Daughters Need Their Dads Too (Even When We’re Grown Up)

“So, Dad, we want to drive to Los Angeles. We’re going to see what happens.” At 19 years old, my sister and I revealed our plans to our father at the last minute. We fully expected him to say, “Uh, no you're not.”

By Lisa Britton4 min read
Daughters Need Their Dads Too. Even When We’re Grown Up shutterstock

Instead, to our great surprise, he responded, “…Okay.”

My sister and I were shocked. Not what we expected at all. “Really?” We asked.

“Yes. The last thing I would ever want for you girls is to live in regret wondering ‘Where would we be if we actually went for it?’” he said.

Within days, our bags were packed and we set off on our cross-country journey to LA. We’ve lived in LA ever since, with full lives and families of our own now. With the approval, support, and encouragement from our father, we went for it and we have no regrets.

The idea of “the family” has been changing drastically over the decades. With the push to “smash the patriarchy” from feminists, fathers are being pushed out of their role and their authority has been squashed. More women are dismissing their feminine traits, focusing on careers, delaying children, and becoming unwed mothers, while celebrated easy divorce has pushed out a lot of fathers.

Society Has Devalued Fathers

Fathers aren’t necessary (they would like us to believe). More and more, culture is framing “the family” as whatever a woman wants it to be. More recently, celebrity culture has been pushing the idea of “solo motherhood,” i.e. choosing to be a single mom. Our favorite feminist (cough) Amber Heard welcomed her first daughter via surrogacy this past April, and later stated, “I hope we arrive at a point in which it’s normalized to not want a ring in order to have a crib.” And people are cheering her on. “Girl power!” SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, wants fathers OUT…and it’s working. I believe the push to tear men down is hurting adult women’s relationships with their fathers.

The social engineering taking place to destroy the family and push out fathers is on overdrive. I find it interesting how the drive to push “father” out of the home both physically and spiritually seemed to happen at the same time. It’s another way to control the masses and have more struggling families and individuals who are dependent on our “leaders.” But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that fatherlessness creates many problems for society. Throw in how they’re not giving boys and young men the purpose, support, and encouragement they need, and it’s hard to imagine things getting better any time soon.

We’ve been downplaying the role of fathers to our own detriment. They want us to believe men and women, mothers and fathers, are exactly the same. THEY AREN’T. Fathers play a significant and specific role in our lives when we’re children AND when we’re adults. I often focus on boys and fatherlessness, but here I’m going to focus on girls and women and their relationship with dad.

What Fathers Give to Their Daughters

Strong, involved fathers naturally instill an understanding of authority in children. Girls are far less likely to exhibit bad behavior when they have a strong bond with their dad. This carries into adulthood, and they’re far less likely to get involved with crime or end up in prison. 

Women who grew up with active, supportive fathers have more confidence and self-esteem. 

A daughter’s relationship with her dad plays a key role in her psychological development. Research suggests that daughters who have loving and secure relationships with their dad feel better about themselves and their bodies. Even as adults they’re less likely to be obese and less likely to have eating disorders. Women who grew up with active, supportive fathers have more confidence and self-esteem. They’re more likely to be adventurous and take risks (like in my case!). They get better grades in school and are more likely to pursue higher education. They are more assertive, but in the best possible way, without being aggressive. 

Dads also create the gold standard for future relationships. Daughters with good bonds with their fathers are more likely to have healthy relationships with men. They’re more likely to get married and stay married. 

Dads Don’t Stop Being Dads When Their Little Girls Are Grown Up

Many of us Millennials and Gen Zers grew up with divorce, either early in life (which often negatively impacts the relationship with fathers) or later in life. A new report shows that adult children are far more likely to stay in touch with their mothers than their fathers when a late-in-life divorce occurs between parents. But retaining a strong bond with your father in your adult life is so important and beneficial for women. Caring dads give the best advice! If you build a strong relationship in adulthood with your father, he will be there for you whenever you need him.

My father was 30 years old with five children when he found out he had an illness that would prevent him from working. Not being able to provide the way he wanted for his family created many issues. My childhood had its ups and downs. Then my parents’ later-in-life divorce led to what happens with many families: I stayed closer to my mom and called my dad occasionally. He never called me. I know it’s because he thought he failed his kids and felt it was best to fade away in the background.

But, as I became an advocate for boys, men, and fathers and true female empowerment, I gained knowledge on the importance of fathers, and I rekindled my relationship with my dad. I pushed aside any resentment I may have had, forgave him and forgave myself, and started fresh. In this most recent chapter of my adult life, my father became my favorite phone buddy. I would call so often I was worried I was annoying him. I wasn’t, of course. He would just listen to me babble on forever.

My father became my favorite phone buddy. He gave me relationship advice. We had many laughs.

He told me stories that he had never told me in the past. He gave me his secret trick to make his perfect BBQ chicken. He gave me relationship advice. We had many laughs, and I’m so happy we did. Over the summer, his health went south rapidly and he was in the hospital. My whole family rallied together. I’m so proud of them all. My older brother became the “Jack” from LOST I always knew he would. My older sister went to the hospital almost every day and fed him, and my other older sister raced to the hospital from work to be at his bedside. My sister who lives in LA with me face-timed regularly with her newborn baby on her lap, “Say hi to grandpa!” Even as my dad was suffering, I could see the joy in his eyes.

The rapid decline in my father’s health in his final weeks was agonizing, but he had his family with him at all times, whether in person or in spirit. My father passed away peacefully, and I feel at peace having had the bond that we built in my adult life. I know he is still with me today.

Closing Thoughts

So, I have a message for all the ladies out there. It’s not too late to build a strong, mutually-beneficial relationship with your father, and I hope I can inspire you to do just that!

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