A positive father-daughter relationship can have a huge impact on a young girl’s life and even determine whether or not she develops into a strong, confident woman. A father’s influence in his daughter’s life shapes her self-esteem, self-image, confidence and opinions of men. How Dad approaches life will serve as an example for his daughter to build off of in her own life, even if she chooses a different view of the world.

What matters in the father-daughter relationship is that Dad seeks to live a life of integrity and honesty, avoiding hypocrisy and admitting his own shortcomings so that she has a realistic and positive example of how to deal with the world. He should try to model a reflective approach to life’s big questions so that she can seek to do the same.

We now live in a culture where Dad is an equal partner in care giving. From day one, dads are encouraged to be hands-on, changing diapers, giving baths, putting Baby to sleep and calming her cries. That presence and effort is the beginning of a very important relationship. Dads need to spend time with their infant daughter, taking care of her physical needs and supporting her Mom. And once the little lady starts toddling around, it’s essential that Dad gets down on the floor — on her level — and plays with her.

When there’s a tween girl in the house, dads should focus on cultivating a trusting relationship so that their daughters feel secure talking with them about what’s going on in their lives. When necessary, dads should apologize and ask for forgiveness, as this both shows respect and love to our daughters and heals the hurts that are inevitable in daily life together. As a girl continues to grow and her teen years become fraught with complicated issues, dads should continue to work on building a trusting relationship, give affection and support her as she learns more about who she is and what kind of person she wants to become.

A dad’s involvement in his daughter’s life is a crucial ingredient in the development of a young woman’s self-esteem. Dads can help support their daughter’s self-image and curb any possibility of low self-esteem: Verbal encouragement, being consistently present in her life, being alert and sensitive to her feelings, taking time to listen to her thoughts and taking an active interest in her hobbies.

It’s important to actually do these things, which can sometimes be quite challenging. Direct involvement and encouragement by her father will help diminish a girl’s insecurity and increase her confidence in her own abilities.
As a girl grows up, men will come in and out of her life, but the one man who will always be there is her father. The father-daughter relationship plays a vital role in his girl’s journey to adulthood, and, of course, for the whole life.

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