Dads and daughters

Daddies and daughters have an undeniable bond. From the time my daughter barely started walking, she would try to follow daddy out the front door, only to be shocked and wounded that she was not allowed to go with him.

And as much as I know my daughter loves me, I might as well not exist when daddy walks through the door in the afternoon.

So I loved Sister Elaine S. Dalton’s talk in last weekend’s semiannual general conference about this special daddy-daughter bond. In particular, I loved this from Sister Dalton, the Young Women general president:

“The most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother,” she said. “By the way you love her mother, you will teach your daughter about tenderness, loyalty, respect, compassion and devotion. She will learn from your example what to expect from young men and what qualities to seek in a future spouse. You can show your daughter by the way you love and honor your wife that she should never settle for less. Your example will teach your daughter to value womanhood. You are showing her that she is a daughter of our Heavenly Father who loves her.”

I always perk up when church leaders tell my husband to love me, but I thought this talk was particularly insightful about the role fathers can play in shaping their children. They may not be there day in and day out like moms, but their influence is incredible. There is a noticeable difference in my daughter’s behavior and attitude when she hasn’t had enough time with daddy.

Sister Dalton’s words hit me about how a husband treats his wife is the way a daughter will expect to be treated. She will measure her value as a woman based on the way her dad treats her own mother.

Dads have an amazing responsibility to influence their daughter’s self worth in small and simple ways every single day by a thousand little actions.

What influence does your husband have on the children in your home? In what ways do you think men can affect their daughters?

Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.

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