Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daughters-Daddys Part 2

Yes the bond between daughters and their daddy’s is unique and special. Sadly, not every little girl has a daddy in their life; some little girls have their daddy but he may not be a positive influence in her upbringing. It’s a worldwide epidemic – the one parent household. It affects boys and girls but today we are focused on the girls.

What do you do if there isn’t a positive male role model for the little girl in your life? How do you fill the cosmic void that is left when daddy isn’t there… or isn’t able to handle his parental duties? Some men – as with women – just do not have the parental instinct, the desire or the ability to learn how to parent effectively. It is the children that suffer when met with this reality. Is there a solution, a remedy for the missing “daddy”?

While there is no one that can take the place of a loving, ever present daddy in a little girl’s life in some fashion it is important that they are exposed to positive, loving attention from a positive male role model. Single mothers must be intelligent, fussy, picky about whom that male will be; throwing them in to the arms of just anyone in order to bring the male perspective into the mix can be disastrous.
In our personal situation my own dad took on this very important role from the birth of my daughter. When her father walked away for good he took on more and more “responsibility” of being that surrogate. Sadly, even those we love dearly are not always going to maintain the status quo. As I mentioned before his life took a different turn and that left my little girl out in the cold again… twice “abandoned” by a supposedly “forever” prominent male figure in her life. I should have had a backup plan; I should have exposed her to more than one positive male. I certainly don’t mean that I should have thrown her to “wolves”… just anyone of the correct sex. I was at a disadvantage in that I am an only child with no uncles that lived even remotely close to our home.

So, there I was once again left to pick up the pieces of someone else’s mess that cut deeply into the heart of my precious little girl. Its gut wrenching to try and explain why once again why another man in her life has abandoned her. Having to discuss the reality of the fragile human condition with a six year old is cruel and unusual punishment, far too many single parents must be at the ready to do just that.
Be careful, very careful with whom you trust to help with all things connected to raising your little girl. Do you have a father, a brother, an uncle within your family that could bring positive experiences to your daughter’s life? Is there someone in your closest circle of friends, someone at your church that would be willing to spend time with her in a loving fashion? Consider it carefully, talk with them… they are not expected to become the household “daddy”. Explain what you need from them, set the boundaries from the get-go. You can’t begin to lean on them for parenting responsibilities but you can ask them if they would be willing to lend the male expertise in order to give your daughter the “male stuff” she needs in order to get the full scope and understanding of life, love and the development of relationships.

I would not expose her to a revolving door of men, or try and replace the daddy figure with a boyfriend that might only be a temporary figure in her life. Stability is the key, a strong, stable, positive relationship with a male who can give her a look into the positive male psyche. Even little girls see into the soul of those they meet. They may not at a young age be able to articulate what they gleam from those they meet, but they certainly have a better understanding of an individual’s character then we give them credit for.

There are wonderful organizations such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters that offer help in this area as well. Don’t be afraid to seek them out for help. It is much better to turn to this type of reputable organization then to let your daughter “wing it”.

I know I wish I had the chance to do things differently with my own daughter.
In her teenage years it became very clear that her self-esteem and self-image were low. She either chose young men she could control, ones that were abusive to her, or older men that took advantage of her on every level. Her abandonment issues created so much pain within her and she truly didn’t understand that she deserved so much better than the young men she kept choosing in her relationships. As her mother I tried to teach her and she understood where I was coming from… but as she saw it… men come and go… and she couldn’t trust them to stay regardless of who she choose. Things went downhill from there folks… abusive men… drugs… pain… death.

God bless you in your search… God bless you in all areas of your life. Remember to always watch over your little princess…even when she becomes a "tween"/teenager (and seems unlovable at times) because she is a GIFT from God.


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