Every child craves the attention of Daddy, but for daughters there is a unique dynamic. Most psychologists agree in principle that a girl develops her adult relationships with men based on the model of a relationship she had with her father.
She’s probably going to choose guys romantically based on the self-worth she develops for herself from the way her dad treated her. If she was ignored as a kid, she’s likely to choose a guy who continues this trend her father started long before. Likewise, if Dad showers her with attention and treats her with respect and tenderness, there is a significantly better chance she will live her life enjoying healthier relationships. It’s not because one girl deserves it any more than another. It comes down to whether a father teaches his daughter through his actions that she is worthy of love.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to demonstrate our love our wives, but it’s also a reminder that we should reaffirm our relationship with our daughters. It can be the simple things that make a difference.
- Asking a child about school and her interests helps build a feeling of worth, a sense that she matters.
- Date night with each of my kids is a great time to show them the attention that they should feel in any future relationship. One-on-one time is important!
- She should be told she’s loved. She learns to build trust where she feels she has significance.
- And they are never too old for a hug. According to Purvis, Cross and Sunshine in their book THE CONNECTED CHILD, “Touch is important for everyone’s physiological health and is an expression of affection, appreciation, and valuing between two people. Touch builds interpersonal bonds and actually improves brain chemistry.”
A kid only gets one childhood, but we have a chance every day to make a difference.
Todd Tuell is a work-from-home freelance writer and father of three. His joy is in watching his kids (way better than TV) and in writing fiction for children and teens. He seeks (and occasionally finds) rare moments of peace and clarity at the bottom of a coffee cup (first thing in the morning), in distance running (never first thing in the morning) and with the perfect ending to a novel (late-late at night).
photo courtesy of Lel4nd