The relationship between dads and daughters is bittersweet. The love they share is incomparable, and the fights are fierce, too. However, at the end of the day, you care for your daughter more than anyone else, and she sees you the same way, too. You are her first male friend, guardian, and role model. It’s natural that she looks up to you because you have a deep influence on her life.
However, another thing that she’s deeply influenced by is social media. All teenagers and young adults see many influencers uploading their photos on Instagram. They must engage with each other, and this loop of sharing and receiving comments on their pictures is bound to impact how they see themselves.
You might think that it’s out of your control, but that’s not the case. You can instill a positive mindset in your daughter from childhood so that she knows better. Through your affection and praises, you turn her into a beautiful woman who’s confident. Let’s understand what dads can do to promote body positivity among their daughters.
What can dads do?
Dads can influence how their daughters perceive their appearance. Beauty is crucial for girls at a young age. They practically judge themselves for everything and aim straight for the ideal beauty. It’s problematic as they don’t like themselves because of the ideal beauty standards. Ignore how your daughter sulks at you when you comment on her looks. Your opinion matters to her anyway. Here’s what you can do to help her feel beautiful:
- Dads who compliment their daughters often make them feel confident and charming. Studies have shown that these habits go a long way in protecting their self-esteem. Listen when your daughter talks about the fashion and clothes of other girls in school. This gives an insight into her thought process and how she perceives beauty.
- In your everyday conversations, look for sentences where she criticizes her body and correct her right there. Ignoring such instances might give rise to body image issues. These issues can really mess with a child’s head. A distorted body image is the most common cause of eating disorders among teens and young adults. If your daughter suffers from one, you can seek help from an eating disorder recovery center.
- The media are dominated by fashion and cosmetic advertisements that actively monetize insecurities. It’s important for your daughter to have a genuine guardian who pulls her out of this chaos. Dads are such guardians. You have to teach her that she can be her unfiltered self and still look beautiful. A great way to do that is by complimenting her looks at home when she’s candid and comfortable. This helps her realize that she doesn’t need to put makeup on or dress up to look pretty.
It matters how you treat her mother.
Her mother or your wife is how she sees herself in the future. Insulting or joking about your wife’s appearance can send the wrong impression to her mind. Firstly, you must never speak badly about your better half, as it hurts her feelings. Your children form a perception about their future relationships by how you treat your wife.
Witnessing this, she can become open to such mean comments in her future relationships. She forms an idea about how other boys will treat her. As a parent, you have to teach her not to accept any mistreatment from anybody. When you treat your wife with respect, she understands exactly how she should be treated in a relationship. She’ll clap back at body-shaming comments as you’ve raised her better.
What do dads generally do wrong?
As a dad, all you want is to protect your daughter. You can go wrong sometimes, though. Here are some points that you should be careful about:
- Drifting away as she gets older
Many dads start cutting themselves off with their daughters as they grow up. They go through changes, and their dads become distant. But this is the time when they need the most attention. Your daughter goes through hormonal changes, and you should engage her in conversation. Involve her brothers in this if you can. This way, she knows that she has nothing to hide.
- Talking badly about other women
When your kids are young, you set the barriers between right and wrong. Throwing off words about women on TV or in general sets a terrible example. Your daughter might lose respect for you, or worse, she might end up thinking that it’s okay to talk about women like that. Therefore, it’s better to watch your words. It would help if you also taught your sons to do the same. This seals the deal for her about high self-worth.
As a parent, it is your obligation to help your daughter feel good about herself, not just about how she looks but also about what she is. With the insights mentioned above, you can raise a daughter who knows her self-worth and embraces body diversity, and it is something to be proud of.