Tips for Improving the Father Daughter Relationship

The relationship between a father and daughter is a very important one. A good relationship is built on trust, acceptance, communication and spending time with each other.

A daughter should be able to trust her father and vice versa. If you say you will do something then make sure you try to follow through. This is not always possible since life happens, but do your best. Do not repeatedly say you will do something, go somewhere with her, drive her some place, only to cancel each time because pretty soon she will stop asking.

Acceptance of each other is an important part of any relationship and, possibly, even more with a daughter and even more than that with a teenage daughter. As girls age they tend to lose confidence. Teenage girls are often at an all-time low in the confidence department. Because of this, they sometimes dress in ways that either whisper, “Don’t look at me,” or in ways that scream, “Look at me!” In either case, a father should accept their daughters for the individuals that they are. A daughter, on the other hand, should also accept her father for who he is. We all want approval from our loved ones. This is true in other things as well. You might not appreciate each other’s taste in music but that is not the point. Accept the music and each other. She might not want to see an action adventure movie and you might not want to see a teenage love story/musical but is the movie really the point? Compromise; see the teenage musical one weekend and the action adventure the next. The point is to have a good time with each other.

There have been scores of books written on communication and for good reason. We do not communicate well. We do not talk; we text, email and Facebook. We tend to avoid conflict and, therefore, each other. This is mostly true with teenagers since little girls still see their daddy’s as heroes. Somewhere along the way, however, a father is no longer a hero to his daughter. Learn to communicate well with your daughter and retain some of that hero for her. Show interest in her life. Ask a few questions about how her day went. Find out what her favorite books are; maybe you had some of the same favorites when you were her age. Try reading one of them – it will give you something to converse about as well as introducing you to her tastes. If your daughter is young you can read to her. Not only does this get you too talking but you will both come to look forward to the next chapter.

Spending time with each other is a must. How else can you know each other and appreciate each other? Little girls are easy to spend time with. Almost anything is fun to them. Play dolls or make a craft together. Go to the library and choose books together, fly a kite at the park or take a walk around the neighborhood – the choices are endless. Dates are fun with little girls because they are so easy to please and such pleasant company. They are just as happy going to the nearest fast-food chain with a playground inside as they are with going to a movie. It is hard not to have fun with a little daughter.

Teenager daughters are a little trickier because they would rather be with their friends. Spending time with a teenage daughter is not so hard. Have a decaf coffee and browse books together at a bookstore, walk around a mall or see one of those movies I have already mentioned. Or think outdoors and head to the park with your bikes; teenagers still ride bikes you know. How about a hike on a nature trail? Pack a bag with water and some fun snacks like chips and chocolate (place these are in a small cooler) and hit the trail. All it takes is a few fun times together and soon it will be your daughter suggesting an outing.

Keep an open mind, show love and affection and you and your daughter will have a good relationship.