I am never in any place where I can’t get my twitter feed. Because of this I see a lot of useless information, interesting articles, and funny blog posts. The other day an article came across the feed that caused some righteous anger to rise up from within. It was retweeted by someone I follow on twitter and respect but the article was the proverbial straw breaking the back of a camel I first noticed a few weeks ago. This camel is all about our daughters. It’s about how society teaches our daughters to act. It’s an uprising of sorts, an outcry against the princesses of Disney and the fashion victims of the magazines. I agree with the bulk of their point, our girls should not be spoiled brats and shouldn’t wear clothes that make it look like what they have is for sale. All of that is fine and good but after reading four articles within the past couple of weeks about this same topic, I am finding a theme. I’m seeing a trend in which none of these articles have any mention of a father, or even father figure. Not a single positive male influence is mentioned in any of these articles.
This movement doesn’t seem to be bad or even feminist, it just seems to be missing an integral part of the picture. There is no value given to the influence a positive male figure can have on a young girls life. It’s as if it’s a non-factor. This upset me. No. This angered me. You know what, I think it may have down right pi**ed me off! Sorry, I didn’t mean to get so worked up, but in the words of Ming Ming (Wonder Pets), “This IS serious.”
What about Dad?
I’m a father of two, as I write this I have a three year old son and an eighteen month old daughter. My little girl loves everything girly there is. She picks up any toy she can find and she kisses it and hugs it and calls it her baby. She loves the princess movies and her princess cups and plates and shoes and shirts and on an on and on. We haven’t taught her any of this, we give her these things because it’s already what she is into. SHE IS A GIRL! She likes stuff that girls like, even at a year and a half. I’m not afraid of these things causing her to be a weak, snotty, over dependent teenager or woman someday. Do you know why? Because she loves that stuff and is quite into all of it but her identity and significance will never be in any of it. She has a mommy who loves her but she also has a daddy who tells her he loves her and calls her beautiful every single day. Her identity will be in who she is, not what she’s into.
To quote someone I truly respect, well, not quote, maybe paraphrase: “A fatherly influence is so important because the mommy’s love is natural, it’s generally given with no decision by the mommy. She is wired to love her children unconditionally. The father, on the other hand, chooses to love his children. Daddy is the first person in a child’s life who chooses to love them.” (James Kennison) That is why it’s irreplaceable and immeasurably important.
No other influence has the impact on a child’s life that the influence of a parent has and no influence can provide a positive identity like a caring, loving, and Godly father. Cinderella and Snow White long for a Prince to come save them and seek someone that is right and won’t settle for less. How is this a negative influence on our girls if it’s backed up by a father who shows an example of what this prince is like?
While I agree that teen stars dressing like they came off the streets is one of the worst influences we’ve ever seen. I also agree that it’s overcome by the acceptance and love of good parents.
If a girl was accepted as beautiful just the way she is from a young age how likely is it that she’ll go out as a pre-teen or teen and try to “advertise” what she may have. You can’t argue that much of that is an outcry for attention and acceptance. We don’t need to limit the amount of girly things our girls are influenced by we just need to bring back daddy as a meaningful and caring influence in their lives.
Are you a father?
What do you do to show your daughter she’s loved and accepted?
Did you have a father who showed you the acceptance you needed?
What difference did that make in your life?
Comment below to join the conversation.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.