Dear Mothers of Daughter’s,
Before reading my article today, I want you to go back in memory to your childhood, and ask yourself, what kind of man was your father?
We will come back to this a little later.
The reality is if you are reading this, half of you, grew up in a divorced home.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where the divorce rate succeeds marriage. Children often become the victims of their parent’s divorce. If you grew up in a single parent home, with or without a father involved in your childhood, you likely want your daughter to have everything and so much more than what you ever had as a girl growing up. It’s safe to say most of us want what’s best for our children, so that they grow up happy in every aspect of their personal lives and professional lives.
Today, I want to focus on women who are in the midst of a divorce/ potential custody battle with the father who wants to co parent in a shared custody arrangement. I also want to talk about women who date emotionally unavailable men, who also find themselves constantly in a relationship with men who mistreat them. There is a reason for this. If you think you have just had a string of really bad luck, then my wish is that you take the time you truly deserve, and ask yourself why you are stuck in this cycle, of choosing men who hurt or reject you.
If you feel that you should have complete control over your children’s future without the father having equal regard, then I want you to ask yourself why you feel that the other parent is less important to your children than you?
I believe this world is full of wonderful, supportive, loving, respectful, loyal, dedicated men/husbands/fathers. I know they exist because I married a great man.
So how did I find such a great man, and a loving father to his daughters? Was it sheer luck? I don’t think so. I believe it all boils down to my dad.
Yep, that’s right my dad. I grew up with a great male role model in regards to the first Man in my life. My dad played an equal role in my life as did my mom. I respect my parents for teaching me about parental equality. My dad wasn’t just a pay check who came home to eat meals and then go lay on the couch to watch football. Nope, my dad taught me many things. He taught me how to ride a bike, play soccer, helped me with my homework, how to swim, and most importantly how to respect myself.
Married parents in general, unknowingly, tend to under estimate father’s roles in their daughter’s lives.
As a mom of an extremely high spirited toddler, my husband’s relationship with her, is equally important to me as my own relationship with her. Here’s the thing though, even in 2016, it astonishes me, how society leans heavily on the idea that mother’s play a far more important role in their children’s upbringing. Fathers are equally important.
If you can’t see the value of father’s you are robbing your children of a bright future. It fairly obvious with TV commercials, the mockery of father’s, and portraying them as the “babysitter”, incapable along with the gender bias within the family court system, that father’s do not receive the same respect or parental rights as mothers do.
It’s time to break this cycle. Our children’s future depends on it.
Too many daughters are growing up without a strong male role model. Too many young women are struggling with developing healthy relationships later on in life. I don’t know about you, but as a woman and a mom, I want both our daughters, if they chose to marry, to marry someone worthy of their hearts. How are they supposed to grow up knowing what kind of character of man is worthy of their heart, if they are unable to grow up with a father who is meant to teach them about love. As mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters, we should all be extremely concerned about protecting the unique bond between our daughters relationship with their fathers.
As a mother, if you are not equally invested in embracing your daughter’s relationship with her father, you are setting her up for failure.
Now I want to be clear, I am talking about willing, capable, loving and supportive fathers. I am talking about Fathers who want to be involved in their daughter’s lives, and yet after a divorce or separation, they are reduced to a “visitor” or limited to a weekend parent.
Mom’s, I know it seems like a long time ago, but do you remember how hard it was growing up during pre-teen years. Even some of us who were confident girls, still struggled with self-esteem issues. When it comes to the impact fathers have on their daughter’s future, we all need to start paying closer attention to how much our daughters need their fathers. Girls need their fathers more now than ever before, especially in the most critical years during puberty and teen years. Girls who grow up without fathers actively involved, are at a higher risk of teen pregnancy. As much as I would be very excited to become a grandmother one day, I certainly don’t want our daughters to become moms before they have had an opportunity to complete their education and pursue their dreams in any career they choose.
In a mother centric society, it saddens me that fathers get very little recognition for their role in raising daughters. Everyone talks about how sons need their fathers, and although this too is very true and important, there seems to be a missing link in regards to the impact fathers have on their daughter’s success in life. In fact I hear it all the time from a vast majority of single moms who believe that their relationship with their daughters are more important than their relationship with the daughter’s father.
A confident, capable mother will never fear or envy the close relationship and attachment bond of her children with their father. If you have feelings of fear, jealousy, or lack confidence, look back to where this might stem from. It’s important that you work through these insecurities so that you can break that cycle for your daughter.
When you think back to early childhood, your father is the first male that you come to intimately know. Your dad can set the stage for how you interact in future relationships, especially with men. If you can keep an open mind, and moms please don’t take offense, but fathers have a bigger impact (negative or positive) on their daughters “self-esteem” than mothers do. I grew up with a supportive, encouraging, and honorable father. My dad is a man of his word, respect, loyalty and trust is the foundation of who he is. My mom is his best friend. I have always admired my parent’s marriage and their relationship.
How your father treats you growing up, and your mother, will determine what you will seek out in your relationships with men.
