There’s something special about dads and daughters. It’s a special and unique connection, and beyond being a source of happiness, being a positive, involved influence in your daughter’s life can have a significant impact on her long-term well-being. Research has shown that feeling close to her father had a significantly positive effect on both the self-esteem and life satisfaction of daughters. It also suggests that greater father-daughter affection early in a daughter’s adult life may contribute to later well-being by bolstering her self-esteem.1
What’s one way to be a positive influence? Find out about her interests and look for ways to encourage her to pursue them. Providing her with access to positive role models and examples can be very beneficial to her development. Seeing, firsthand, other women and witnessing everything that they have accomplished can help your daughter imagine what can be possible for her future.
Here are some modern history makers to you get started:
Taylor Swift is a singer-songwriter who is the only act to have three albums sell more than one million copies in the opening release week, and the only female artist to receive the Album of the Year award twice.
Venus Williams is a professional tennis player and former World Number 1, and was the first African American woman to be named number one during the Open Era. She successfully challenged the long-held practice of paying women tennis players less than their male counterparts at Wimbledon.
Tory Burch is a fashion designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist. As of 2015, she is listed as the 73rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Sonya Sotomayor is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. She has the distinction of being its first justice of Hispanic heritage and its third female justice.
Angela Merkel is a German politician and former research scientist how has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and in 2012 and 2015 was ranked as the world’s second most powerful person by Forbes magazine.
Mae Jemison is a physician and NASA astronaut and the first African American woman to travel in space. She holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities and is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship organization.
As you and your daughter find inspiration be careful not to overlook all of the amazing women around you! You don’t have to be an astronaut or a Grammy winner to make an impact, and a career as a tennis star is not for everyone. There are teachers, doctors, moms, scientists, and community volunteers in your lives that can be sources of encouragement to support your daughter’s interests and career goals. Is your daughter interested in science? Find a time to talk to the high school science teacher about extra programs to get involved with or classes to take. Is she a natural nurturer? Babysitting or working at a local child care center can be a great learning experience. Have an athlete? Find a local league or school team she can join, and consider being the coach.
Every day women are doing incredible things. With your encouragement and support, your daughter is one of them. The only job she cannot have is Dad. That one belongs to you.
National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse
1The Role of Father Involvement in the Perceived Psychological Well-Being of Young Adult Daughters: A Retrospective Study. Allgood, Scot M.; Beckert, Troy E.; Peterson, Camille. North American Journal of Psychology;2012, Vol. 14 Issue 1, p. 95.