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Loving boundaries between a father and daughter- three part series- part 3
Clear cut boundary
A relationship between a father and daughter is built on love, trust and mutual respect for one another. A father is a daughters first love, the person that protects her, that she feels safe with. that is why establishing some clear cut boundaries between fathers and daughters is so important to their relationship. As little girls turn into teens and then into women the relationship between a father and daughter can change from daddy's little girl to; " I am unsure of how to adjust to my little girl growing up" When she is little it is important to establish boundaries with her as she grows, such as being affectionate to her, touching her, dressing her, and bathing her. What is appropriate and what is not? Obviously any touch that is done sexually on the part of the parent is inappropriate, as well as allowing a curious child to touch your genitals.
Grey area bounderies
What are the grey areas of boundaries and age appropriate boundaries...?
A fathers showering and bathing with his daughter
Obviously until a child reaches 5 years old or even 7 years old she is not going to know much about being embarrassed by nudity or daddy being nude (each child develops differently, so this is a judgement call) She may ask her father a question or two about his private parts or daddy what is that thing hanging between your legs, and a father should tell his daughter in proper terms or by the proper terminology not slang. This is a learning experience so teach your daughter proper names for body parts. Also don't say anything that is negative either or make her feel bad for asking.
If she asks to touch or reaches to pull and most children will …… You simply say that these are dad’s privates and it is only for daddy to touch not you, just as those are your privates.
How do you know when the showering and bathing needs to stop?
When a father feels uncomfortable with taking a bath or shower with his daughter or, when his daughter starts to feels uncomfortable with him it should stop! This typically will happen anywhere in-between the age of 7-9 years old, depending on the development of the child. there are exceptions as well for some cultures that bathe together, again it about feeling out the situation and both father and daughter being comfortable. One thing for certain is not to make the girl feel that she has done something wrong or she is bad in someway and can no longer take showers with dad. A simple explanation of, you have graduated to showers by yourself, but make sure to still give her hugs, kisses and affection so she does not think there is something wrong with her.
Washing daughter’s private parts:
When a girl can begin to wash her own private area ask her to do it herself, that goes for applying creams and such, 5 year old girls are capable of doing this maybe even younger, use your judgment or if she is still young and if having problems help her. (Just a side note, never put soap in a female private area it burns, just on the outside never on the inside)
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Affection between a father and daughter
Hugging, kissing, and pinching the butt: Hug your daughter always her whole life if you want, kiss your daughters cheeks, forehead her whole life if you want to. Lips maybe when they are very young but not as they get older. Don’t pinch your daughter’s tush (butt), maybe as a small child.
Lastly children do not understand the same as adults that their private parts are sexual, and it is in the nature of children to want to touch their private parts in front of parents, or for them to want to touch yours. If a little girl wants to touch herself, it is just her body part, so do make her feel bad about it, just tell her that she needs to go to her room and do that by herself and not to do it in front of other people. Don’t yell at her or scold her or tell her in any way that she is dirty it will have a lasting effect on her; just tell her to leave the room. When a child touches their private area it means the same to them as a good scratch on the back or arm, it just feels good to them so they do it (human nature).
Children will naturally want to touch parents in their privates, tell them no nicely and say it is your privates and not for them to touch yours or anyone elses for that matter, if they try to kiss you like they see in the movies again explain that it is not appropriate. We are the adults they are children we know better, they are innocent, keep them that way!
For teenage girls as they grow older and go through menstruation and such, If you are a single dad, try to do the best at getting good books and reading it together or having her ask you questions if she wants to. She most likely will be embarrassed, so if you have a good female friend ask her to help or an aunt, grandma. If you are married you can leave this one up to your wife.
Fathers do take the time to sit with your daughter and talk about boys and let your daughter know how they should be treated and how they should treat them. Be open to your daughter asking questions about boys if she will talk about it with you. Be honest with her all let her know what boys think, make sure she is properly prepared.
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Tribute to all fathers
This article is for all of the wonderful fathers out there that are being great role models to their daughters, good fathers, single dads, married fathers, step-parenting, grandparents………this is a guide for you, so that you can be the best father to your daughter. She will appreciate this when she is older, I can personally guarantee it.