Last updated on December 6th, 2023.
Some girls have great dads and other girls have dads who struggle to maintain a positive relationship with their daughters. The information in this article is intended to be the beginning of a new relationship, a new chance and a “from this point forward” moment. Is your relationship broken? It does not have to stay that way. There are steps that can be taken to restore your relationship and begin to enjoy one another’s company.
How can I improve my father daughter relationship? Begin by truly listening to one another and being honest with one another. Be transparent and let your father, or daughter, know the things that bother you and the areas that need improvement.
Be quick to forgive and ask forgiveness, and be willing to love, even when the other party does not deserve it.
Most father daughter relationships go through a rough patch at one point or another, but they do not have to stay there. For broken relationships to improve, both fathers and daughters need to be ready to initiate change and maintain healthy boundaries.
The best place to start is by spending time together. If you have drifted apart, then maybe it is time to get to know one another again. In the paragraphs below, we will look at what makes a good father and what steps can bet taken toward reconciliation in a broken father daughter relationship.
And while the below information is tailored to a healthy father and daughter relationship don’t forget to check out our other articles such as How to Create A Healthy Mother and Daughter Relationship.
How Can I Improve My Father Daughter Relationship?
Not all father daughter relationships are wonderful. Fortunately, there are ways to improve these relationships when they get rocky over time with a few simple tips.
Here are a few ways to improve father daughter relationships:
- Spend time together
- Look for things you have in common
- Recognize and validate one another’s emotions
- Be open and honest
Of course, it may seem obvious, but spending time together is a great way to improve your father daughter relationship! Choose activities you can both enjoy, and be intentional about planning time together.
Make time for just the two of you to go on a father-daughter date or participate in an event together. Even if it is just watching a movie at home together, this can improve your relationship. Sometimes, all that was missing was time together.
It is easy to notice our differences. If you are struggling in your father daughter relationship, it may help to sit down together and write down your similarities. Maybe you both enjoy a certain sport or enjoy the same music or books.
Use your list of similarities to help plan constructive ways to spend time together.
For instance, if you hate your father’s choice in music, but you both enjoy comedies, maybe going to the movies is a better choice for you two than attending a concert would be. Putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes is a great way of practicing compassion.
Whatever your similarities are, capitalize on them and use them to your advantage. Almost certainly, every father and daughter do indeed have some common interests.
I remember how things used to get heated with my father. We were not giving credence to one another’s emotions. Make the move today to validate your father (or daughter) and truly listen to what they are saying.
Chances are, they have real reasons behind the things which upset them. Do not write off their emotions. Dive in and figure out what might be causing conflict between you.
Be open. Let the real you come out in the presence of your father or daughter. Do not think that you have to maintain some kind of image around him or her. You are close family members, and you deserve to know each other well.
Take the time to talk and listen and learn more about one another. Don’t lie about who you are. Be honest with one another. Sometimes, the best way to build rapport is to look for commonality. We’re all human. We all struggle. Improving your father-daughter relationship begins with building understanding and giving the grace needed for their understanding too.
(Creating mindful, conscious relationships can help you with your father-daughter relationship, as well as any other relationship in your life.)
How a Father Should Treat His Daughter
A father should treat his daughter the way he hopes her husband or future husband will treat her. He should validate her, rather than humiliating her. Recognize her as a special person with plenty to contribute to the world. This is how she sets expectations for how future men should behave to her.
Fathers, here are some tips for how to treat your daughters:
- Listen to her
- Build her up
- Respect who she is as a person
- Attend events that are important to her
The first tip is simply to listen. Your daughter wants to be heard. She wants to feel like what she has to say to you is valuable and worth your consideration and time. Even if you are busy, do not brush your daughter off.
Make time to listen to her suggestions, her hopes, and her dreams. Do not make her feel silly for any of her aspirations, but give feedback, so that she knows you are paying her attention.
You should never tear down a person you love. Build your daughter up. Let her know you have faith in her and her plans. Tell her about all the things you think are wonderful about her and what makes her unique in your eyes.
Whatever she attempts in life, be there for her and provide your support. Daughters almost always seek to please their fathers. Give her the validation she is looking for.
It does not matter if you like or agree with all of your daughter’s tastes or lifestyle choices. Let her know you love her anyway. Let her know you respect who she is. Your daughter was not put on the earth to be just like you.
The world needs diversity, so celebrate what she brings to the table, and let her know she is respected by you, regardless of your differences.
Show your support by physically showing up when your daughter participates in events that are important to her. This could range from the little league game of you seven-year-old to the promotion party for your thirty-year old.
It does not matter how old a daughter is. She wants to know that her dad wants to be there with her and that he is celebrating her success. Events that are important to her is where she is telling you without telling you she cares about. Again, even if you don’t care about the event this is how you show you care about her.
How do I fix my broken relationship with my dad?
All relationships are difficult. Father daughter relationships are some of the toughest. The good news is, there are ways to help mend your broken relationship with your father. Remember to be patient and kind. Your dad is coming from a place of different experiences and a different perspective. Hear him out and make space for understanding.
