What kind of father are you? Are you an over-pampering or over-strict dad to your little girl? Or the physically present but emotionally absent dad who, beyond academics, has no clue how to relate to your daughter on a personal level ? Or are you more like the ‘cool’ dad who showers your little girl with expensive gifts and whatever she likes and fails to discipline her? Or are you one of those dads who feel like God must be punishing you by giving you daughters instead of sons?
Whatever category you fall in and whatever your situation, know this: your daughter NEEDS you just as much as her mom, period! She needs to know, without doubt, that you love her and are happy/blessed to be her father. Maybe you didn’t know but the way you relate to your daughter shapes 1) her ideas about God as a Father, 2) about men in general and 3) her expectations of her future boyfriend/spouse. Studies show that girls are more likely to date/marry someone with striking similarities to their dads (where a sublime relationship exists between the two). So…if you don’t want your daughter to marry a jerk then show her how a gentleman behaves.
A father is also strategically positioned to help his daughter understand her worth and value as a person and his daughter. If/when you abuse – physically or emotionally – your wife/daughter’s mother in front of your daughter (s), you are indirectly shaping the girl’s idea of who she is, what she is worth and ultimately albeit unintentionally sending the message that violence is a demonstration of love.
A girl needs to be disciplined as much as she is to be loved. Too often there is too much emphasis on the former and almost none on the latter. The irony is that there are too many men roaming these streets who are harsh disciplinarians (harsh being the key word here) when it comes to their daughters but shower ‘love’ on another girl who is about the same age as or even much younger than his daughter. Why play sugar daddy to someone else’s daughter and deprive yours of the necessary love and attention? They say what goes around comes around. Your daughter needs love too and if you don’t give her she might just go and seek it elsewhere (and might just be someone your age…her own sugar-daddy).
If you have always wanted sons but got daughters instead, God with His great sense of humor must
have had a plan because God doesn’t make useless things. Everything has a purpose. And so do daughters. My dad is blessed with three (3) girls. If he ever wished we were boys, we would never know because my dad has never made us feel any less appreciated. Today, to the glory of God, my father is one proud man with three educated women who are a
blessing to our society.
My point? Noto all gyal pikin dey pwel (not every girl turns out bad). So instead of wishing you had it the other way, why not get to work? Invest in your children and as a female, I’m tempted to add, especially your girl child. In my personal experience, a godly upbringing and sound education are the best investments a parent can make in the lives of their children, regardless of sex.
Finally, to the ‘cool’ dads who would do anything to be their daughter’s hero, be careful. Being a hero is overrated. Truth is, you have a responsibility to prepare your daughter to be able to function in the unpredictable climates of the ‘real world.’ One way you can achieve heroism is by doing what is necessary NOW. She would thank you later. I personally didn’t grow up in affluence but my dad always made sure we had what we needed with the little he had and for that I am deeply grateful. But I know of a dad (and I assume there are many more) who could afford ten times over whatever his little girl wants, but he chooses to provide her with what she most needs and a little extra. The bond between the two is admirable. Lesson: there are many ways to show love. Discipline is one of them.
I’ve heard it said that love without discipline is abuse and discipline without love is cruelty. I agree. May God give you the wisdom and grace to strike the balance. It’s never too late to start….
Daughter of the King