The role of fathers in improving the status of girls' education
Fathers, are considered to be important role models for their daughters. Together with other male relatives who are present in the life of a girl from childhood, they play a major role in determining who and what the girls are going to be once they grow up. No, were are not neglecting mothers, but girls learn a lot about life from their fathers and they play a crucial role in improving the status of girls. When a girl is taught that a woman should be treated well, respected, and taken care of in their childhood, they will start to value their worth.
It is well understood that parenting is important in the ability of children to succeed, their academic performance and their social skills. The role fathers play in their daughters’ development is a major one and the type of relationship it is significantly impacts on the type of individual the daughter becomes.
What is the role of fathers in the education of girls
Academic abilities are influenced by father-daughter bonds:
Studies and evidence has shown that girls who have attentive fathers by their side are successful in their academics. They are more likely to achieve higher grades in school than the girls with absent fathers. How does this happen? Fathers who are play an active role in the life of their daughter, will encourage her to study harder and go for higher educational achievements.
Below are certain facts proven by research about a father's influence on a daughter's education.
A strong father-daughter bond not only affects a daughter’s self-esteem and body image, it affects how they perform academically. If fathers encourage their daughters to do well in school, give them access to tools such as those for getting academic assistance and help them when they struggle academically, daughters can be very successful academically. Girls and women with healthy relationships with their fathers performed better in school and on tests than those with an unhealthy or no relationship with their father. Girls who end up in male dominated careers and subjects also have better relationships with their fathers.
Benefits of a thriving father-daughter relationship for the girl, the family, and society
It is statistically proven that the girls who do not have caring fathers in their lives, are three times as likely to fall victims of teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse.
The Father Effect
The father effect is a phenomenon that shows up at a very young age for girls. There are numerous studies that show that children from a household with a father perform better in intelligence tests and have higher IQ test scores at age 3. higher levels of intelligence correlate with greater success, longevity and happiness. Acts as little as encouraging daughters to take challenging courses and helping with homework are linked to higher levels of sociability and fewer bahavioural problems. These girls are also less likely to become delinquent, are less aggressive and are more likely to have high-paying jobs when they are grown. If a father thinks his daughter is beautiful, smart and strong, she is more likely to see herself that way. Below are some of the benefits of a thriving father-daughter relationship.
Fathers mould the self-esteem and body image of their daughters:
The relationship between fathers and daughters affect their mental health. Researchers in a recent study (2018) discovered that young girls with good relationships with their fathers reported less loneliness and were less likely to become anxious or clinically depressed. This positive influence also extended to them being less likely to develop body dysmorphia, eating disorders or be unhappy with their body weight or appearance. fathers that are present and loving end up giving their daughters a strong sense of self and are they are often more confident in their abilities. How fathers also treat their wives and talk to their daughters also affect how their daughters view their own bodies. Daughters from an early age pick up on the way their fathers treat other women, especially their mothers and this influences their beliefs on how women deserve to be treated.
Fathers influence the social traits and behaviours of their daughters:
Studies reveal that daughters who regularly communicate with their fathers in a positive way have better communication skills with both males and females in other aspects of their lives. Starting from birth to adulthood, the type and quality of communication between a father and his daughter affects the daughter’s ability to express herself - her emotions, feelings and thoughts. Fathers who show love to their daughters and show unconditional acceptance help foster a positive sense of self. Daughters often get their courage and sense of adventure from their fathers. This can be achieved by fathers when they show their daughters that they are capable of doing a lot and then empowering them to do so.
How fathers can mould good relationships with their daughters
Begin on her day of birth: Fathers should get involved with their daughters from the start by actively caring for them as babies. This helps the relationship to grow with each passing day and milestone. Cuddle with your baby, change diapers, bathe and feed them. Research shows that starting from infancy, girls draw conclusions and develop ideas about the men in their lives.
Teach them new things: Something as little and simple as learning how to kick a ball or ride a bike are great accomplishments. A father can pass on all the things he enjoyed learning as a child to his daughter by showing her that learning is a journey of a lifetime and it is always alright to pick up a new hobby or skill. Learning something together is also a great way to connect.
Be involved: A father that is actively interested and involved in their daughter’s life is the hallmark of every great father-daughter relationship. This is more than asking about their day but about taking an interest in those things that the child finds exciting and inspiring. The key is to find out what the child is passionate about and fostering it.
Show unconditional love and validate them often: transform situations where they mess up into opportunities to teach them something by being calm, patient and loving in the process. Do not ridicule or shame them when they make a bad choice. Assure them that you still love them very much while you may be disappointed. Discuss, nutrition, exercise and the importance of sleep with them as a way to dismantle harmful stereotypes and not focusing on your daughter’s physical appearance but more on making good choices that will keep their body and mind healthy and strong.
Lastly, Be a good partner and parent: an available father that is involved and supportive creates a model for a healthy parental figure. A healthy parent-child relationship affects how parenthood is approached by the child in later life. The same applies to how a father treats their spouse or partner. They are more likely to seek out loving and positive relationships and connections with partners if that is what they have seen at home. It is therefore important for fathers to be good examples of the kind of partners they wan their daughters to end up with in future.
Welcome to SaGG Foundation!
Together with the support of Fathers, our male audience and supporters, we're placing girls on the path to success thorough education. See how you can be part of this movement to uplift and empower girls.
The SaGG Foundation (Sponsor a Gambian Girl) is a girl’s education movement, with aim of championing the cause for girl child education in The Gambia. Education is a basic human right; our vision is to advocate and champion for girls' education.