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The Importance of Father Figure in a Daughter's Romantic Life

Instead of simply offering suggestions for Father's Day gifts, Lunch Actually would like to share the impact a parent or in this case, a father has on their children’s love life.

Article contribution by Violet Lim and Jamie Lee, Co-Founder Lunch Actually Group

Picture: Optimax Managing Director Tan Sri Dato' (Dr.) Tan Boon Hock along with his daughter and CEO Sandy Tan.

Father's Day is dedicated to honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood. The moment is ideal for expressing gratitude for the care, support, and direction fathers give their children while also taking steps to improve your role as a father figure. Instead of simply offering suggestions for Father's Day gifts, Lunch Actually would like to share  the impact a parent or in this case, a father has on their children’s love life.

In Malaysia, 1.7% of the total population are single mothers or counted as 235,240 people in 2021. From March 2020 to August 2021, 80,000 divorce cases were recorded nationwide. Which means, more or less, the numbers have contributed to the increase of fatherless figure numbers. The numbers are even more significant as the fatherless do not account for children who had passed away, divorced, gone to prison, or were not physically present in the family but also when he was physically present but he wasn't there, such as he could have been abusive, emotionally unavailable, or an alcoholic.

The Co-Founders of Lunch Actually, Jamie Lee and Violet Lim

According to the CEO and Co-Founder of Lunch Actually, Violet Lim, a father figure can influence how his daughter is in a relationship, especially for daughters. Based on recent studies, a father figure can shape a daughter's self-esteem, self-image, confidence, and perceptions of males. The quality of a girl's relationship with her father affects her capacity to trust someone, her desire for validation, and her self-belief.

The absence of a father or family treatment does not guarantee adverse outcomes, as the presence of supportive family members, friends, mentors, positive role models, or self-motivation can help mitigate some of these effects. Additionally, individual resilience, personal strengths, and access to resources can play a significant role in overcoming challenges associated with a father's absence.

Jamie Lee, Co-Founder of Lunch Actually, who is also a father to a teenage daughter, pointed out, "Father who has a fulfilling relationship with his daughter will develop a healthier attachment style for her daughter. She will grow up as a confident woman, have faith in someone else, and feel more secure while taking on challenges, including while dating someone and yet satisfied with her romantic relationship. It happens because she knows how to express her feelings to the opposite gender, communicates comfortably, and has the privilege to discuss her criteria, habits, wants, and needs toward a man to her father. Thus, it's easier for daughters with close relationships with their parents to have a meaningful relationship."

Jamie also suggests parents use these special moments to start self-reflection for fathers. It takes time, effort, and genuine concern to forge a solid relationship with your children. We need to actually START. The relationships between fathers and especially with their daughters can be strengthened in the following ways:

  1. Start to spend time together

Make time a regular priority with your daughter. Spend time doing something you both enjoy, such as taking walks, playing games, reading, or engaging in hobbies. Attending and participating in these events is crucial in fostering open communication and a sense of community.

  1. Be involved and show interest:

Show your daughter you care about her by listening carefully and having meaningful conversations. Not only will this make her feel respected and supported, but it will also help you understand her better. Encourage your daughter to follow her passions and desires by supporting her goals. Be her champion and provide her with the direction and assistance she needs.

Don't be the judge of their life. Instead, you can recognize and celebrate your daughter's significant and insignificant accomplishments. Show her that you are happy with her and her efforts no matter what her accomplishments are, whether they be in school, personal milestones, or anything else. Show her that you have faith in her talents and help her when facing challenges.

  1. Be a good example

Fathers have a significant impact on how their daughters view themselves and how they interact with others. Set a good example by acting with respect, kindness, honesty, and empathy. Your daughter will emulate you and look up to you.

  1. Start to establish distinctive rituals and traditions.

This thing can deepen your relationship and generate enduring memories. It could be a regular movie night, weekend cooking sessions, or any other pastime that develops into an exceptional shared experience for the two of you.

  1. Be emotionally available

Establish a space where your daughter feels free to express her emotions and talk to you about them. When she needs it, validate her experiences and offer emotional support. Encourage open dialogue and pay attention to her needs.

Every father-daughter relationship is different, so it's essential for fathers to recognize and value their daughter's uniqueness. Fathers can continue to build a solid and loving link with their daughters by continuously giving them time, love, and attention.

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