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Girls need their dads

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th June 2009 03:00 AM

YES, you have a great salary. Yes, you have a car and a beautiful home. And the biggest yes of all is you have a daughter and want nothing to do with her father because you can provide for your baby girl. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? However, there ar

YES, you have a great salary. Yes, you have a car and a beautiful home. And the biggest yes of all is you have a daughter and want nothing to do with her father because you can provide for your baby girl. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? However, there ar

By Susan Muyiyi

YES, you have a great salary. Yes, you have a car and a beautiful home. And the biggest yes of all is you have a daughter and want nothing to do with her father because you can provide for your baby girl. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? However, there are certain things money can’t buy and being the apple of your daddy’s eye is one of them.

Christine knew her dad was somewhere, only she did not know where. She wonders how her life would have been if she had known him.

Jackie on the other hand says she is a daddy’s girl. “My dad was involved in everything I did. He plaited our hair, bathed us and put us to sleep,” explains Jackie. She adds that she attributes who she is to her father’s involvement in her life.  

Noreen, wishes she knew her dad. No, she is not an orphan. “My dad was very strict,” she explains. Noreen is married with three children but still dreads the visits home, especially when her mother is not there. “I don’t hate him, but there is not much of a relationship except in name.  “When I call to say ‘hi’, he wonders whether there is a problem. Ours is mechanical.” Although Noreen’s dad supported her financially through primary to masters degree, the emotional connection is missing.  

Ruth, who also enjoys a good relationship with her dad, says he has never forgotten the lotion she secretly included on her shopping list during her time in school. “My mom always insisted on vaseline. My dad and I didn’t argue. Buying the lotion was, still is a well-kept secret.” Although she can now afford it, she always looks forward to the Christmas season when her dad re-creates the memory. Involvement in your daughter’s life is worthwhile.

Paul Nyende, a counselling psychologist, says playing an active role gives your little girl security, emotional stability, self-esteem and confidence. “A passive father causes anxieties. First hand experience which your daughter can only get from you out weighs all the other negative influences on her views of life,” Nyende says. Winnie Wesonga, a counselling psychologist, says a father’s involvement helps nurture and develop a girl’s perception of who she is. “Fathers make women and girls marry men who have characteristics of their dads,” Wesonga points out.  

An absentee dad leaves his daughter seeking the approval of the opposite sex, causes emotionally turmoil and confusion.

HOW DADS CAN BE INVOLVED
In his book What All Little Girls Need & What Most Women Never Had…Healthy, Loving Relationships With Their Fathers, parenting expert, Joe Cucchiara provides some answers:

Play with your young daughter to build your relationship. At that age, all she wants to know is that her father loves her enough to play with her.

Listen to your daughter and honour her requests, needs, wants, and choices.

Little girls too have bad days and they do not know how to articulate how they feel.

Sit down at eye-level with your daughter and talk with her to figure out the source of her frustration. Ask her questions like, “what’s bothering you?” Her response may sound ridiculous, however, what matters most is that the message will come across to her that you care about her thoughts and feelings.

As she gets older, teach your daughter that it is more important to be a good person than to be a sex object. The earlier you put time and energy into your relationship, the better chance you will have for influencing the way she feels about her body, choices in men and self worth.

Girls need their dads

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