There are so many women who have not had the opportunity to grow up with their father. Being one of those women I was delighted to share my thoughts at Norfolk State University yesterday as a panelist for their discussion titled, “My Daughter and Her Dad: Strategies to facilitate a relationship between daughters and fathers when the parent’s relationship have dissolved”
As a single parent, women may feel pressured by the father’s absence to play the role of both mom and dad but a father’s love can never be substituted. No matter how hard a woman tries to compensate for her daughters feeling of separation and loss, a father’s love and guidance cannot be manufactured. The love from her dad is the catalyst for how that woman will view other men and how she thinks other men view her. It is the first relationship she will have with a man and it’s a priority as a mom to help cultivate that relationship.
In a generation where woman are led to believe that their sexuality is the way to get attention, it is the father who tells his daughter that it is her character, morals, and goals that attract the RIGHT man into her life. Coming from a father those words are not merely advice but come alive and are ingrained into her mind, stamped on her heart and never forgotten.
Here are a few of the questions from the discussion that I thought would help mothers in their efforts.
Q. How do I help develop a healthy relationship between my daughter and her father once we have parted ways?
-Support the father’s effort to take action in his child’s life by encouraging any communication he wants to have with them. (E-mail, cell/telephone, writing, special time or day of the week they have together, a hobby or activity that is all theirs)
-Be flexible when it comes to dads schedule.
-involve the father in all activities that will allow him to engage with his child by informing him of school plays and meetings, sports, and special occasions.
-Always talk about the child’s father to them in a positive light.
-Read stories about dads and their children.
-Include dad in parental decisions concerning the child.
Developing a relationship means communication, not only between the child and each parent but between the parents as well. Both parents need to find a way to get along for the child’s benefit by taking their emotions out of the equation. A good way to make sure you are not focused on your interest only, ask yourself this simple question…
Will the interaction benefit my child by helping them bond with their dad?
When the foundation is set in love for the child everyone wins!
Q. How does a mother handle a situation where her daughter’s father does not want to play a role in her life?
The male influence can come from a grandfather, uncle, cousin, brother or a family friend who has accepted being a role model and agrees to be a constant, positive figure in your child’s life. Unfortunately sometimes no matter what mom does, dad has not matured enough to make better choices concerning himself or for others but do not shut the door on him. Let him know he is invited to participate in his Childs life when he gets ready to and truly leave that door open without any hurt feelings on your part.
Q. My new partner has a wonderful relationship with my daughter. He treats her as if she was his own daughter. What do I say to my daughter if she views my partner as her father, although her biological father is in her life?
Always be open and honest and let the child know they have a father but that it is okay to love others and bring them into their circle. Explain to them that family can be anyone we desire to be in our lives and that we love.
The Dating Mechanic
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