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How To Love Your Teenage Daughter: 5 Tips For Dads

Updated on February 14, 2008
Photo:  chany14, Flickr
Photo: chany14, Flickr

See Also

Science Daily - Get a head start. Studies show that a stable homelife and loving relationship with Dad results in girls entering puberty at later ages.

Write a Love Letter to Your Child - Article is aimed at younger children, but kids are never too old to read the reasons why you love them.

How to Show Affection to Your Children - Kids are different and need different expressions of love from you.


Adolescence can be rough on girls - and their Dads. Fathers are challenged by a little girl who is becoming something very different. The most important thing Dads can do is love their daughters. Doing so wards off risks that are unique to girls. Attention from Dad is a strong antidote to self-doubt, eating disorders, and depression.

The father-daughter relationship is key in raising girls who grow into an independent young women, capable of making good decisions and creating a happy life. Use these tips to love and raise healthy, confident daughters.

Spend time together.

Set a weekly lunch or coffee date. Take up a sport you can play together such as running or tennis. Talk to your daughter about the dangers of drug and alcohol use, but also take time to listen. Ask your daughter about her school, friends, movies and music. Take her to a concert.

Attending your daughter's school functions, sporting events, and social activities will make her feel loved. It can help maintain good grades and increase her enjoyment of school. Although she may ignore you at the time, she's secretly proud to see you watching her.

Model good behavior.

Just as you ate your brocoli so your little girl would do the same, you need to show her with your own actions how to manage the stress of the teen years. Share with your teenaged daughter the stresses you face and how you cope with them.

Teach your daughter how to set realistic goals, prioritize, getting enough sleep, and get adequate exercise not by preaching, but by doing all those things yourself.

Recognize strengths.

Foster your daughter's self worth by treating her as an individual. Avoid comparisons to siblings or peers. Praise your daughter as often as possible, for the right reasons.

Encourage a teenage girl to focus her energy on talents and interests rather than pleasing others through weight and beauty. Be selective with your compliments, aware of what you are encouraging. Take care to notice things other than physical attributes.

Encourage service.

Teens are often wrapped up in their own troubles. Hormones and new feelings can make them feel like the only person who has ever experienced a breakup or the loss of a good friend.

When kids engage in community service, they get their minds off their own problems. Spending time with a group of like minded kids keeps them busy and chances are they'll make friends with others whose families share your values.

Be tough.

Just because you're trying to connect doesn't mean you need to be a pushover. Monitor her activities and know her friends. Keep track of where she, who she's with, and what she's doing at all times. Know her friends and their parents. Set clear rules and enforce them, including regular check-in times. Let her know what you expect. Parental disapproval is among the strongest deterrent to drug use and other dangerous behavior.

Stand firm, but don't forget the hugs. Physical affection from Dad means your daughter doesn't need to look for it elsewhere.


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  • profile image

    parents15 6 years ago

    my dad is really cool and all.But he keeps bothering me about grades and such when i am trying really hard.. now that i have better grades he says i have a really bad attittude and i feel like hes always trying to find something wrong with me. Hes always trying to find a reason to argue with me or ground me, which is really frustrating and makes me feel like why should i keep trying to be good if anyway i am going to get grounded.

  • profile image

    Loving Parent 6 years ago

    My husband is a very affectionate dad. He has always hugged and kissed our two daughters. All of their friends think my husband is the best...

    Now, one of the parents of those friends has hinted that my husband has been inappropriate with their daughter. They say he let their daughter sit on his lap in the car and steer it while driving in our housing tract.

    My husband says he was never alone in the car with any of our daughter's friends. Now, that parent is threatening to go to the police.

    What do we do?

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    Marie 6 years ago

    "Attending your daughter's school functions, sporting events, and social activities will make her feel loved."

    Make her feel loved?? More like embarrassed! I'm 15 and if my dad tagged along to those idiotic school events then it would make it even worse!! The point of having a comments section is to hear peopled opinions so don't go hating on mine :/

  • htodd profile image

    htodd 6 years ago from United States

    Great hub ,Thanks father Daughter relationship is very important...

