ARE YOU A FATHER RAISING A DAUGHTER?
Have you ever heard the saying men are from Mars and women are from Venus? This saying describes the magnitude of the gap of misunderstanding that exists between the way men and women operate. For centuries, men have complained that they do not understand what a woman wants, how a woman thinks or what a woman needs. Many men today would agree that this is still the case. If this is true, that there is such a world of difference between men and women, and men operate with very little knowledge about women, how then is a single father expected to raise a daughter?
Additionally, whether by nature or by nurture, men are often silent on the issue of raising children. Women seem to find it easy to find places and opportunities to talk about the challenges and the pleasures of raising children. Without opportunities for conversations on the complexities of fathering, how do fathers, let alone single fathers, obtain any information on what it takes to be a good father? Perhaps even more importantly, where do single fathers go to get information on raising daughters?
With this rise in single fatherhood, it is time for society to address some of the stereotypes it attributes to gender and parenting roles. For the most part, mothers are viewed as the primary capable parent while fathers are considered as either assistant, invisible, incompetent, or “second class” parents. This role definition extends even to Hollywood as most father figures on television today are depicted as comic and ineffective parent caricatures. The role of the father throughout history generally places a heavy focus on the father as the provider. He is primarily responsible for ensuring that his family has all of the material goods that they need.
One of the major differences between fathers and mothers is the parent-child relationship that forms from the inside out for mothers from the very beginning. For nine months, mother and child share an inexplicable bond that leads to the culminating act of childbirth – a milestone in an already established relationship. For fathers, on the other hand, their bond comes to their child from the outside. While they share in the progress of the pregnancy by feeling the mother’s belly, watching ultrasound and listening to the heartbeat, they are still on the outside seeking a way in. In an odd way, this mirrors the parent–child relationship going forward. Mothers spend a great deal of time trying to step back and allow their child adequate independence, while fathers are challenged with drawing close enough to form the close bonds necessary to build a strong, lasting parent–child relationship.
Our society does not invest nearly as much time and attention preparing boys to become fathers as it does preparing girls to become mothers. Girls begin playing nurturing games such as “house” and “family” during early childhood, while boys are generally busily saving the universe. How then would a father handle the unexpected demands of family life and fathering daughters? Couple this with single fatherhood and it would appear that a gap in services to the fastest growing segment of the single parent population has been identified. Single parent statistics indicate that single mothers are increasing at a rate of 27% while single fathers are rapidly increasing at an astonishing 62%.
Got Girls workshops take this same fatherhood methodology and expand it to encompass all of the roles of provision a single father is expected to fulfill. Not only is he required to provide materially, he is also responsible for providing love, support, encouragement, involvement, a positive example, commitment, his presence and a host of others. Additionally, Got Girls helps single fathers understand the differences between males and females to decrease levels of both parental and child frustration, bridge communication gaps, and equip fathers for the awesome responsibility of nurturing their daughters into healthy, independent women with a positive self–image.
Girls, for the most part, tend to be like an enigma to fathers. Like other mysteries, fathers find themselves frightened, excited, entertained, baffled, enlightened or completely in the dark, sometimes feeling all of these emotions all at once. If single fathers are to be at all successful in raising girls, they must first be taught how to listen, and listen effectively. When girls are listened to, especially by their fathers, their inner strength is developed which lays a secure foundation for future safety and success.
If you are a single father raising a daughter and would like to unlock the mystery of the young lady in your care, please join us as we equip you to take this special journey: leading your daughter along the path to successful womanhood.