Dads, Here’s Why Your Teen Daughter Needs You Now More Than Ever

You're so much more important in your daughter's life than you realize...

by Nancy Reynolds

This Post: Dads, Here’s Why Your Teen Daughter Needs You Now More Than Ever

Read pretty much any article about raising teen girls and you’ll find Moms quite often take the parenting spotlight. Whether it involves boys, periods, acne, or make-up tips, girls often head straight to their Mamas for advice or tips. 

And, even though Moms DO have a lot of the answers and Moms and daughters hold a special (although sometimes bumpy) bond that’s undeniably unique and wonderful, what about Dads? Where do they fit in?

What we don’t talk about enough is how critically important Dads are in their teenage daughters’ lives.

So, Dads, if you’re reading this, listen up… your teen daughter needs you.

Research has shown that your influence, support, and love hold the power to shape your girl’s life in such a profound way. From her mental health and self-confidence to her future romantic relationships and success, you are far more important than you likely realize. 

Dads, Here’s Why Your Teen Daughter Needs You Now More Than Ever


According to an article in the LA Times, Will Glennon, author of the book “Fathering,” interviewed hundreds of dads for his book and found that a girl’s early teen years are precisely when girls need their Dads the most. It also happens to be a time when (a lot of) Dads step back… even Dads who were heavily involved in their daughter’s life when she was little. 

Suddenly, his even-keeled happy-go-lucky daughter starts changing physically, becoming moody, emotional, and sometimes, irrational. And Dad, being the rational, level-headed thinker he is, doesn’t quite know how to handle it, so he retreats. 

Around the same time, teen girls gravitate to friends leaving Dad in the dust feeling swept aside and unsure where he fits into his daughter’s life. 

But Dads… be under no illusion, your teen daughter needs you now more than ever.

You might need to try a little harder.

You might need to keep asking her to go places and do things together – even if she says “No.” (Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg, a longtime researcher on teens and families, found that fathers and daughters do less together than fathers and sons, mothers and sons or mothers and daughters.)

You might need to suck it up, avoid taking her “offish” behavior personally and push to stay close – because she really DOES need you. 

And, you’ll definitely have to work at breaking down stereotypical barriers and avoid thinking, “That’s a girl issue,” or “She needs to talk to her Mom about that,” or “I’m her Dad… she doesn’t want to talk to me about dating, sex or other “girly” topics.” 

Dads, it’s not optional: Your teen daughter needs you to be her hero.” ~ Meg Meeker author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know

10 Ways Your Love, Support, and Guidance Are Impacting Your Daughter’s Life in a BIG Way

1. Empowering Her with Confidence

At a time in her life when she’s questioning herself at every turn and comparing herself to every other girl in school, on the field, and on social media, you become the powerful voice in her head that says, “You’ve got this!” “You CAN do this!” and “You’re beautiful inside and out.” Your daughter will feel empowered knowing YOU think she’s unique, special, and capable of accomplishing anything she sets her mind to. 

One study published in the Journal of North American Psychology found that teen girls who had involved dads in their lives not only had higher self-esteem but they also had greater overall life satisfaction.  

2. Teaching Her Self-Respect

Your guidance and influence can also help your daughter build the confidence she needs to respect herself – her body, her mind, and her instincts – and give her the ability and mental strength to identify and walk away from unhealthy relationships down the road.

When she dates a guy who treats her poorly or when she comes face-to-face with a mean girl, Dads have a unique way of teaching their girls how to stand up for themselves and say, “Oh heck no… I’m NOT putting up with this!”

3. Creating the Gold Standard for Future Romantic Relationships

It’s been said that the best way to teach your daughter about love and respect is to love her mother. Your daughter is watching everything you say and do. Treat her mom (or other females in your life) with respect and you’ll be teaching your daughter how she should expect to be treated in future relationships. 

According to a study by Psychology Today, the quality of a father’s relationship with his daughter is a key predictor of the daughter’s future romantic relationships. The study found that because fathers set the bar for how men should treat their daughters, it helps their daughters strive for and form healthy and respectful relationships with men in the future. 

