Raising Daughter as a Single Dad
Challenge of raising a daughter as a single dad is a big one but not insurmountable. A man may have to become a single father because of separation and divorce; he may be a custodial parent or a widower. Anyway, while a strong and capable adult woman can be a good role model for her daughter as a mom, single fathers may need sensitivity, time, patience and some tips on how to bring up their daughter as a lone parent and ensure her overall personality development:
- All dads, especially, single fathers tend to turn into a rescuer or an overprotective parent for their daughters. This might only lead to a rebel daughter or a daughter, who is totally dependent on you. So, allow her to take limited risks and gain confidence.
- Communication style of men and women differ. Communicating with your daughter may require time, patience and willingness to hear. Most men have an approach where they just listen long enough to find out the problem and then the tendency to solve it themselves take over and they stop hearing the solutions being considered by their daughter. Daughters do not want you to fix their issues. They want you to listen and understand and help them in finding out their own solutions.
- Dads find it easier to get involved with their sons’ activities and lives than their daughters’. However, as single dad, you are the one to support your daughter in everything they do such as shopping, athletic contests and even being around the house when she is having her friends over at home. Find opportunities to be with her to strengthen the bond you share with your doll.
- Puberty and adolescence in girls can be an emotional challenge for dads and they might find it difficult to discuss many issues with their daughters. The best way is to be hones and discuss the issues up front with their daughters such as your apprehensions about her dating and developing relationships with guys or about changes in her body, emotions and hormones. Things that you find just too awkward to discuss can be best left to be discussed by your trusted female mentor.
- Support groups for single dads or Parents Without Partners and online discussion forums and chat groups may help you to face these challenges better too.
- You may have to find a strong and capable female mentor or role model for your daughter and help them to communicate with each other well and get connected. The mother figure in your daughter’s life can be a grandmother, an aunt, mom of a friend of your daughter, a coach for girls or even a Girl Scout leader or a teacher.
- You need to teach the child to solve her own problems and acquire good problem-solving skills. Though, it is much easier to solve the problem yourself, you do not want her to be dependent on you. So, sit with her, help her think through an issue, fish out for the alternatives and come to a conclusion.
- Young men and women who have healthy group relationships with both genders are more comfortable for later time in their lives when they start dating and finding their soul mate. So, encourage your daughter to join such groups, whenever there is an opportunity.