My husband and I laughed so hard at this you tube clip. I hope it isn’t because I am like the woman referred to in the video!
I think most women agree they can give their husband’s a hard time, especially when it comes to parenting. I often feel sorry for blokes who are trying so hard but don’t feel they are doing anything right. So today I am backing up the men and talking about the role a father can play in his teenage girl’s life.
This is what a father figure can mean to a teenage girl…
– Father, daughter relationships don’t have to resemble mother, daughter relationships. I have met many fathers who feel inadequate because they can’t give their daughter the same support that their mother’s can give their daughters. The good news is that the two relationships SHOULD look completely different.
– An engaged, loving father should provide a sense of security for his daughter. Only fathers can look a boyfriend in the eye and say, “Have her home by 10 or you will have to answer to me.” It doesn’t pack the same punch coming from a mother. Neither do the words, “Take care of her or I’ll kick your ass”, “Touch her and you’ll regret the day you were born” or “If you break her heart I’ll kill you”….all which I obviously can’t endorse but have seen worked brilliantly on so many occasions! Girls should have a sense that their father’s will protect them. I love it when fathers tell their girls, “If anyone hurts you they will have me to answer to!” Girls need, want and deserve to be protected by a father, or a father figure, or at the very least an older brother who gives a rip whose arm is around his sister.
– God gave fathers to teenage girls just so they could say, “You aren’t going anywhere looking like that!” Because fathers know how males think they are very motivated to monitor their daughter’s dress. A father’s role is to protect their daughters from their oblivious dress sense! Girls rely on their fathers to talk to them about how the male species operates and thinks. They offer girls another perspective that seems to only make sense when it comes from a male’s mouth. “He’s using you”, “He’s a dick on legs”, “There are guys out there that will tell you anything to have sex with you” are phrases that fathers get away with better than mothers.
– Girls rely on their father’s to show them how a man should treat them. They have enough boys in their lives scrutinizing their bums and boobs and their weight. A father can show them that men are interested in more than their looks. They are interested in their personalities, their dreams and their goals. I love it when fathers take their girls out on dates to nice restaurants. It gives them a taste on how they are supposed to be treated. Who would settle for a burger when their father does five star dining?
During one of my parent presentations a father put up his hand and asked me if I thought it was okay for him to take his daughter to the movies. His wife automatically shot up her hand in her defence saying, “I don’t think it is a good use of time. They aren’t talking so it doesn’t count as quality time.” I had to laugh. I would like to suggest that what makes a father, daughter relationship special is that they don’t have to be talking all the time. Fathers provide a relationship where daughters can have a break from talking and that is often exactly what they need!
– Fathers have a unique way of backing their daughter’s dreams and encouraging them to reach for the stars. Maybe it’s the male ego that drives this along, but I love to see a father rooting for his daughter in sports! It’s passionate and competitive and you know he’s there! That’s the type of husband you want for your daughter one day – one that will believe in her and will get behind her 100%.
– There are so many girls who don’t have a maternal father in their life, however, an uncle, a family friend or a grandfather can provide similar support. I do see many cases when even this is not possible. In these cases single mothers can do a great job of fathering their children. Mothers have to be more aware of doing things that fathers would normally do. Fathers typically build foundations of identity, trust, autonomy, initiative and industry, while mothers build character, honesty, kindness, mercy and integrity. If a parent is aware of the qualities a father would normally be responsible for building, they can pick up what they know is missing.
THANK YOU to everyone who has been passing these blog posts on, and for all your kind emails about their impact on your family. If you have a topic you would like me to blog about email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to it as soon as I can.
If you would like to book me to speak at your school or community event email email@example.com.
MOST IMPORTANTLY if your teenager needs support from a psychologist, counsellor or mentor Youth Excel would love to help. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents is available at www.michellemitchell.org for $24.95 plus postage.