Theme for June: Fathers!
Dads are such an important part of a boys growing up. Dad is the guy who the son looks to for direction and guidance. I recall one time when our family was on an outing with another family and my husband was offered a cigar. I overheard my eight-year-old son say to his seven-year-old sister, “I knew Dad would say no.” Our kids are definitely watching us.
A dad’s impact on his daughter is no less great but often much more subtle. How he treats his daughter sets in motion the type of man she will look for in a spouse. One dad I know “dates” his daughter. He opens the car door for her, pulls out her chair, listens to what she has to say. He is deliberately modeling what to expect from a young man. This smart dad is laying the ground work for positive relationships with men for the future. The girl who feels connected to and respected by her dad will look for the same type of healthy relationship with a boy.
Not only does a father impact future relationship choices, he also plays a large role in his daughter’s self-worth. One small comment about baby fat, could be the trigger for an eating disorder. A dad that only compliments or acknowledges his daughter’s appearance rather than her character or heart may also jump start anorexia, bulimia, or even promiscuity.
Scary, huh? Being a dad carries a lot of responsibility. It is such an important job. One to take seriously. Build relationships with your kids and the respect will follow. Moms help out your man by supporting his relationships with your children.
Parenting Tip: Dad guide your son and date your daughter. Don’t just say she looks pretty. Tell her how you love the way she is kind to her friends. Reinforce those desirable character traits. If you don’t already know your kid’s favorite band, friend, activity, food-find out. Spend time getting to know your child (children).
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.