When Your Daughter “Becomes a Woman” 

What are some needed strategies for us dads to how to navigate life with our daughter when she starts her monthly cycle? You have to admit it’s foreign territory for a dad. 

In a nutshell, I recommended that you not make a big deal out of it, but continue to show your daughter love and affection as always. You could possibly address it briefly in a letter, but most girls are pretty embarrassed about what’s happening, and they don’t want to talk about it. 

Over the years I’ve asked mothers of daughters for their insights, and I’ve received many.  One mom named Sandy was especially helpful. She didn’t disagree with what I said, but she recommends a slightly more direct approach. 

You see, when she started her menstrual cycle, her dad never mentioned it and suddenly seemed very uncomfortable around her. Gone were the days of daddy-daughter wrestling, and once he was even scolded for giving her a ride on his back. That only made Sandy more conscious and uncomfortable around the father she adored. 

She wrote, “If only my father had taken me in his arms and said simply that he knew about the changes I was going through, but that I could count on his love for me not to change, then I would’ve felt much differently.”

She makes a good point: If we dads are not involved in this situation, it could send the message that daughters can’t talk to their dads about anything related to sex. 

So, what can we dads do? Again, talk with your child’s mother, or another trusted mature woman you respect, and decide on the right approach given your unique relationship with your daughter. But maybe in the best-case scenario is for you to take the initiative in blessing your daughter and speaking words of affirmation. You might include a small gift of flowers or a book affirming the beauty of womanhood.

But above all, be sensitive; don’t do anything with a lot of fanfare. And once you’ve made that first gesture, follow your daughter’s lead from there. 

This doesn’t have to be a tense and awkward time that puts distance between you and your daughter. It can actually draw you closer.

Thanks to Sandy, because we dads need all the help we can get.

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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