Fathers Have Important Impact On Their Daughters

By Jessica Fehrenbacher

There is no denying the importance of a father’s relationship with his children. For girls, a father is often one of the first male influences in her life. A father’s guidance in his daughter’s life affects her self-esteem and confidence, while setting the stage for how she will view herself throughout her life. Dr. Meg Meeker delves into the topic in her article “Why Daughters Need Their Dads.”

“If you fully understood just how profoundly you can influence your daughter’s life, you would be overwhelmed,” Meeker says.

Fathers must work to be good role models for their daughters. Daughters will observe their actions, words and responses to situations. Loving and attentive fathers boost their child’s self-esteem and provide stability to their daughters.

“When she’s in your company, your daughter tries harder to excel. When you teach her, she learns more rapidly. When you guide her, she gains confidence,” Meeker continues.

Dads face an immense responsibility, with all that young women deal with in today’s world. While fathers may want to protect their daughters from some of the more awful realities of the world, they can’t ignore all of the bad that exists – drug and alcohol use, promiscuity and predators, to name a few. There are enormous influences on young girls and teens. When they are barraged with issues, they will look for guidance and support from a trusting adult.

Meeker talks about the four M influences of: MTV, music, movies, and magazines. The good news for dads is that these influences don’t even come close to the influence of a father.

“A lot of research has been done on this – and fathers always come out on top. The effects of loving, caring fathers on their daughters’ lives can be measured in girls of all ages.”

This immense influence may seem like a daunting task, but it is also an incredible honor for fathers. Meeker believes that boyfriends, brothers even husbands don’t shape the character of a woman in the way a father does. Fathers need to meet the challenges head on. Their daughters are worth it.

Jessica Fehrenbacher is the Make a Difference Grant Program Manager at Youth Resources.