Another study found that teen girls who have involved Dads in their lives are more likely to delay having sex and have few sexual partners over their lifetime.

4. Encouraging an Adventurous Spirit and Healthy Risk-Taking

Whether she’s trying out for the soccer team, putting herself out there socially, or getting the gumption to travel abroad, your daughter will often gain strength and courage from you.

Of course, your goal as a Dad is to protect your girl. But raising a strong, adventurous, confident girl who isn’t afraid to take (calculated) risks means giving her the freedom to try AND the confidence that she can do it along with the comfort of knowing that her Dad will forever have her back.

5. Lowering Her Risk of Anxiety and Depression

According to a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, tween and teen girls who have a warm, close relationship with their Dads handle everyday stress far better.

They’re also less prone to depression and anxiety and are better able to talk openly about their feelings and emotions. 

6. Setting Her Up for Future Career Success

James Bond, author of The Secret Life of Fathers, found that a father’s influence on his daughter’s career decisions might just surprise most Dads.

From helping your daughter break down career stereotypes and encouraging her to voice her opinions to helping her hone her leadership skills and teaching her how to handle herself in an interview, your daughter will lean on you for guidance, Dad. And all those valuable tips are helping her develop the skills she’ll one day need to take on this world confidently without you. 

According to a study by Forbes, girls who have close relationships with their fathers are more likely to achieve success in their careers, with higher salaries and greater job satisfaction.

7. Teaching Resilience Through Your Words and Example

Rejection, failure, or loss in any area of her life – socially, romantically, or in extracurricular activities – can be devastating. Your intuitive, straightforward pep talks (which are typically far less emotional than moms) can help your daughter stand strong and keep life in perspective.

Whether your daughter bombed a test or lost a big game on the field, she stands to gain from your empowering and uplifting “Don’t let this get you down,” outlook. “Hey, it’s okay… we all lose from time to time. That’s life! Instead of focusing on bombing out, focus on getting back up and trying again. No matter what, “I’m proud of you!”

8. Helping Her Establish a Healthy (and Humorous) Life Perspective 

She might roll her eyes and say things like, “Geez, Dad… you really ARE corny, you know that??” But don’t let that stop you!

Your silly Dad jokes, goofy antics, and funny perspective about life are exactly what she needs – especially when life gets the best of her. 

Try to find (even a hint of) humor in every situation (or, at the very least, dish out a few silly jokes) to keep your daughter smiling. Humor = reduces stress = develops grit.

9. Steering Her Away From Risky Behavior

A study found that girls who have involved fathers in their lives are less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behavior when they’re teenagers mainly because Dads can provide the important and necessary structure and guidance to help their daughters steer clear of risky situations and make good decisions in their lives.

When girls have a strong, mutually respectful relationship with their fathers where they receive support, validation, and approval, they’re more likely to follow their rules and make smart decisions. 

10. Teaching Life Skills She’ll Carry With Her Through Life

Your teen daughter needs you to convince her that she can do and become anything in life. Kick gender roles to the curb and don’t allow society’s expectations to steer her down a preconceived path. Teach her anything and everything you’d teach a son… how to change a tire, invest money, throw a punch (literally and figuratively), and how to compete in sports. 

Also, make sure she knows she can come to you about anything... boys, relationships, sex, hormones, epic mistakes she may have made, and anything else. The more comfortable YOU are talking about what’s lurking in your daughter’s mind, the more comfortable SHE’LL be coming to you.

Your teen daughter needs you, Dad. She’s counting on you to teach her, guide her, support her, and love her. Wrap your arms around her, be her biggest fan, show up time and time and time again, pray for her, and be the wonderful role model she needs to take on this world without you… because, Dad, you’re SO much more important than you realize!


If you enjoyed reading, “Dads, Here’s Why Your Teen Daughter Needs You Now More Than Ever,” check out these other posts!

What A Teenage Girl Needs From Her Dad

18 Things Every Dad Should Say to Raise Strong, Confident Daughters

55 Father-Daughter Quotes That Prove She’ll Always Be Daddy’s Little Girl

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