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Father Daughter Relationships

Father Daughter Relationships

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Published by Joe Maio

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Published by: Joe Maio on Sep 10, 2012
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08/03/2013

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FosteringFather/DaughterRelationships
Father’sDayprovidedtheperfectopportunitytoreflectontherelationshipsbetweenfathersandtheirteenagedaughters.Fathershaveaunique,significantandimportantimpactontheemotionalandphysicaldevelopmentaloutcomesforbothboysandgirls,especiallyforselfesteem,emotionalwell-being,capacitytoloveandbelovedandtheabilitytoparticipateinsociety.Forgirls,thefatheristhefirstmaninthelifeofalittlegirland,assuch,providesanimportantrolemodelforfuturerelationships.
Thequestion:Whatdoesresearchandtheorytellusaboutfather/daughterrelationships?
1.EarlyInteraction:
Contrarytopopularbeliefthatfathershavelessinvolvementwiththeirdaughters,onestudyfoundthat,regardlessofbackgroundorpriorexperience,fathersactuallyinvolvedthemselvesatleastasfullyasthemothersinallformsofcarefortheirnewborns,withthepossibleexceptionoffeeding.Thatis,thefathersinthestudyconductedbyParkes(1977)foundthatfathersandmothersbothlookat,spoketo,smiledat,andkissedthebabiesequallyoften.Evenmoreimportantly,fathersheldandrockedtheirnewbabies
more
thanmothersdid.Theaveragefatherwasascompetentastheaveragemotheratreadingthebaby’ssignalsandadjustinghisstyleofcaretosuittheneedsofababy.
2.DevelopmentalTasks
AsaresultoftheworkofSigmundFreud,itiscommonlyacceptedthatoneofthekeydevelopmentaltasksforayounggirltoachieveduringpubertyalongtheroadtowomanhoodistoloosentheclosebondtohermotherinorderthatshecandevelopherownidentity,strengthenheregoandunfoldherownpersonality.Becauseofthisinevitableseparationofthemother,itisimportantforgirlstoalsohavetheirfather,orafatherfigurepresentintheirlivesfromtheverybeginning.Wherethereistheopportunityfora‘positivefathercomplex’todevelop,girlsarelikelytofinditeasiertodetachthemselvesfromthemother-childsymbiosis.Girlsalsolearnfromthis‘other’bondthateachrelationshiphasdifferentcharacteristics,leavingthembetterpreparedtodealwithaarrangeofrelationshipsinadulthoodand,eventuallyforthedevelopmentaltaskofleavingthefamilyhome.
3.FathersandSelfEsteem
Whenadaughterfeelsloved,respectedandhighlyregardedbyherfather,theyaredoingagreatdealtoenhancetheirdaughter’sselfesteem.Agirl’sselfesteemislikelytobehigherwhenshehasagoodrelationshipwithherfatherorafatherfigure.Yourwordsneedtobesupportedbydeeds:tellingyourdaughtersheisfantasticoneminutebutaskingherwhysheonlygoaCinEnglishthenextislikely
 
toleadtomistrustanddisbelief.Cultivateherstrengthsratherthanfocusingontryingtoeliminateherweaknesses.Itisthisprideinherownskillsthatisthebasisofself-esteem.Avoidcriticism,negativejudgments,derogatoryandironiccomments.Daughterslongfortheirdadstoreamthemwithlove,respect,kindness,andevenadmirationandpraise,soeveryharshwordfromafathercuts
verydeep.
Spendtimewithyourdaughter,encouragehertotrynewthings,helphertoidentifysolutionstoproblemsandgiveherrecognitionforwhatshehasachieved.Thankherforbeingjustthewaysheis.Focusonlittlethingsyoucando:drivehertohersport/music/dancelessons,watchherparticipateandshowaninterest,knowherfriend’snamesandmakeanefforttomeettheirparents.Don’tunderestimateyourcapacitytoteachyourdaughterthethingsonlyyou,asherfathercanteachherasaresultofyourownstrengthsandinterest–invitehertotakepartinyourprofessionalworksometimes,teachherhowtohandlemoneybyinvolvingherinbudgetingandincludeyourdaughterinhomerenovationtasksyouarecarryingout.Rememberthateachtaskyouengageintogetherislayingthefoundationsforhowshewillgoaboutthesameactivitieswithherpartnerwhenthetimecomes.Source,ReferencesandFurtherreadingParke,R.D.(1977)Thefatherofthechild.
TheSciences
,14(4),12-15GiselaPreuschoff(2004)
RaisingGirls:WhyGirlsaredifferentandhowtohelpthem growuphappyandstrong
Dr.BruceRobinson
FatheringfromtheFastLane:PracticalIdeasforBusyDads
SteveBiddulph
RaisingBoys;Whyboysaredifferentandhowtohelpthembecomehappyandwell-balancemen
WHICHTYPEOFFATHERAREYOU?SteveBiddulph,well-knownauthorofparentingbookssuchas
RaisingBoys,
describesthreetypesoffathers:
1.TheAutocraticorAuthoritarianFather
Thistypeoffatherbelieveshiswifeandchildrenmustsubordinatethemselvestohimandarepreparedtouseforcetoachievetheirstatusaspatriarchofthefamily.Howthisaffectsyourdaughter:Withthistypeoffather,thereisariskthatthedaughterwillseeherselfassubmissiveandasa‘victim’.Howtochangethis:Askyourselfwhetheritisreallysuchagoodideaforthewomeninyourfamilytojustdoasyoutellthem?Provideopportunitiesforyourdaughter(andwife)tomakedecisionsforherselfsothatshecangraduallylearntoassertherselfonherown,withcommitment,intelligence,andskill.
2.TheSoft,Permissive,OrLaissez-faireFather
Thistypeoffatherisadoredbyhisdaughter.Onthepositiveside,afatherwhodisplaysthisemotionalsidetohisdaughterismorelikelytohaveherdeveloptrustinhimandisthereforemorelikelytoaskhimforadvice.Atthesametime,shecan

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