Fathers and daughters often share a bond unlike any other relationship. Most fathers feel protective --particularly of their teen daughters-- and most teen daughters feel safer because of this protectiveness. Unfortunately, many fathers have difficulty communicating with their teen daughter because of gender, age and experiential differences. However, there are things a father can do to help bridge the communication gap and become better at talking to his teen daughter.
Understand Her World
A teenage daughter's life can be filled with drama, pressure and change. By making an effort to understand your daughter's perspectives, you open lines of communication. This also means learning about and being able to discuss topics that may be uncomfortable for you, such as her change from little girl into young womanhood. Although some topics can be awkward, by approaching with questions and listening to her concerns with respect, you increase her trust, which in turn can make future discussions easier.
Like many teens, your daughter may be self-conscious. Criticism can unwittingly tap into that self-consciousness and destroy any chance of successfully talking to her. Criticism often extends beyond direct criticism to include being dismissive or critical of those she cares about, particularly her mom, writes Ali Goldfield, a licensed therapist in Ottawa, Canada. Fathers who are overly critical risk pushing their daughters to other sources of affirmation -- including other men. A father can be more helpful in asking questions that encourage reflection and discussion.
Spending father-daughter time together will help facilitate discussions and show your daughter that you care about your relationship with her. Allowing her to pick activities to do together -- whether it be lunch together or a movie night or a simple walk -- will further demonstrate you value her input, helping make talking to your daughter even easier. In addition, spending time together increases common interests, which in turn creates even further opportunities to talk with her.
Reinforce Your Relationship
Your relationship should not be one-dimensional. You want to provide time for her, but also give her privacy, keep promises and demonstrate affection. Allowing privacy shows respect, which opens communication. Keeping promises proves that you can be trusted, which increases her confidence in talking to you. Displaying affection with hugs, a kiss on the cheek or even a pat on the back reaffirms your love, which is arguably the greatest step toward making it easier to talk to your teen daughter.
How to Improve a Father-Daughter ...
Early Childhood Social Skills Needed to ...
How to Help Your Girlfriend Cope With a ...
How to Deal With Your Teen's ...
How Can I Help My 11 Year Old Daughter ...
How to Nicely Tell Your Mom to Back Off
How to Help an Emotionally Needy Sister
How to Deal With a Possessive Mother
How to Cheer up Your Daughter
How to Deal with an Oversensitive ...
How to Calm Down Your Annoying Sister
How to De-Stress Your Girlfriend
Teenagers and the Importance of Friends
Why Sexual Fantasies Are Good for Your ...
How Does an Overbearing Mother Affect a ...
The Effects of a Poor Father-Daughter ...
How to Deal With Your Teenage Daughter ...
How to Fix a Broken Relationship With a ...
How to Handle a Dramatic Girlfriend
How to Deal With Overbearing Sisters
- Between Fathers and Daughters: Enriching and Rebuilding Your Adult Relationship: Linda Nielsen
- Father to Daughter, Revised Edition: Life Lessons on Raising a Girl; Melissa Harrison and Harry H. Harrison Jr.
- Father-Daughter Communication: Relationship Maintenance, Attachment Styles, Interpersonal Communication Motives, and Satisfaction; Narissra Punyanunt-Carter
William Martin has earned degrees in English/language arts and education. His background includes teaching reading and writing, literature analysis, arts and culture, outdoor recreation, home repair and improvement. His first short story was published as a junior in high school; more years ago than he'd probably care to admit.