Being a single dad can be challenging, but interesting at best. Even for divorced dads, single parenting can bring different experiences and challenges every day.
While 17.51% of fathers have custody of their children as of 2013, that doesn’t mean that fathers can’t do well to raise their daughters. When it comes to experiencing complex emotions, social situations, changes that come with puberty, etc., it’s important to be there for your daughter through thick and thin. Whatever obstacles come her way, you must be there for her, as her parent.
In this overview, we’ll show you 5 ways how you can care for your daughter, despite your custodial and marital situations:
Don't Be Overprotective
“While it’s still important to look after your daughter, you should also give her space,” says Greg Foreman, a parenting blogger at Writinity and Last minute writing. “Your daughter should be able to experience life’s challenges on her own, and learn from those experiences. Trying to shield her from tough situations will either make her dependent upon you, or rebel against you. So, give her some space, and allow her some privacy, so that the two of you can have mutual trust.”
Practice Open Communication
Sometimes, your daughter will want to talk to you about something, but might not be sure how to address it. The last thing you want is to let things go unsaid between you two.
When something goes wrong, and your daughter comes to you about it, try not to have a “I must fix this” mentality – where you identify a problem before listening to the whole situation – try to listen. Your daughter will appreciate it better if you listen to her, rather than try to “fix” whatever she’s facing. Listening can pave the way for better communication – more OPEN communication.
Be A Part Of Her Life
Don’t ignore the things that your daughter does in life. Be supportive of her, especially if you’re the only parent in her life. Be there for her in as many ways as possible:
- Share the same interests as her (i.e. hiking, museum-going, etc.)
- Go places (i.e. the park, the library, etc.)
- Being home in the evenings, if possible
- Attend school events (i.e. sports, cheerleading, etc.)
- Help her with homework
- Ask how her day was (i.e. school, work, etc.
By being more involved in her life, you’re building a strong father-daughter bond.
Talk About The Issues
“There will be times when you’ll have to talk about certain issues like puberty, hormones, and menstruation,” says Timothy Anderson, a family advisor at Draft Beyond and Research papers UK. “Your best bet is to be honest about said issues, and be able to answer any questions that your daughter might have. If necessary, do your research before you have ‘the talk.’”
By talking to your daughter about certain issues, not only will you practice great communication, but you’ll also bridge the gap between you and your daughter when it comes to gender-related topics. Even if talking about said issues can be awkward at times, still make the effort to talk to her. And, as always, be there to support her and love her whenever she finds herself in need for guidance.
Remember: You’re Not Alone
The point is, you’re not alone. In fact, many divorced dads have to take on many roles than one – not just the father role, but also the mother role, a family member role, and so on. If necessary, you can seek a female role model through your daughter’s school, your community, at your church, etc. Having a female mentor can offer that extra layer of support for your daughter, especially when Mom isn’t in the picture.
As you can tell by now, raising a child may not be easy at first. However, building that special bond with your daughter can do wonders! Even if you’re not the perfect dad, at least your daughter will see that you care about her in anything and everything that she does in life.
Remember: You’re the best dad ever; and that’s all that matters.