My father set the pathway to my ideal search for the right partner. Using my father’s examples of a positive male role model, unknowingly at the time, was the primary reason I found the man I married. Your very own mother’s relationship with your father (or lack of) has a profound effect on how you view women, and how you view yourself worth. If you grew up with a supportive and loving dad, you will look to mimic these positive qualities in other men.
Fathers have this unique ability to inspire their daughter’s, and daughters give their father power like no other male in their life.
In separated or divorced families, Mothers and Fathers can continue to work together to provide their daughter’s in a loving and respectful environment between the separated parents.
It isn’t a competition.
Children need both of their parent’s and the more involved a father is in his children’s lives, the more the children will benefit growing up with both mom and dad equally involved. If you are not with your children’s father the best thing you can do for your children is co parent with a 50/50 arrangement.
Girls need their daddies. Even more importantly, is a father’s level of involvement in his daughter’s activities. It may sound silly, but things such as eating meals together, going on outings, attending your daughter’s swimming lessons, helping her with homework, reading together, and spending father daughter dates are all associated with fewer behavior problems in girls. Dads who are actively involved in their daughter’s lives, tend to have daughters who have higher levels of sociability, and higher levels of school performance among girls and adolescents. Research confirms, again and again, that a father plays a unique role in the development of his daughter’s self-esteem, behavior, life choices and relationships.
When it comes to the specific father-daughter relationship your Dad’s involvement is uniquely influential. Most psychologists believe, that all future romantic relationships that occur in a girl’s life, will be influenced positively or negatively by the way she perceives and interacts with her dad.
If you are still reading this, then I would like to ask you, to ask yourself, what kind of father was your dad?
If you had a shitty childhood because your dad wasn’t around by his choice, in abandoning you, surely you don’t want that for your daughter? Or if your dad was unable to be a part of your life because your mother alienated him from your life, surely you don’t want your daughter growing up with that kind of resentment, anger and pain.
If your ex wants shared parenting, look at it this way, she is loved, by you both so much, she will reap the benefits of two loving homes. She will grow up knowing and feeling loved. If your daughter can grow up with a dad who is warm and nurturing, she will likely look for a partner to equal to her dad. Who doesn’t want the best for their daughter?
If my daughters decide to marry one day, the man in their lives will have really big shoes to fill, because their daddy is an incredible man.
If your ex husband is a great father allow him to continue to be a great father, even if your marriage is over. There is so much that she will learn from you both. But there are things she will need to learn from her father. For example, if your daughter grows up with a dad who thinks his daughter is beautiful, worthy, and feminine, and praises her, she will be inclined to see herself that way.
I may upset a lot of mothers with my next comment, but I believe it is your father who gives you your self –confidence. Practically speaking, your dad has the opportunity to demonstrate to you how a man treats a woman. Your dad sets the standard for your future relationships with men. When a young woman grows up with a healthy loving relationship with her father it can greatly dictate the man that she chooses to spend her life with.
When a woman can have the gift of a wonderful loving relationship with her father she will grow up to be a woman who is not looking for a man to fill that void but to be with a man that she can share her love and life with. Many times we think that the first love of a woman’s life is her first boyfriend or her husband but the truth is the first person that is the love of a woman’s life is her father, or it should be in a healthy good father daughter relationship. As a child the first man that you will love is your dad and that love will be part of who you are and who you become. When a girl has a father that teaches her respect for herself, shows her by example how to be kind to women, helps her to build her character and guides her to loving herself, she will hold that feeling of self-respect and love throughout her life.
Studies have found that girls with good communication with their fathers also have significantly better communication with their boyfriends when compared to girls with low communication with their fathers. Girls with high levels of trust with their fathers also have significantly better communication and trust with their boyfriends. Women who had issues with their fathers and several negative experiences tend to repeat that cycle with their partners and their husbands.
Now it doesn’t mean that every woman who had a horrible father, or an absentee father will turn out to marry a man just like their father, but the chances you will struggle in life with your own relationships are very likely. It really isn’t rocket science, and I am certainly no genius, but it makes perfect sense to me how we choose the men we choose as partners and who we have to blame or thank for in choosing our partners. Plenty of studies and research that tell us that Fathers who play an active role in their daughters life, tend to have daughters who do better in school and go on to college or university.
For single mothers, if your ex wants to be an equal parent in raising your children, don’t be the one that prevents your kids from having a healthy relationship with their dad. If you are recently going through a divorce please don’t be the reason your daughter’s relationship becomes strained with her father. If you have been divorced for a few years now, and the father wants to co parent 50/50 with you, it’s never to late to change the parenting arrangement, please consider your daughters future, and her basic human right to have an equally loving relationship with her dad.
Help her to be the confident person she so desperately wants to be, by embracing the value and importance of a father daughter bond. Don’t be the reason to hold her back, be the reason she succeeds by supporting her right to a healthy loving relationship with you and with her father.
I am grateful for my father, and the relationship I’ve had with him, because of him, I married an amazing man.