What you need to know about the Father-Daughter relationship

Dr. John Gray suggests ways to strengthen the father-daughter bond
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What you need to know about the Father-Daughter relationship

Being a father with three daughters, this is very, very important for fathers to understand their wives are from Venus and their little girls are from Venus. And, so much of the time, we, men, make the mistake of wanting to listen for a few moments and then wanting to jump in there and give advice and give solutions and tell our daughter she should feel good again. And really, the way you help support her self-esteem, her bonding with you, her feeling safe with you is to realize girls and women need more time generally speaking to express how they feel. So here is an example. One of my daughters is at kindergarten. She comes home and she is crying. And I say what´s the matter, and she says the boys were looking up my dress and laughing. And I said really. Now, part of me just wanted to go right into a who cares what those boys think. One day they are going to be your best friend trying to get closer to you. Don´t worry about them now. That is silly advice to give to a child. She is experiencing trauma. Kids are laughing at her. And by the way, she then said I never want to wear a dress again. And I just said tell me about that. What did they say? What happened? And I got details. I got her to talk a little bit more about that. I said oh my gosh, that must have felt so embarrassing. Did it make you sad? Then she said no, I am angry. And I went yes, I would be angry, too. They shouldn´t be treating you like that. It gave her room to express some emotion. And afterwards, she said I am going to wear a dress and I don´t care what they think. And she found that within herself as opposed to my telling her to get there. Create the safety for children to have their feelings, and dads don´t usually understand this because we want to jump in there and give solutions and tell them what we think. So with our daughters, they need more affection. They need more hugs. They need more I love yous. They need you to notice them more, and a lot of acknowledgment just like for a boy, but more attention to the girl. For boys, more attention to what they do. For girls, more attention to who they are and how they feel. This can help boost her self-esteem and the greatest thing a father can give to his daughter is to create a safety for her to communicate what´s inside of her. That´s the whole secret because if children don´t have the ability to communicate to their parents, how can the values of the parents be communicated to the children? When parents can´t communicate to their children, the values that get communicated to us are generally the most dysfunctional person online or from the playground because then the child is seeking their approval rather than feeling safe to share who they are with the parent and then wanting to get a response from a parent rather than being afraid of getting a response from a parent. So this is how we can give our values to our children is to make sure that line of communication is open. And for fathers, we lose it and we start answering every issue they have with a solution rather than a tell me more.

Dr. John Gray suggests ways to strengthen the father-daughter bond


Expert Bio

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John Gray, PhD

Best-Selling Author

John Gray is the leading relationship expert in the world. His relationship and health books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time.

John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, videos, workshops and seminars provide practical insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages of life and love.

John also travels the world teaching communities and companies the best ways to improve their relationships and communication. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show many times as well as The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The View, and many others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today and People.

John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife of 29 years, Bonnie. They have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.

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