Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Benefits of Being a Daddy's Girl

My husband is a wonderful father. He is a stay at home dad who has been actively involved with our daughter since before she was born. He went to every pre-natal visit with me. He indulged in stuffed animals and such even before I did. I have a fantastic memory of him just holding our daughter in his two hands and staring adoringly early one morning while we were still in the hospital. He stayed every night in the hospital and really only left to get a shower and something to eat. I look forward to raising her with him because I know the strength of their relationship will help shape the strength of the person she becomes.

I recently read a beautiful article at Baby Zone discussing the many benefits of having such an active daddy in a girl's life. It notes that a father shapes his daughter's perceptions of the opposite sex, he affects how she will interact with the opposite sex, he influences how his daughter views her own femininity, he helps develop her interest in sports and physical fitness, and interestingly, the article asserts that girls with strong male role models enter puberty later. The article also highlights the Dads and Daughters organization, which promotes healthy father daughter relationships.

The article offers lots of tips for dads of daughters. In short: Be there, appreciate her uniqueness as a girl, appreciate her uniqueness as a person, listen, and "be her father not her mother." More gushing: My husband is an ace at all of them.

The article is lengthy, and Baby Zone can be incredibly slow loading, but it is well worth reading. An active daddy (or other strong, consistent male role model) is one of the best gifts any child can have.

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