5 Tips for fathers to raise confident, successful daughters
Dads, you play a vital role in your daughters' success
According to the article “How Fathers Influence Their Daughters’ Careers” on Forbes, “all children are shaped by their parents and/or other caregivers, but when it comes to women’s career paths, dad’s influence plays an increasingly weighty role.”
“A father has authority with a capital A,” Dr. Meg Meeker, author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, told Forbes. “From the first years of a girl’s life her father is larger than life. She looks up to him, and for the rest of her life she craves his admiration, his respect and his affection.”
What can fathers do to encourage their daughters’ success, especially with society’s gender stereotypes. In a recent Quartz article by Jackie Bischof, she listed some ways fathers can help young girls develop leadership skills:
1. Display egalitarian behaviors at home.
Research has shown that sharing household duties like cooking and doing the laundry equally with your partner can have a direct impact on girls’ ambitions. In a study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that in homes where the mother and the father divided household duties equally, girls tended to be more ambitious with their careers than in homes where moms did most of the housework.
2. Express your confidence in her.
Demonstrating your faith in her abilities boosts her self-esteem, preparing her to defend herself when confronted with sexism.
Read more fatherhood tips about raising successful daughters on the next page.
3. Give her exposure to male-dominated fields.
If you work in a male-dominated field like science, engineering, or technology, you can provide your daughters with exposure to these fields and the skills they’ll need to excel in them later on. Talk to your daughters about work and engage them in related activities.
4. Discuss sexism at an early age.
First of all, you yourself should be aware of gender inequality. That way, you can help prepare your daughter to stand up for herself when confronted with sexism in the future. “Talking through how to deal with a teacher who calls on boys more than girls, for example, lets girls know that their voices deserve to be heard,” wrote Bischof.
5. Establish a healthy relationship.
You want your daughter to be comfortable enough to call you up whenever she needs advice. Foster an open dialogue.
“There will always be love, because you’re my flesh and blood and I brought you up and all the rest of it,” Bischoff wrote, quoting her own father on his parenting philosophy. “But there’s got to be also be a bit of friendship. You’ve got to be able to talk with each other, make jokes about each other and maybe even argue with each other. That’s what really good friends can do.”
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