First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dads-to-be out there!

As I was researching information for today’s post, I discovered that there was such an overwhelming agreement about the topic I wanted to address that there are just too many sources for me to quote them all here. But, here’s the jist of what I found:

Experts agree that the relationship a girl has with her father will affect her relationships with men for the rest of her life.

Let me repeat that: FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!!

What I found was that girls who have fathers who are emotionally absent or not affectionate, are more likely to have inappropriate physical relationships with boys at a younger age to make up for what they feel they are missing. Girls who have gruff, abrasive fathers who are impatient or abusive are more likely to marry someone who treats them the same way, AND even if the father does not treat the daughter that way but she sees him being rough with the mother, she is still more likely to be in an abusive marriage.

Wow. That’s a lot to think about, dads.

But, here’s something else to consider.  How daddy views mommy has a big influence on kids, too. According to Parents magazine, “…children who do housework with their father are more likely to get along with their peers. They are also less likely than other kids to disobey teachers or to become depressed or withdrawn.” (McCarthy, 95) That’s right. You read that correctly. It is a good thing for BOTH parents to share in the responsibilty of child-rearing and household chores.

I also discovered, through my research, that when a father treats his wife and daughter(s) with love and respect, that father’s girls are a lot less likely to settle for the first handsome face that comes along. They are more likely to pursue higher education because they believe in themselves. They are more likely to hold onto their innocence for longer because they like themselves more and don’t want to give a part of themselves away until the time is right. And, they are more likely to postpone a trip to the altar until they find a man who treats them with the respect they deserve.

Because I have a daughter, I thank God every day that my husband is a loving husband and father who thinks his precious daughter makes the sun rise every morning. She has two grandfathers who feel exactly the same way about her.

Because I have a daughter, I am thankful that my husband is secure enough in his masculinity that he isn’t afraid he will lose it if he helps me with the dishes, makes dinner, changes diapers, or rocks the baby to sleep. Madeline’s daddy is a real man – the kind who respects his wife and supports her in her dreams and goals. She will see this. She will see that Daddy loves Mommy. She will know that Daddy loves her and for that reason, she will love herself. When we tell her that she can be an author, an artist, an astronaut, or an ambassador, she will believe it.

Daughters, sons, fathers, and mothers alike, enjoy the pictures!

Grandpa Phil & Mommy, circa 1977

Grandpa Ken & Daddy, circa 1979

Daddy & Madeline, 2010