Fathers Making a Difference
“As the primary role model in a girl’s life, fathers influence their daughters in profound ways, from how they see themselves to what they come to expect fro men and the world at large. But men often don’t realize the importance of their interactions or may shy away from too close involvement because of their inexperience or conditioning. Adolescence is a time when daughters most need their fathers.” JOE KELLY
“Every father can make a huge difference in his daughter’s life. A father is the first man his daughter knows. He has the ability to set the norm of manliness for her and can reduce the odds of his daughter being caught in a cultural strait jacket that limits their options and behaviour because of gender.”
Dr Mary Piper in “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls” (Ballantine 1996) offers some helpful advice on raising girls.
“A girl silences herself because she encounters a culture that still encourages her, in ways both subtle and blatant to put her own needs second. A culture that is uncomfortable with girls who know what they want and expect to get it. Girl’s complaints are frequently labeled as shining, bitchiness, self centred and unladylike. A girl feels good about herself when she is loud and bold.
“People (sometimes within her family) begin to see her as a sexual object rather than as a person… rewarding her for her looks, passivity and being soft spoken rather than for her passions, insights and beliefs.”
“Fathers are in the unique position to encourage their daughters to speak up and rewarding them when they do. The best way to do this is to actively listen to our daughters.”
“You feel more comfortable with your son than your daughter… Those fathers who have a very strong masculine identity, who perhaps are very athletic, demonstrate a clear preference for spending time with their sons than their daughters.
On the other hand, having a closer relationship with your daughter will facilitate the development of your interpersonal sensitivities and emotionally empathic capacities. Your daughter can push you to more fully realize all aspects of your self. DR. AARON HASS “The Gift of Fatherhood”