In many households, the mom is the disciplinarian, and the father is the “fun” parent. Sometimes, the opposite is true. There are a variety of family structures these days, but no matter how your family is set up, it’s important for the adults who are raising the children to be a united front. If you’re not on the same team, how can you possibly work together to raise the kids?
Staying Strong in a Difficult World: How Dads Can Help Influence Healthy Choices
A 2012 study from Pediatrics found that fathers who made it clear they disapproved of early sexual behavior had daughters who were less likely to engage in sexual activity during their teen years. The study also included other adult male figures aside from just biological dads. When a teen looks up to an older male figure, she will attempt to make him proud by aligning to his values. She might not even realize she’s doing this.
Dad Makes a Difference: Other Benefits of a Great Relationship with Dad
Studies show that a strong relationship with dad can make an enormous difference in a teen’s life. According to a 2001 report by the U.S. Department of Education, a child who has a strong relationship with her father is more likely to receive mostly A grades in school. That said, if your child’s biological father isn’t around, you don’t need to feel bad. Other studies show that stepdads, adoptive dads, uncles, grandfathers or other strong role models can provide a similar effect.
The bottom line is that children need a variety of support. If your daughter does have her biological father in her life, but you see them struggling to connect, do your best to help. It’s your job as a mom to help nurture their connection by occasionally stepping aside and allowing them to spend time together alone. Even something as simple as a father-daughter camping trip can make a difference.