Single parenting is a challenge at the best of times, but for dads raising daughters it’s very often the biggest test of their lives. However despite this, the dads and daughters teams seem to cope extremely well.
This is especially so if there is a woman’s influence in both his life and his daughter’s life. This woman could be Dad’s mother or mother-in-law, his sister, cousin or a friend.
Raising a daughter alone for a man is certainly easier when the daughter is younger, but if the foundations are solid, his daughter’s teenage years should run pretty smoothly.
Let’s face it, as a single dad you are going to make mistakes, all parents do, whether they are married or single. But if you are open with your daughter about your intentions, your reasons for making certain choices, and your mistakes your daughter will grow up learning to respect you, not just as her dad, but as a male figure as well.
All about communication
Keeping the communication gates wide open is the first step to building a relationship of trust and one of feeling protected and safe. But at the same time don’t get caught up in a cycle of being over protective as she needs space to grow and develop her own personality and coping skills.
Most men adopt the -Mr Fix It role in life but this can do damage when it comes to Daddy’s little girl. Your daughter may want to talk to you about a problem she is having. She probably just wants you to listen so don’t go barging in trying to fix all her problems. She has to learn to deal with things on her own. If you try to fix all her problems all the time she will more than likely fall shy of telling you anything.
We know the old saying -men don’t cry , born from a society that believes men should suppress their emotions. But underneath that strong exterior are real feelings. By making sure you are a part of as many events and stages of your little girl’s life as possible, you will be able to form a closer emotional bond with her.
Your daughter needs your time and your attention. Do one-on-one things with her as she will be searching for validation from you and in getting such, her self-esteem will grow too.
Back to the basics
As a single father to a daughter you have the opportunity to create a lasting and extremely strong bond. But what are the basics?
- Be cool and don’t over-react. Reacting adversely to situations will likely cause her to shut you out
- Eat at least one meal alone together everyday
- Get involved in her life, even if it means you have to spend every Saturday watching her at ballet classes
- Be calm and collected about the way you offer her advice
- Do things together
- Get to know her friends so that you are aware of the type of people she is hanging around with
- Encourage her to solve her problems with good, solid advice from you
- Teach her that she can come to you with any problem.
Dad-daughter relationships can be the strongest relationships if handled correctly. So before you blow a fuse over something, stop, and think about the consequences.