I know it’s not Father’s day,  but this was on my mind today.    It seems to me with television shows and the media depicting so much information about incest and fathers that cross the line with their daughters, fathers have become overly cautious when relating to their daughters.

I really hate to see this fear develop as our daughters need strong, appropriate, loving relationships with their fathers.  Studies have show that these types of relationships decrease the likelihood of teen girls becoming sexually active at earlier ages.  It also gives them an example of what to look for in a man for marriage.  If they never interact positively with their own father, it can lead to a young woman not knowing what characteristics are positive in a male.

Children are always watching our examples.  This goes for boys as well as girls.  They watch to see how loving relationships function in day to day life. If you are currently unhappy with your spouse and treat them as if they were insignificant, know that your child may also look for a mate who treats them as such.  This usually bothers parents quite a bit to know that the child they adore, whether they feel adoration for the other parent or not, may end up being hurt by their mate.

If you want to set your children up for success in future relationships, be a good role model.  Treat your spouse with respect and love. Date one another. Show children that the marriage relationship is important and deserving of time.  This builds a sturdy foundation for your children and for your marriage/relationship as well.

Spend quality time with your children. Take them on dates where you show them examples of how to act while on a date and also giving them undivided attention.  Listen to them.  Put the phone down and look at them with true interest.  You might be surprised what you learn, all the while teaching your child the value of relating to one another.

So, while it may seem frightening given the nature of our society, take your child on a date, hug them, give them undivided attention and teach them to expect respectful relationships.

If this is an area that you feel you are struggling with, please call for an appointment.

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