Dear Barb—Father Fears

Dear Barb:

Hey! My wife and I are in our early thirties and have been married for five years. We are expecting our first daughter in September. Everything is going well with the pregnancy, and we are so happy. The issue that is bothering me is that I am very anxious about becoming a father and I want to be the best father I can be. My own father left my mother when my sister and I were very young, and I always missed the presence of a father in my life.  I want to be there for my daughter and be a good role model.  Would you be able to give me some advice on how I can best accomplish that?

Thanks, Nat.

Hi Nat:

Thank you for your email. You have a very important task ahead of you and you are approaching from a good place. You are aware of how important it is to have a father since you did not have a father in your life. The relationship between a father and daughter is vitally essential to the development of a girl. Research has shown that girls who have a father present in their lives grow up healthier, more confident, and with a clearer understanding of what they want in their own life. According to the following website: Strengthening Father-Daughter Relationships (verywellfamily.com) there are many benefits for a daughter who has a healthy connection with her father. For example, they are more assertive without being aggressive; are more likely to pursue higher education; feel better about themselves; feel more confident in relationships with partners; have better grades.

This process can begin on the day your daughter is born. Become an active part of her life, including caring for her, changing diapers, feeding her, and simply providing a comforting part of daily life. As she grows you can become a teacher, taking the time to acknowledge her accomplishments, and encouraging her to learn new things. Also, be an active listener and offer encouragement for your daughter to share her hopes and dreams with you, without lecturing her. Playing games together is an important aspect of the father-daughter relationship. Go to a baseball game or to see a musical group that you both like.  Be loving, patient and supportive, even if they do something wrong. Take the time to explain why it was wrong and how they can learn and move forward from this event. Most importantly, be a role model and display the healthy life choices you want your daughter to make for herself.  These are just suggestions, as you become more comfortable being a parent, you will find ways to achieve the goals that you want for your relationship with your daughter. I believe you are going to be a great dad, not that you won’t make mistakes all parents do, but mistakes can always be acknowledged and corrected.

Best of luck Nat!

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.