By Chantelle Cotton
When a woman is pregnant with a child, it’s an exciting time. Everyone around is trying to guess what the sex of the child will be. If it’s a boy, everyone buys blue things. If it’s a girl, pink things; cute little dresses, dolls and purses are bought just to name a few. Once that little girl is born, and after she has been placed into her mother’s arms, she (hopefully) at some point will be held by her Father. This is the first man that she will lay eyes on and the first man that she will grow to love, unconditionally. There’s something about a little girl and the bond she has with her father, he automatically goes into protective mode and makes comments to family and friends that she won’t ever date until she is 18, in some cases 21. Everyone usually laughs and jokes about it, but as that little girl grows, she learns to admire her father. She gets excited to see him every time he walks in the door and she wants him to spend all of his free time with her!
‘Daddy’s little girl’ is what we call her, and before the father knows it, that pretty little girl has him wrapped around her little tiny finger. The love and affection that a father shows to his daughter while she is growing up and becoming a teen, and then later a grown woman, will shape, mold and set expectations for things in her life when she goes out into the real world. The way he talks to her, the way he treats her, the things he says to her, all will play a critical part in the process of a young girl growing up… and becoming a confident woman. Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick states in How Father’s Influence Daughters: “A dad’s involvement in his daughter’s life is a crucial ingredient in the development of a young woman’s self-esteem”. If the father teaches his daughter about boys when she is young and tells her what she can expect, when she is faced with a situation she will know how to respond favorably. When she becomes a teenager and begins dating, if the father has taken his daughter on dates, where he opens doors and pulls out chairs for her, then he has shown her how she should be treated by the opposite sex…and set a standard that his little girl will not waiver on, and will expect from every potential suitor in the future.
For example, if the father opens the door for his daughter and keeps her on the inside to shield and protect her while they are walking, then more than likely if a boy she dates does not do the same it can be deemed as not acceptable behavior. Another example, could be telling his daughter how precious her virginity is and what it means to stay pure until marriage, hearing that from a father could possibly hold more weight than from a mother because a man is whom a woman will give herself to. All little girls look up to their fathers for many things; for love, affection, protection and to be provided for, such are the same things she will also look for in a man when she leaves her parents nest and later marries. It is very important to instill some values and guidelines for a child to follow, so that when they are out there in the world they can make more informed choices and decisions. A father’s love is one that runs very deep within a little girl, it’s something that can never be replaced by anything here on earth, and it is something that is cherished for her entire life. Some men however, may not know where to start with developing these bonds. Here’s some fun and easy ways to show your daughter a fun time, and spend time with her without breaking the bank…
1) Incorporate a Daddy/Daughter day, where the entire day is devoted to her. You both can get dressed up and you can take her out on a “date”. It could be to the movies, to her favorite ice cream shop, or whatever it is that she would like to do. During this time, be sure that you’re talking with her, listening to her, and sharing things about your life and childhood with her. Remember, you are setting the stage for how a date with a boy that she has a crush on should be in the future. While instilling morals and value, you are also building her self-esteem and her self-worth. Give her words of praise and encouragement. Show an interest in her school work, her hopes and dreams. This will make her feel beautiful from the inside out. Let her know that this is the way a beautiful princess should be treated by a man. She will carry that with her for the rest of her life. Making the effort is the most import part in the bonding process of a father and daughter relationship, she will love the attention and it will not go unnoticed.
2) Family Night At Home. Create an environment in the home that is fun and enjoyable. Find some movies that you can watch together, buy a pizza kit and some popcorn. Make those items together and then sit in the living room area or family room and watch movies, tell jokes, share things about your day and hers. Invite her other siblings if she has any and any other family members so that you can all enjoy bonding together. Demonstrating this type of quality time will show her how you interact with others, including her, can only gain positive results in the future.
The bond that is developed between a father and his daughter is one that can greatly help increase the future self-esteem of that child. A father showing his respect for her, and demonstrating his respect for women, will truly set the bar for what she will one day deem acceptable or unacceptable treatment from a man in the future. It may take a little time, effort, and energy, but it’s worth it to see your little girl’s bright smile for her first love, her hero, her Daddy, in the end!
B.L.O.G. Magazine Contributing Writer
Chantelle Cotton is an advocate for teen pregnancy prevention, self-love, and positive self-esteem. She is the President and Founder of Why Do I Say Yes…When I Should be saying NO! program as well as the Author of her first handbook for teens & young adults called ”I Promise Me” and her upcoming book Why Do I say “yes” When I should be saying NO!. for woman. For more information please visit www.WhyDoISayYes.com or email at email@example.com