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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Guest Blogger: Fathers shape daughters

February 10, 2010

Her first sweetheart is Dad

Her first sweetheart is Dad

By Richard “RJ” Jaramillo

RJ Jaramillo is Founder and President of SingleDad.com He is also a single father of three children. With over nine years of experience helping other Single Parents with advice, support, and resources, RJ is excited to share his company and personal mission on teaching others how to “Make Life Happen…Again!”


I was recently interviewed on a single parent radio show about my dating habits and how I choose the women I date. I was asked to make a “top 3 list” on things I look for in a woman.  While doing this, I became aware of a more powerful parenting topic: father and daughter relationships and how fathers shape their daughters’ future relationships with men. Here is my “Top 3 List on Single Parent Dating” and my personal opinions on the importance of having a good relationship with your daughter that will help shape her future relationships.

What I look for #1: What’s Her Relationship with Her Parents?

I always want to know the relationship that a woman has with her parents, especially with her father. I know this may sound strange, but when I ask this question I want to know their past and present relationship. Do they see or talk to each other often? Is there an absence? What is the frequency of contact?  Some of this information can really open up a can of worms and I have been caught off guard when I hear a painful story unfold. Now, in all fairness, I try to remain impartial and understand both sides. But in cases of stories where the father and daughter no longer have a relationship, what has surprised me the most is the lack of forgiveness from the fathers. They felt there was more value in punishing the other person with silence and absence, then forgiving someone of their mistakes, misunderstandings or miscommunication. I have dated women with poor relationships with their parents and I feel that these women, who have little or no understanding of offering or accepting an apology or practicing forgiveness, just shut down and move on when relationship issues arise.

Father and Daughter Tip #1: It’s never too late to apologize.

Make the time, be present and teach your daughter the power of an apology and the emotion behind forgiveness. I know I am not perfect. I have allowed too much time between poor behavior and apologies at times. I feel that most fathers don’t understand the importance of catching their faults early. What I see far too often in men is that they will just “play nice” the next day and allow their nice demeanor portray the apology. This is not the same as an apology. This pretend game is called the silent treatment and it is not good. You are allowing the hurt emotions of the relationship to become trapped and unresolved.  This is not teaching our daughters how to resolve conflict and they will take this behavior with them into their future relationships. My solution to this problem is simple. I promise myself not to let too much time go past, be present with my daughter, and address my actions and why I am asking for her forgiveness. This is a good way to teach our child humility, humanity and most importantly emotional connection. If we want a connection, there is no better way than to be human and create that emotion through an apology. Read more…

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1 Comment »

  1. Dads have such a knack for providing stability and strength to their kids. Raising independent kids is a lost art form. http://growingupwell.org/2009/08/25/training-up-independent-kids/

    Comment by Andy — February 23, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

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