In Asian societies like Singapore, dads tend to step aside when it comes to daughters, leaving mums to meet their needs. Is it because as little girls grow into young women, they begin to talk about princesses, panties and periods; and roll their eyes at soccer, superheroes and Star Wars. But this doesn’t mean that daddies should act nonchalent and just buddy up with sons instead. Studies show that a father’s presence makes a world of difference to a daughter’s life. And a rock-solid relationship with dad can affect major decisions that his daughter makes in the future, such as whom she’ll pick as her future husband.
If you’re not sure how to, here are three easy ways:
Learn To Listen
When your daughter shares about her day with you, pay attention. She’s telling you all these because she believes her day is worth sharing with someone she considers important in her life. As she grows older, it might turn into serious discussions about her life. Most of the time, girls require a listening ear more than hearing what you might have to say. Practise active listening without judgement or offering advice. Only make comments to clarify and better understand her thoughts and feelings.
Get Involved With Her Interests
Support your daughter in the hobbies that she picks up and refrain from putting down her interests as “girly” or “a waste of time”. Find out what she enjoys about the sports she plays or even why she might be uninterested to certain activities that you prefer. This can encourage her to step outside of her comfort zone. If possible, get involved such as coaching her sports team, taking her to her lessons, or simply attending her games, recitals, and ballet performances. Don’t forget to compliment her on her achievements and for the dedication she shows in pursuing her passions.
Be Open About Your Struggles
It’s not easy being a father and the rock of the family but there is value in allowing yourself to display vulnerability from time to time. It might be unlikely that you would ask your daughter for advice, but opening up about your struggles could be the green light she needs to share hers with you as well. Sharing how you solve problems can also teach her a thing or two about pro-social and effective problem-solving.