As soon as your little daughter is placed in your arms her sense of who she is as a girl and later as a woman will be greatly due to what you have said to her. I work in a weight management clinic at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. I hear story after story of "defected tapes" that daughters can recite at the age of 52 years like they heard them only yesterday. These tapes sound like this,"If you don't lose weight, you'll never find a man who will have you". Or they may sound like this, "If you don't quit eating so much, you will look like your mother" (or aunt or sister ... who is obese), but perhaps the most hurtful is the dad who decides he won't engage with his daughter at all since she doesn't reflect what he thinks is important for a woman "BEAUTY".
Daughters And Body Image
Although your daughter will grow up, and she may have a successful career and family she will always carry these hurtful tapes with her, and in her heart she will always be full of anger toward you, her dad for not loving her or accepting her for who she really is.
No father wants to hurt his daughter. He wants her to grow up and become successful, find a person to share her life, raise a family, and overall be happy. Yet, they continue to have a standard for beauty and although their son's may be overweight, they seem to be more harsh and insensitive with their words when it comes to their daughters. The problem is daughters already have so much pressure to be thin and beautiful so when dad starts reminding them that he too wants this for them they feel unworthy, but more deeply "unloved."
Every daughter who is overweight knows she is overweight. You don'thave to remind her, nor do you have to warn her that boys may not date her due to her weight. This isn't rocket science. What an overweight girl may not know and need to hear from you are the following:
How you felt the first time you held her? How she was so perfect, and how you felt so proud to be her dad. This is a good time to tell her that you knew your life would never be the same because of her.
To help her avoid using food as a way of comforting herself, teach her other healthy coping mechanisms. What do you do when you are stressed? Do you shoot hoops, or go running? Ask her if she would like to take a walk, shoot hoops, or find something she enjoys doing and that you can participate with.
Your daughter is not you, therefore she may not enjoy doing things you do. Find out what her world is like. When she is small she may enjoy activities that leave you feeling left out, but always stay engaged. As she grows older take an interest into her activities, become curious, expose her to things she enjoys and always, always tell her what you find interesting about her.
Dads are physical and very in tuned with how people look. You will only hurt your daughter by commenting on her looks or her friends looks. Most girls grow up with intense pressure with looks, and body image. You lessen that when you focus onher interests, her activities and her achievements.
Most girls who feel a strong need for a boyfriend at an early age have been "groomed" to think the approval of a boyfriend is very important. Watch your words, and your body language. A girl should have the freedom to become all that she can be, including her own interests and developing her own skills without feeling like she is unworthy unless she has aboyfriend.
Lastly, a dad should always remember that there is a good chance that his daughter will be one of his caretakers when he is an old man. Wouldn't you rather have a daughter who sees you as someone who always loved her, for who she was, rather then a daughter who views taking care of you as a "duty"? If you have made mistakes tell her you are sorry now.
On the Web:
Mary Jo Rapini -- MaryJoRapini
Visit Mary Jo Rapini online on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/maryjorapini
Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/18989714/2012/07/10/dads-daughters-and-body-image#ixzz20KYsQknD
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