There’s no doubt that parents often find it tricky to know the best way to talk to their teenage daughter and help her navigate the teen years – and it’s especially tough for dads. His little girl is growing up fast, so where does he begin and what does he say? Here are few positive parenting pointers for fathers of daughters…
“You’re exactly the way you should be”
Social media can put untold pressure on young girls in particular to look and act a certain way. Teenage girls need reassuring that they are perfect just as they are, regardless of how they look, dress or behave, and that there is beauty in being different.
“You’re so strong”
Of course, many of the issues girls face are tied up in their complex relationships with their own bodies. While it can be difficult for dads to tackle the sensitive issue of body image, one way is not just to compliment your daughter’s appearance, but also her strength and speed.
Encourage her to take part in sports and go on family runs or cycle rides, as exercise is not only good for those mood-boosting endorphins, but it gives parents an opportunity to cheer their daughters on for their agility and physical strength.
Also, try to avoid making her feel any sense of shame or embarrassment when it comes to the ways her body is changing, like poking fun at her spots, or wincing when she asks you to go on an emergency shopping trip for Always pads.
“How was your day?”
It can be hard when we lead such busy lives to take time to sit down and simply talk to one another, but dads should make sure to regularly ask their daughter how her day was and listen to the answer. Whatever her problem, let her know it matters to you. Plus, research shows one of the key contributors to becoming a successful and happy adult is to have engaged and interested parents.
“It’s ok to fail – the important thing is that you tried”
Fear of failing can stop girls trying new things and pushing themselves. To help raise a confident daughter, dads can reassure them that failing is actually a good thing, because it helps us to learn and grow.
Encourage her to try new things and nurture her interests, and try to spend as much time together as possible, going on adventures as a family. This will help children see there’s a big wide world out there just waiting to be experienced, which will not only broaden their horizons when it comes to careers, but also help foster an understanding that there really is more to life than Snapchat.
“I believe in you”
Reassuring girls that they can do anything they set their minds to is one of the most important messages a parent can impart. Say it often and say it loud. In a world where girls hear conflicting messaging about women, dads need to be the voice of clarity leading them through that minefield – repeatedly telling them that for every discouragement they encounter, you know they can achieve anything they want to.
This article has been brought to you by Always, which is committed to encouraging confidence in all girls and women.
We’d love to hear how your partner helps to support your teen daughter. Share your insights in the comment section below.