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 fathers.com 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 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
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 drmichellewatson.com.
Recent Daughters Articles
by Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield – What really makes a difference in being a great dad is creating positive patterns that keep repeating over time.
by Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield – Prove to yourself today that you’re a proactive dad who initiates by starting the daring conversations with your daughter.
One of the greatest presents you can give your daughter is to affirm her through writing. – Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield
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.
by Dr. Michelle Watson Canfield As we all know, it can be a daunting task for dads and daughters to talk about the...
Rick Wertz and his daughter Amanda describe some simple but powerful ways dads and daughters can stay connected.
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.
A more modern version of the “Prodigal Son” that depicts the depth of a father’s love, featuring the song “Runaway” by Jess Ray.
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.
Dad, it’s up to you to create an atmosphere of acceptance where she feels safe enough to reveal her heart to you.