Every dad who has a daughter knows that no matter how old she may get, she will always be “daddy’s little girl”. There’s just something special about the bond between a father and a daughter that’s both unique and precious. My 17 year-old daughter and I have a stronger relationship now than we’ve ever had, and I’m extremely thankful for that.
Yet, despite the natural flow of a daddy/daughter relationship, there are some things that you must know and stay conscious of as your daughter grows if you want to maintain a thriving and successful relationship.
Here’s 3 things every girl’s daddy needs to know:
1. Your Little Girl was Created to Need Male Leadership.
Little girls are made with an instinctive need to be led by by fatherly love and leadership. And nothing can fill that need as effectively in their life as you, dad. You are not only their night in shining armor and their biggest hero, you are their spiritual leader.
Just as God gave Adam to Eve, God has given you to your daughter to lead her spiritually until the time comes that you hand that responsibility off to her future husband.
Right now, your little girl is counting on you to guide her emotionally, relationally, and especially spiritually, and to help her navigate the challenges of growth and life. This requires that you be giving attention to your own spiritual life and well-being. To lead and grow her spiritually, you’ve got to be first leading and growing yourself.
God created her to need your leadership in her life and to need the balance of firmness and gentleness that only you can bring.
2. Your Little Girl was Created With a Craving for Male Affection.
Girls crave and cherish the emotional and physical affection of their fathers. And statistically, girls who are shown regular affection from their fathers do better in life.
Regardless of their age, daughters need fatherly affection, however, consider these powerful findings of teenage girls from Meg Meeker’s book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters:
- Daughters who perceive that their fathers care a lot about them, and who feel connected to their fathers, have fewer instances of body dissatisfaction, depression, low self-esteem, substance use, and unhealthy weight.
- Girls with involved fathers are twice as likely to stay in school.
- A daughter’s self-esteem is best predicted by her father’s physical affection.
- Girls with a father figure feel more protected, have higher self-esteem, are more likely to attempt college, and are less likely to drop out of college.
- Girls with fathers who are involved in their lives have higher quantitative and verbal skills and higher intellectual functioning.
- Girls with good fathers are less likely to flaunt themselves to seek male attention.
- Fathers help daughters become more competent, more achievement-oriented, and more successful.
- Girls with involved fathers have lower rates of teen pregnancy.