We often hear a lot about the importance of the father role models in a boy’s life. But what’s frequently missing from the conversation is the importance of fathers in a daughter’s life as well. Let’s look at the effects of an absent father in girl’s life. Growing up fatherless for many girls can be extremely rough and have a variety of consequences. Little girls transitioning into women often struggle with low self-esteem and worthlessness. Those teen girls who are “promiscuous” or those women who have broken relationships could be a result of an absent father. The function of this bond is to show daughters exactly how they should be treated by a man. Studies show that healthy emotional and socio-psychological development in the early years of life requires some type of positive paternal role model. Without fathers’ daughters tend to set their own standards. As the divorce rate in the United States climbs to nearly 50 percent, fathers seem to be fading from their daughters lives. Research shows that girls and young women who have an unstable father figure are more liable to unplanned pregnancy and have a lack on relationship judgment. Girls whose fathers left either before they were born or up to age 5 were seven to eight times more at risk of becoming pregnant as an adolescent than girls living with their fathers. A father’s disappearance between ages 6 to13 suggested a two to three times greater risk of becoming pregnant. Girls without fathers seek male attention to fill that void in their life.
The promiscuous behavior in fatherless girls also leads one to question their emotional health. Just like a son, a daughter needs to have involvement with the presence and love of a stable father growing up. In a healthy father-daughter relationship, a daughter feels cultivated by her father, and recognized as on her way to becoming a woman. When the love is not being met by the father two things will more than likely occur: the search for that love elsewhere and unhappiness. This is how girls will then see their future. The constant need to be accepted, when that feeling is not fulfilled it results in low-self esteem. A girl whose father is absent during the early childhood years suffer depression as teenagers. Comfort with womanhood is something that makes transitioning for young girl that much harder without her father. Here are three ways to begin the healing process of not having “daddy” around:
1. Write down 5 of your major strengths and unique qualities. Keep this list by your bed and look at it every week to remind yourself what makes you you!
2. Think happy thoughts, reinforcing positive things to yourself builds self-esteem. Even if you have to put it on sticky notes J
3. Accept it! Don’t let it burden you, Yes! Cry if you have too but put your big girl panties on and grow from it.
As you can see the effects of that missing link for these young girls is very detrimental emotionally as well as mentally.