What is the significance of father-daughter relationship during childhood among adolescent girls?
Most studies on parental bonding focus on the bonding between a child and a caregiver. And most of the time mothers are mostly the participants of psychological studies.
However, fathers also have a tremendous impact on female children’s development. In fact, one study suggests that the absence of father-daughter relationship was related to depression among adolescent girls. Thus, the bond between fathers and daughters is as important as the mothers’.
The most familiar scene at home is the mother taking care of her child. She prepares everything her child needs. The motherly chores do not stop there because mothers would always make sure that their children have the best the world can offer (best food, shelter, and education).
But the paternal functions should not be underestimated. The fathers do not only provide basic needs of the children but also capable of motherly functions, especially to their daughters.
Best indicator of healthy father-daughter relationship
- He combs her hair
- Plays chess with her
- Teaches her hula-hoop killer moves
- Fixes her toys even he’s busy
- He acts as a puppet
- Let’s her stand on his shoulder to make her feel she’s on top of the world
- He sings lullabies before she falls asleep
- Guards her when monsters come at night
- Sleeps with her during stormy nights
The healthy father-daughter relationship is important in building social support system among young girls. The absence of a fatherly figure in early child’s development creates gaps between a young girl and others.
The level of depression among adolescent girls found in the previous study was primarily due to the lack of “coping mechanism”. And coping ability has something to do with familial structure. The bigger the family, the better the social support.
Because paternal functions are important for the child’s socio-emotional development, parental bonding studies should not only focus on mothers. Researchers should also include fathers in their depression studies.