Dads tend to take on the role of ‘being in charge’ and are overprotective, especially when it comes to their daughters. Dads are not as vocal about their feelings as moms are and may sometimes come across as a strict parental figure but there isn’t anything that they wouldn’t do for their family. Dads and daughters, in particular, share a very special bond. For a little girl, her dad will always be her knight in shining armour.
There isn’t a male figure she trusts more in this world. This phase doesn’t last long though. Adolescence can be a difficult time for fathers and daughters. As girls mature into young women, they want the freedom to be able to take decisions for themselves and learn from their mistakes. Fathers need to realize that as their little girls grow up, their job becomes more of a consulting one. They need to trust that they’ve raised them to take the right decisions.
Here are a few tips for fathers to stay close to their daughters during this tumultuous transitional phase.
1. Be A Good Listener
The time to give ready-made solutions is long over. Instead of lecturing them on what to do, listen to their problems. Talk to her, get to know what she’s been going through. This will encourage her to open up to you and seek your advice. Discussing will help her build critical thinking skills which are an important skill to have all through her life. It’s time to take a step back from giving orders and guide her to make smart decisions instead.
2. Be Generous With Praise
Your daughter is going through a phase where she is riddled with self-doubt. It may come across that your opinion doesn’t matter but they are in fact craving for attention and appreciation. Mothers tend to take the lead in such matters but they need both their parents. Do not take a backseat but instead use this opportunity to teach them what really matters. Acknowledge their accomplishments but also keep reminding them that you are proud of them just the way are. Acceptance is all they crave.
3. Let Her Take The Lead When It Comes To Quality Time
The best thing you can do is to spend quality time with her on her own terms. This will help you know her interests and likes and connect better. It can be as simple as listening to her favourite song or watching her favourite sitcom with her. The important thing is to let her take the lead. It will make her feel that you are genuinely interested in her as a person and that you care enough to make the effort to know her better.
4. Be An Ally
Teenage years can be quite hard. They have a lot on their plate, what with dealing with all the physical changes, peer pressure, and self-doubt. It can be a stressful time and your daughter needs your support. You may not even understand all aspects of it but don’t dismiss it as something insignificant. Show her that you’ll always support and comfort her and will be available whenever she wants to vent. The simple fact that she has a constant through all the ups and downs will make all the difference.
5. Model Healthy Relationships
Adolescence is the time when girls get involved in real-life relationships (crushes don’t count) and it is imperative that you set the right example. Sometimes it so happens that girls get drawn into toxic and dangerous relationships. Instead of rectifying the mistake, it is better to prevent it and skip the heartbreak. Kids learn from home and observe more than you realize. So if you have a loving, supportive relationship where both partners respect each other, the chances are that your daughter will also want a similar relationship where she is valued and respected. She will deem it her right to deserve such a partner.