Here are some great ways to start mending your relationship today:
- Make sure your expectations of your father are realistic
- Let go of blame and guilt
- Honestly tell your dad what you expect from him
- Forgive and ask forgiveness
- Show love no matter what
Could unrealistic expectations of your father be the root of your problems? Most little girls put their dads on a pedestal, but dads are only human. Have you expected too much and lent to your own disappointment? Make sure that you are not demanding more of your father than he can offer.
(Setting realistic expectations is one of the 10 most important things in a relationship. Find out the other nine things in that article!)
For instance, if your dad is working hard to pay for you to attend college, that may mean he has to miss events that are important to you sometimes.
If you have a brother or sister who is in a crisis, your dad may not be able to give you all the attention you desire. Think about what you are bringing to the relationship with your father and what you are expecting in return.
It is easy for us to harbor old hurts. If a relationship has been broken in the past, but you truly want to move on, it is time to stop bringing up old pain. Do not play the “blame game” and do not try to force guilt on your father.
Do not project all of your own disappointments in life onto him. Let go of the past and decide to work together toward a new, fulfilling father daughter relationship.
If you feel like you dad has not been there for you as he should have, let him know where your disappointment lies.
Do not point fingers, but rather clearly tell your dad what you need and what you expect from him. Let him know that he is appreciated and necessary in your life. Lay out for your father exactly which areas you need him to make changes in and explain why.
Forgiveness is difficult, but there is not one of us who does not need it at one time or another. Be willing to quickly forgive your dad when he makes a mistake or hurts your feelings. In turn, also be willing to ask for forgiveness when you know you have done something wrong. Forgiveness and the relationship are two-way streets.
For more on how to turn around a failing relationship, check out that article.
Do Daughters Need Their Fathers?
While we are quick to celebrate independent women and mothers who bear the full load, as we should, statistics show that daughters do also need their fathers.
Here are five reasons daughters need their fathers:
- Daughters learn how they should be treated in future relationships from their dads
- Supportive fathers foster confidence in girls
- Academic success
- Fathers instill an adventuresome side in their daughters
- Body image
How many times have you heard someone say, “She married someone just like her father”? Girls look to their fathers to model how they should be treated later in life. The way a father treats his daughter (and her mother) have a huge impact on the type of relationships she will later seek out.
If a father is considerate and gentle, his daughter will likely look for those attributes in a man. If he is cruel and abusive, a daughter may come to accept that as the status quo for future relationships.
A girl needs her dad to model the type of behavior he hopes her future boyfriends and husband will model one day. The dad sets the standard for how a young lady perceives she should be treated.
Girls with fathers at home tend to be more confident and outgoing. They know they have someone faithful behind them, cheering them on. While moms can also foster confidence, having a dad behind you as well makes a difference. Each parent gives something different and has different interests and tolerances. The way children react to those also differ! That’s why the activities for sons and moms and those for dads and daughters typically differ.
Dads should be there to give pep talks, just like coaches, for every major event in life. Daughters need this type of support.
Girls with fathers at home also tend to do better academically. This may be for such small reasons as having a second parent there to help with homework or studying. A mother trying to carry the load alone may not have the time she needs to devote to helping her children academically.
In a two parent household, both parents can help ensure academic success by supporting and helping their kids.
When we think of risk-taking and adventure, we often think of boys, but girls can and should be adventuresome two. Mothers tend to be more reserved and concerned for their children’s ultimate well-being, but daughters need balance. Girls with dads at home feel more bolstered to try things which might initially intimidate them.
Fathers can play a major role in their daughter’s self-image. Dads should constantly seek to encourage their daughters by validating them. For one, a girl who has a dad telling her she is beautiful at home will have more confidence.
Secondly, dads can help enforce that looks are not the only thing that matters. A daughter with a father who encourages her and gives her positive feedback is more likely to have a healthy body image.
What Should a Father Be?
Most of us think of our fathers either in a positive or negative light. If you have a good father, you may think he is the gold standard for dads everywhere. If you have a bad father, you may wonder at what all is lacking from your relationship.
Here are some traits of a good father:
- Interest in his children
Fathers should be gentle. We usually think of mothers when it comes to the parent who is tending a child’s boo-boos, but dads should be capable of this as well. This also applies to conflict. Some men push gentleness to the side and respond with the full rage and fury of a bullfighter because this is what has worked for them in other areas of their lives.
Humility demonstrates and recognizes a father cares for those he loves, putting their interests high enough on his list to submit and cast off the “machismo” that has penetrated male society.
Self-Control is difficult but it is also possible. Remember when looking at your daughter, while she has grown or is growing into a women, and maybe she is there, but there is also still the familiar distance of that little girl who used to be held in her daddy’s arms. Remember this and control your temper and ease your way back into a gentle conversation or attitude.
Show interest in your children by being there. Children look up to their fathers, at least initially, like these all powerful beings. If you want to improve your relationship with your daughter, show her you care by standing by her side.
Kindness, faithfulness and love are virtues that will not only win her heart but remind her of the beautiful potential that lies in the relationships between fathers and daughters. If this has been eroded through pain and misunderstandings, try again. Approach with gentleness. It’s never too late to heal a broken heart.
You may interested looking to cultivate more joy, love, and gratitude in your life, our guide can provide insights on how to tap into the Highest Vibrational Human Emotions.