This post: 18 Things Every Dad Should Say to Raise Strong Confident Daughters
“Dad told us we were beautiful, that there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish, and that he would always be there for us. We believed him then, and we believe him now.”
When I talked with my daughters about the relationship they have with their Dad, that was what they had to say.
As much as I’d like to say that my influence in my daughters’ lives has carried enough weight to prepare them for adulthood, I’ve realized that, in some ways, my influence pales in comparison to the powerful influence their Dad has in their lives.
Not to discount my role as their mom, but their Dad was their first love, their first fair, honest, and trustworthy leader, and the first person who authoritatively established defined boundaries in their lives. As my husband would later realize, the pedestal our girls placed him on was both a blessing and a curse, tested daily through his words, actions, reactions, and decisions.
As one might expect, as my girls have matured, their view of their Dad has become more “humanized” and although he might very well have been knocked off the “pillar of perfection” they once had him on, he will, regardless, always be their hero.
The impact a father has on his daughter’s life reaches far beyond the role of provider and protector. Everything from self-confidence and body image to how she approaches future romantic relationships, her education, and career success are all tied to the relationship a girl has with her father.
It all starts when girls are very young. As they grow and mature, they often view their self-worth through their father’s eyes.
If Dad says she’s beautiful, then she is; if Dad says she’s a fantastic soccer player, then she is; if Dad says there’s nothing she can’t accomplish in life, then there isn’t.
The guidance and steadfast praise a daughter hears from her father throughout her influential years, especially the teen years, stays with her for life.
According to Dr. Meg Meeker, author of the book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, “There is a strength and authority that comes with a father that daughters need. The time a girl really needs her dad to engage in her life, have an open dialogue, and be there for support is during the teenage years.”
To become a strong, confident woman, a daughter needs her father’s attention, respect, praise, wisdom, and guidance. Above all, she needs to hear and be reminded how he feels about her…and, not just from time to time, but as an ongoing part of her daily life.
If a father strives to give one thing to his daughter throughout her life, it should be the ability for his daughter to view herself through his eyes… only then will she realize just how special she is.
~ author unknown
So, for all the Dads out there, your actions certainly speak loudly, but your words can be just as powerful. Here are a few simple messages you can relay to your daughter(s) to empower her to become a strong, resilient, self-confident woman.
1. I Love You
2. I’m So Proud of You
3. I’m Here For You, Always
4. You’re Beautiful Both Inside and Out
5. Never Allow Yourself to Be Pressured by Anyone
6. You Can Accomplish Anything You Set Your Mind To
7. I Believe In You
8. Protect Your Heart and Give it to Only Those Who Are Deserving
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Road Less Traveled
10. Stand Strong – You Are What You Allow in Life
11. As You Venture Through Life, Stay Close to God and True to Yourself
12. The Only Person You Ever Have to Compete with is Yourself
13. You Are Very Special… To Me, To Your Family, To the World
14. Remember, Your Goal Should Be to Turn Hearts, Not Heads
15. You Have a Purpose in this Life. Follow Your Heart and You’ll Find It
16. Don’t Worry About Fitting In… You Were Born to Stand Out
17. When Life Gets Hard, Just Remember Whose Daughter You Are
18. You Are a Gift
Fathers, be your daughter’s first love. Open doors, pull out her chair, treat her with respect, give her unconditional love, protect and guide her in life and love. Teach her to never settle for anything less than she deserves… only then will you give her what she needs to face the world as a strong, confident woman.