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Behind strong, confident and independent women there is a great relationship with her dad. But how do dads play a role in raising women to become leaders, entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists?
Fathers can play a big part in making that happen. Here are seven ways a father can raise independent women.
1. Support Her
Support daughters by treating them with respect and confidence. My husband has always been consistent in supporting our daughters. From a young age he has been there. He coached them in softball and soccer, and encouraged them while learning how to play an instrument. This support contributed to the development of our 17- and 20-year-old daughters self-esteem and self-confidence, and continues to help shape their independence.
2. Be a Positive Role Model
Many daughters lack a positive male role model. A male role model can be a father, but it can also be a stepdad, an uncle, a teacher, or a neighbor.
In addition to my daughter’s father, my father-in-law has demonstrated to my daughters was positivity and resourcefulness looks like.
3. Be Present
Make time to connect and be around. It’s important to set aside daddy-daughter days. To this day, my husband continues to make plans with our daughters and follows through with those plans.
Being present doesn’t mean it has to be something planned in advanced or extravagant. It can be something simple like going to wash the car. If you ask our oldest daughter, she will tell you she loves spending time with her dad cleaning her car.
4. Value Her Opinion
Build her self-confidence by affirming her opinions and beliefs. Let her know it’s okay to be different. Teach her to ask questions. Empower her to be creative and make her own decisions.
5. Teach Self-Reliance
Encourage her to think on her own. Make her own money through employment and other entrepreneurial opportunities.
Other ways to encourage independence is to go with her to open her own bank account at sixteen. Teach them how to track finances, save, and invest.
6. Praise Intelligence and Work Ethic
In our social media-driven world, it’s extremely hard for women to be flooded with insecurities. Physical attractiveness can be nice, but beauty is more than attractiveness outside the realm of physical attraction. Looks are superficial. Beauty goes deeper. Teaching our daughters not to measure worth by looks alone.
7. Love Unconditionally
Both my husband and I love our children without any expectation of repayment. This type of love creates the foundation for strong independent women. No matter what is said or done throughout the course of a day, end every day with “I love you.”
My daughters and I are grateful to be surrounded by such amazing and wonderful fathers. Growing up I had a great role model in my own father who made sure we had love, discipline, faith, strong values and an appreciation for the value of hard work. My husband is definitely someone who shares the same values. Fathers are irreplaceable. They have a powerful impact in the growth and emotional development of their daughters.