  • profile image

    mark 6 years ago

    Most dads spend less than 10 minutes a day with their daughters. But dads are incredibly important in shaping how tween daughters will eventually view themselves, how they will conduct their relationships with men, what they will look for in a man, and a host of other things. I just finished a recently released book, What Happened to my Little Girl? It takes fathers through the roller coaster ride that is the tween girl's life and offers wise advice on how to understand and guide her. Here's a link to the Amazon page:

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    CURTIS MILLER 7 years ago

    My 16 year old seems typical. She is constantly angry about how I say things rather than what I say. I'm involved in school activities with her and attend most functions and even transport her and friends-we go to movies and eat out together. Is it better to clam up when I see her emotional gauge rising( or mine)?

  • CMerritt profile image

    Chris Merritt 7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

    Thanks lela, I find this very reassuring at this point in my life, I have recently wrote a hub, shouting for help in this department. I think you have given excellent advice. I am going to try to implement some of your ideas, such as the weekly lunch or a weekly one on one time.

    Great Hub.

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    A Caring Dad.. 7 years ago

    Thanks for your valuable comments, interesting. I have 2 teenage daughters (14 & 16) and boy they are a pain in the '@#&%$@'. Their view is that we are old and past it.. unable to understand.. However, nothing could be futher from the truth.

    The challenge for us as parents is not to get sucked into a heated debate with them (which is what they really want to do) in order to rule the roost to coin a phase, or fine tune their confrontational skills (Attitude). They want everything here and now (no matter the cost) and certainly have no respect or care as to what is provided and to look after the said items. ("Mum/Dad I have lost my IPOD, can you buy me another please...", "I don't think so, SAVE your pocket money").

    Therefore I have to implement being 'FIRM', 'FAIR' and 'FORGIVING' and try to resolve issues on the day of the issue happening (this is hard, I know cannot execute on this), but important in order for people to move on.

    With all that said, Doors always to remain OPEN for them. Try to implement the 5 second rule (when annoyed) with them (hard). Allow them the time and space to give feedback/comment (parents don't always get it right) so constructive feedback is good. Remember, we are constantly learning.

    Many Thanks for allowing me to air this.. Certainly helps me to get my thoughts in some kind order.

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    Anna 15 8 years ago

    My dad doesn't seem to want to spend time with me. He never really has, and is like that with the rest of my family too. How can I get him to open up and give a hug sometimes when he sighs in annoyance?

  • Elusen profile image

    Elusen 8 years ago from Indianapolis, IN

    Excellent points in this hub. My teenage daughter and I have always talked - and talked about rather deep subjects. Now that she's "spreading her wings", I think she takes a great deal of what we've shared with her.

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    Geoff 8 years ago

    My 14 year old daughter has decided that she no longer wants to come & stay. According to my ex she is angry at me for a multutude of things. It all seems to have come unstuck when i discovered that she had taken some money from me and told her that I am very disappointed in her. Her mother & i divorced 8 years ago & it was & still is very tense despite my best efforts. I would be very grateful for any guidance on how to mend the situation as my daughter will not even speak to me. I have asked her mother to get her to participate in counselling with me but to no avail.

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    some advice 8 years ago

    You can play board games with your dad instead, or you two can both try cooking a recipe on the weekend for the whole family, take him to the cinema o see a movie, to the arcades, ride bikes together in a park, or make him lunch and visit him one day at his work, it could be a great way to get to know what his work environment is like.

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    Sam  8 years ago

    I'm 14 and I want to do more activities with my dad, but I don't know what activities to do. He doesn't really like sports, so that's out. Any ideas?

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    First time Father 9 years ago

    As a parent, our responsibility is not only to take good care of our childrens but also to show love. Spending time and talking to your children can help to build loving relationship. You also need to be a model of good attitude, recognize their strength and to teach them right.