with the real thing. If they know the real thing very precisely, they’ll be able to spot a counterfeit right away. 

There’s also an application for fathers of daughters. It’s our responsibility to be that original, that “real thing” as our daughters learn to relate to boys and eventually start dating. 

That’s why daddy-daughter dates — and our everyday interaction — can be so important. Your daughter needs your attention, healthy physical affection, and affirmation. 

Even as a pre-teen, she’s trying to figure out men, and you’re her closest and best example of one. What’s appropriate when men are present? How will men respond when she pouts, or “flirts” for attention? As her father, you act as a kind of first boyfriend, and you play a large role in showing her what a proper, respectful response sounds and feels like. If you fail to affirm your daughter’s femininity by showing her physical and verbal affection, she may very likely discover it on her own, in unhealthy relationships with the men in her life. 

So gush with pride when she walks down in her new dress, or when she does something that is especially charming. But make it clear that she has won your heart not with her looks and feminine charms, but because she is a fascinating and worthwhile person. You’ll show her that there are men who are consistent, trustworthy, and unafraid to show their emotions. 

With you as her positive reference point, she’ll learn what to expect from the men she meets. You can bet she’ll meet plenty of men who are irresponsible, chauvinistic, and dishonest, and she’ll be able to see right through them from the start.

Watch the replay of the Fathering Breakthrough Event

Join Dr. Ken Canfield and a handful of friends and partners as we give an update about our efforts to inspire and equip fathers all over the world.

There may be no more important work than turning the hearts of fathers to their children, and that’s what this is all about. We’re seeking to repair, rebuild and restore effective fathering for the benefit of children and families everywhere.

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