Why Daughters Need their Dads!
“When a girl’s first date is with her father,
all other men must measure up.”
But what happens when a girl’s father is not actively engaged in her life?
Often times she makes poor relationship choices, becomes sexually active at a young age and spends the rest of her life questioning why her father did not love her enough to want to be a part of her life.
A teen girl tells us why:
We were discussing the “father issue” in class one day and a young lady gave the following explanation as to why many young ladies make poor relationship decisions and do not always demand to be treated with respect or recognize their value:
“A father sets the bar on how girls expect to be treated. Girls know their fathers are supposed to protect, love and cherish them. When fathers aren’t there for them in that way, some girls tend not to expect that from the guys they date. They figure if their own fathers don’t protect, love and cherish them maybe it’s because they don’t deserve it.”
I think there is a lot of truth to her observation. But I also think some young ladies make poor relationship and sexual decisions simply because they want to feel loved.
Looking for love in all the wrong places!
I cannot count the number of times I have read a letter from a girl who said the reason she had sex for the first time was because the boy was the first male who made her feel special.
In a healthy society, a girl’s father would be the first male to make her feel special. Unfortunately, we do not live in a healthy society. As a result, we have young ladies who are running into the arms of boys expecting the boys to give them validation, acceptance and value when that is not the boys’ role.
“My father has always been around but is very unsupportive of me. We argue a lot because he feels I’m not the daughter he wanted. We talk, but not very much. I feel that’s the reason I do the things I do because I’ve always kind of wanted to be loved and accepted by a male figure.”
Unfortunately, many young ladies who become sexually active in order to gain acceptance and validation from a male do not even realize the real reason for their actions until it is brought to their attention.
“I also have had father issues my whole life. That makes me look for love in all the wrong places now. After listening to everything you said, I feel like I now know why I did certain things in life. The reason for my wrong choices never really hit me until you came…I thank you so much for speaking with us and inspiring me to change for the better. If there is another girl out there like me, I hope she will hear your messages before she makes the wrong choices.”
A message to fathers
I say to all the fathers out there who are absent, rejecting or harsh, that you are setting your daughter up to be “picked off” by the first young man who comes along and tells her she is pretty and makes her feel wanted. She will be like putty in his hands.
How fathers help keep their teen daughters from becoming sexually active:
- Fathers provide the love and validation every girl longs for so she does not have to seek love and validation from another male.
- The teenage girl who has a good relationship with her father AND knows that her father disapproves of her being sexually active is more likely to refrain from sex to avoid disappointing her father.
- Engaged fathers “school” their daughters about what the average teenage guy is thinking. They also educate their daughters on the manipulative things some guys will do just to get what they want.
What can parents do?
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- If you are a father, make sure you are present (not just physically, but emotionally as well) in your daughter’s life to model what REAL love looks like. Show her that she deserves to be protected and cherished by any young man who wants to be in her life. Be her first date!
- If you are a mother and your daughter’s father is not in her life, share this post with her father and appeal to him to step up in order to protect his daughter from making poor relationship/sexual decisions. If it is not possible for the father to be in the picture, find another older male WHO YOU CAN TRUST (older brother, minister, uncle, etc.), that can educate your daughter from a male perspective on this issue.
- Education is key! Share this post along with my previous post with your daughter!
I also highly recommend that fathers read Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker. In this book, Dr. Meeker shares ten secrets every father needs to know in order to strengthen or rebuild bonds with his daughter and shape her life, and his own, for the better.
What do you think?
Do you have any suggestions on what can be done to keep girls from making poor sexual decisions because they do not have a good relationship with their fathers? If so, please share them so others can learn from your experiences?
Monica NixonMay 25, 2013 at 9:43 am
I may sound like a broken record, but again this was a wonderful post. I grew up one of four daughters. My father was the only man in our home. My daddy was present in so many ways – strong provider and protector. And he loved us dearly. Yet I still saw evidence in my young adult life (not teen years) where I was missing something that only he could have given. Those missing pieces played out in the form of unhealthy and often abusive relationships. It's important to note that many fathers don't intend to be emotionally aloof or absent. They are simply doing the best with what they know, which was often either passed down from their fathers or pieced together along the way in the absence of their fathers. That's why the work you're doing is so valuable because you are being used to fill in the blanks, in some cases for both young women AND young men. These young men will go on to be fathers with a healthier understanding of their role with their sons and daughters. As you know I miss my daddy like CRAZY. As I look back over his life I see nothing but his love for the women in his house, and I am thankful that my Heavenly Father filled in the gaps no fallible earthly man ever could anyway. Many blessings to you Jackie for letting The Lord use you in this wonderful way.
