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We begin the journey of parenthood with the best intentions but sometimes feel out of our depth as our children grow. As fathers, the responsibility of raising a daughter can seem challenging. We may fear that we won’t connect with our daughter, or that she’ll connect with her mother more. However, by following these three tips, we can ensure that we have a meaningful relationship with our daughter and that we set her up for success in life and future relationships.
#1 Model the Behavior You Want Her to Look for in Her Future Spouse
It’s one thing to talk to your daughter about the kind of man you’d like her to marry someday, but it is another thing to model that behavior. Our daughters look to us for examples of healthy relationships. Do they see a dad who is kind, patient, hard-working, and respectful and loving to their mother? If so, that is the kind of mate they will likely seek as they grow.
Girls take cues from their mothers on so many behaviors, from how to run a home to the best way to make tuna casserole. They especially take note of what is acceptable behavior in a spouse based on how their mother is treated. If our daughters see their mother talked down to or mistreated, we run the risk of raising young women who will think those behaviors are normal rather than something that should be avoided. Tough times happen and our children need to see that mom and dad are committed to each other through thick and thin.
#2 Be Intentional About Time
The years that our children are in our home are gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t squander this precious time sitting in front of the TV or smartphone. Show your daughter that the things that matter to her matter to you. Does she take dance classes, play sports, or have a favorite hobby? Get involved. When your daughter leaves home you will never say, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with her!” The memories of time spent together will be something you will both cherish.
#3 Find A Mentor
Find a mentor who is successfully raising daughters and who is mature in his relationship with Christ. Ask your pastor for some names of strong Christian men who would be happy to help. As Christians, it’s our responsibility and privilege to help each other. We can get the help we need in raising our daughters when we trust the wisdom of others who are farther along than us. Wisdom is everywhere, even “shouting in the streets”:
Proverbs 1:20-21 Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate
God put his trust in us when he blessed us with daughters. Now we need to put our trust in God to help us raise them. Start every day with a prayer asking God to help you be a loving example to your daughter. Take full advantage of the time you get to have her in your home. Find ways to show her how important she is to you. Seek the counsel and wisdom of your mentor, and let them help you grow in your role as a father. Your daughter will be blessed by your efforts.