Parents are the first loves in the life of their children. And this critical link teaches a child how to love and be loved in the future.

A girl's relationship with her father

A father teaches his daughter how to relate to the opposite sex. Their relationship plays a huge role in her emotional maturity. Freud believed this relationship is also fundamental for her sexual orientation in adulthood.

When a daughter sees that her dad loves her mom, she relates and wants to win his affection as well.

Later in life, she will look for a man who has similar positive characteristics of her dad.

What does a girl want from her father?

The girl wants to be loved and valued. She wants her father to notice her life successes, talents and major events. She wants his praise. Every girl wants to be her dad's princess.

It is vitally important for a dad to respond to this need. He needs to appreciate her, tell her she's beautiful and congratulate her for her good performances. It is both embarrassing and damaging for a girl to hear her dad criticize her physical appearance or her lack of accomplishment.

How does the girl see her father?

A girl's father is her first reference to the male world. He models how a man should act, and how he should treat her. If her dad is kind, treats her well and is a good person, that's probably the type of man she will look for as an adult. The reverse is also true. If the parent is aggressive, authoritarian or dishonest, that's the type of man she'll be able to relate to. Psychoanalyst Regina Rahmi said the truth is "Like father, like boyfriend, like husband ... "

A girl admires her father. He is strong and protective. He provides for her.

It's the dad's job to help his daughter mature and create her own identity.

For this to happen, the father must show unconditional love. Phrases like, "I do not like you anymore, because you said ... " or, "I do not like you anymore, because you didn't get good grades," are destructive. She will develop low self-esteem and insecurity. She comes to believe that she is not loved because she's bad.

Strict parenting vs. submissive parenting

Psychologist Lila Rosana said, "Being an authoritarian can give the message to his daughter that she must submit to men."

A dad should decide which decisions are necessary for him to make for his daughter, but leave big decisions up to her. This helps her mature and learn the consequences for bad decisions.

On the other hand, doing whatever she wants creates a manipulative personality. The parent must also provide limits.

Fathers, treat your daughter with respect. Love her. Trust her. In turn, you'll teach her the skills to have a happy, successful life.

This article was adapted and translated from,

"Como uma filha enxerga seu pai." It was originally published on

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