Fathers and Daughters
Oddly, it’s only recently been discovered
that highly successful women have had close relationships with their
fathers. Presumably that’s why the idea of Father-Daughter dances is
taking hold. That misses the mark in so many serious ways that it’s
alarming. The father is dressed in his best suit, the little girl in a
frilly dress, and they go off on a date with the daughter
replacing her mother. Girls also need to see their parents in a strong
relationship, and this isn’t the way to accomplish it.
More significant is that when fathers
have good relationships with their sons, they do things
together: fix the sink, repair the fence, fish, practice baseball, paint
the living room, put the birthday bike together….
When fathers and daughters have good
relationships, they do things together. What fathers
should be doing with their daughters is working at Habitat for Humanity,
collecting toys for disadvantaged children, fixing toys for
disadvantaged children, serving at a soup kitchen, helping at an animal
shelter—doing something constructive! What they should not be
doing is teaching little girls that a woman’s place in the world is
dressing in frilly clothes and dating their fathers.
It isn’t, of course, inappropriate for
fathers and daughters to dance together on many occasions such as at the
daughter’s wedding or when the daughter is learning the art of dance.
The father who owns a dance studio will dance with his daughter quite
often, teaching her both the art of dance and the family business. But
they’re not going off on a date!
In truth, the pictures we’ve seen of
fathers and daughters going off to their date-dance are unfortunate.
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