Hey Dad, it’s All About You…for your Daughter!
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Hey Dad, it’s All About You…for your Daughter!

Hey Dad, it’s All About You…for your Daughter!

Hey Dad, it’s All About You…for your Daughter!

Hey Dad, it’s All About You…for your Daughter!


Not long ago, I was thinking about my three daughters and their husbands and realized that they had fulfilled the old adage that daughters very often marry men like their fathers. That could be a good thing or a scary thought! In this case, they married men who share a pretty sarcastic wit, which each of them learned to respond to from me. (It’s just one example.) It ended up being one of the areas in which we share a special bond. But it also reminded me of the powerful influence dads have on their daughters. 

A strong, healthy father-daughter relationship is tremendously critical in young girls. For better or worse, as a dad, we set the stage for their expectations later in life. How they view themselves, what characteristics they look for in a husband and how they expect that husband to treat them all stem from what they see in their father. We dads have a powerful influence on our daughters! 

How they view themselves. 

It is universally understood that all people need to know that they are valued and important. While some may need it more or less, it is a crucial part of a young girl’s development. God created men and women to be partners together (Genesis 2:21-24) and among all the needs that men and women have, daughters need to know that they are loved by their dad. It validates who they are and their importance. So, when a dad is not present, either physically or emotionally, daughters seek that validation somewhere else. Multiple studies dating back almost 20 years show that daughters whose father was absent before the age of 6 are seven to eight times more likely to become pregnant as a teenager than a girl whose father was present. If the father left the home after 6 years of age, that number was still two to three times more likely. When dads connect with their daughters emotionally, which only comes from spending time with them, it lets them know they are loved for who they are and not for what they can do for someone else. We dads have a powerful influence on our daughters! 

What they look for in a Husband and a Partner

Another area we dads have a big impact on is what our children look for in a future spouse. We all know that our children watch and listen to us constantly when they are younger. Too many examples of them repeating something we said verifies that truth! But as they grow, children continue to watch and learn but turn their attention to more complex perceptions. Do we keep our promises? Are we consistent in our decisions and enforcement of rules? Do we have rules? Do we adhere to the same expectations that we have for our kids? Do we treat our wives with love and respect? Are we yellers? Are we drinkers? Do we tell the truth? Are we partners in running the household? These are just a few of the hundreds of perceptions that together form an idea of what a future spouse might “look like.” And while moms and dads both set an example, there is something about the father-daughter relationship that makes dad’s example just a little bit more powerful. We dads have a powerful influence on our daughters! 

What’s Next?

 Spend time with your daughter! Let her know that you love her for who she is and that your love is not conditioned on her academic or athletic performance, completing her chores, or anything else. If she loves sports, it can be easier in some ways, but if she wants to have a tea party or “do your hair,” do it!  The time and care you invest now will set her on the right path and let her know that in addition to her Father in heaven, her earthly father loves her, believes in her, and wants only the best for her.


Jim Sullivan

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