A GOOD FATHER WILL GUIDE HIS DAUGHTER ON THE RIGHT PATH
FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Dr. James Dobson
QUESTION: Is there a way I as a father can influence my daughter’s attitude toward boys? If she chooses to marry, she will need to understand men and know how to relate to them. Is that something I should be thinking about?
DR. DOBSON: You bet it is. Long before a girl finds her first real boyfriend or falls in love, her attitude toward men has been shaped quietly by her father. Why? Because the father-daughter relationship sets the stage for all future romantic involvements.
If a young woman’s father rejects her, she’ll spend her life trying to find a man who can meet the needs he never fulfilled in her heart. If he’s warm and nurturing, she’ll look for a lover to equal him. If he thinks she’s beautiful and feminine, she’ll be inclined to see herself that way. But, if he rejects her as unattractive and uninteresting, she’s likely to carry self-image problems into her adult years.
It’s also true that a woman’s relationship with her husband is significantly influenced by the way she perceived her father’s authority. If he was overbearing or capricious during her earlier years, she may precipitate power struggles with her husband throughout married life. But, if Dad blended love and discipline in a way that conveyed strength, she may be more comfortable with a give-and-take marriage characterized by mutual respect.
So much of what goes into marriage starts with the bride’s father. That’s why it behooves those of us with daughters to give our best effort to raising them properly. You are right to be thinking about that vital relationship.
Dr. Dobson is founder and Chairman Emeritus of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80995 (www.focusonthefamily.org). Questions and answers are excerpted from “Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide” and “Bringing Up Boys,” both published by Tyndale House.
COPYRIGHT 2010 JAMES