Jackie BrewtonMay 26, 2013 at 4:53 pm
Monica, Once again, thanks for those powerful insights. I think you're right: "many fathers don't intend to be emotionally aloof or absent. They are simply doing the best with what they know, which was often either passed down from their fathers or pieced together along the way in the absence of their fathers." I'm hoping that fathers will understand that it is NEVER too late to learn how to be a better father. I also pray that the young ladies will find the love that they are longing for in God's arms rather than from expecting it from a boy who may not have their best interest at heart! Blessings to you as well!
ShelleyMay 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm
I am living proof of someone whose father was not involved in her life. There was never any give and take, no conversation, barely any interaction. I spent wasted years searching for someone to love me and to give me a sense of worth. I had parents who were really grandparents due to their age at which they adopted me. They gave me everything I needed, but themselves. Thank goodness, the Lord found me before my life was ruined.
Jackie BrewtonMay 28, 2013 at 10:34 pm
Thank you Shelley for taking the time to share your story. Unfortunately your story is much more common than it should be! I too am glad the Lord found you! Blessings to you!
JulieAugust 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm
every young woman needs a dad's loving approval/unconditional acceptance and love.
Don FritschJanuary 25, 2014 at 12:12 am
In the number two paragraph of; What can a parent do? I would like it to be acknowledged and talked about when what's a father to do when the mother takes these opportunities away from the daughter by not letting her be with her father simply out of spite.
Jackie BrewtonJanuary 25, 2014 at 6:58 pm
Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, the scenario you mention happens all too often and I regret not addressing it in the post. I've even had conversations with teen moms who are depriving their children from seeing their fathers. I am quick to tell them that as long as the fathers are not putting their children in harms way, they don't have that right to keep their children away from them because it is not fair to the children. It is such a seflish decision.
JackieMay 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm
For a father that's dealing with a mother that makes it difficult to be in his daughter's life, I think he should try to send the daughter special cards in the mail or maybe see if he can have lunch with her at her school. It would be something to show his daughter that he thinks about her.
JeanwildcatApril 13, 2015 at 11:53 am
This is a slippery slope. While I believe that it is good for daughters AND sons to have mom and dad, I disagree with the placing too high of a regard for the father over the mother. With this, we fail to recognize and show value for the like gender parent, the mother. This would be like me creating the notion that the mother is the parent who should teach and guide the son. See how foolish this sounds?
Women, please stop joining these crusades that exalt men over us. This is so wrong! Men would not allow women to say that mothers are more important to the son. Get some sense, women!
Jackie BrewtonApril 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm
Thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. I totally agree that children (sons AND daughters) need both parents. My post was not meant to imply that the father is more important than the mother. Unfortunately, the father just happens to be the one that is most often missing, for whatever reason. All of my posts are based on what I hear from teens every day in the classroom. Statistics would also confirm that single parent homes are most often headed by mothers. In no way am I exhalting men over women. And I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear. In an ideal world, the mother and father would share equally in the child rearing.
antonyalbertJune 20, 2015 at 3:46 pm
It is 100 percent true what you discussed in your post because I am living with the same situation. As a father having two teen aged son,17, and daughter,16, migrated from south asia to north america and embraced strong catholic traditional values it was a big challenge to maitain a balanced way of life specially in raising my children. Also my wife is so traditional and religious. At the initial stage of settlement, there were so many heated arguments between my wife and the daughter in adating two different cultures. So I realized the challenges my daughter undergoes and quickly I changed myself as a true supportive, lovable father in her way of life. This has given her tremendous progress in her studies, social life, personnel character and confidence. I always tell her that whatever the way you want to go, I am always with you, but you should maintain my confidence, and accordingly she is like that. A simple suggestion for fathers who escaped from their farherhood, if you want to be really loved and enjoy the real meaning of love, be a good, lovable and supportive father to your daughters. Then you will get it back.
Jackie BrewtonJune 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm
Thank you so much for your comment. Great job dad! So glad you figured it out and things are working out positively for your daughter. Keep up the great work!
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