From childhood to adulthood, our relationships with our family holds an important role in shaping our worldview, ideals and personality. The bond between father and daughter is particularly influential, as fathers serve as role models for young girls to follow and look up to.
Last month, EmpowHERto hosted a virtual workshop that delved into the importance of father-daughter relationships, with over 30 girls in attendance. During the informative and engaging session, girls were able to communicate their difficulties in their relationships, and navigate helpful tools for positive self growth and development.
Hosted by Yara Artis, a licensed therapist, the workshop highlighted the importance of maintaining a positive father-daughter relationship and common difficulties young girls may encounter as they transition into adulthood.
A loving and nurturing relationship with one’s father can significantly shape one’s self confidence and esteem, as children often look to their parents for guidance and advice. In difficult times or in the face of challenges, a word of support or comfort from fathers has the ability to remind us of our strengths and encourage us to push through. They instill a sense of confidence and self-belief that can stay with a person for a lifetime.
Fathers are also mentors and role models for their children to look up to. Shaping a daughter’s perception of men and influencing their perception of future relationships, a positive relationship with one’s father can lay the foundation for healthy relationships with others.
Throughout the workshop, many girls were able to identify some of the difficulties they had with their fathers, which often stemmed from miscommunication, a lack of validation, or an absence of father figures in their childhood. Many girls expressed that they felt disconnected from their fathers, and wanted to feel more support and validation from the father figures in their lives. As a result, they found that it was increasingly difficult to navigate male relationships.
As no parent-child relationship is perfect, it is important to recognize the challenges and disagreements one may encounter. But in those moments, it’s crucial to strive for communication and understanding. Our parents may not always be the best communicators, but by fostering open communication and being empathetic, we can begin to bridge those gaps and deepen the bond. Seeking out supportive networks and knowing when to look for professional guidance can also help in times of difficulty, whether from a counselor or from other trusted adults.
When the workshop came to an end, many girls were emotional and thankful for the insights the session provided, and the opportunity for them to meet so many other young girls who shared similar stories and ideas. It was an amazing experience, and we at EmpowHERto look forward to hosting more events like this one in the future.