‘M and Ms’ for dads to raise daughters into independent, strong women

Washington: An expert on the relationship between fathers and daughters has suggested that dads must focus on the ‘M and Ms’ to raise their girls into healthy and independent young women.

According to Dr. Linda Nielsen, professor of adolescent and educational psychology at Wake Forest University, it is imperative to teach daughters about men, money, mother, meaning, myths and misconceptions.

To enable her to get the best out of her relationships with men, Nielsen advised fathers to imbibe the basic ‘ABCs’ of life such as encouraging her to express her ‘anger and be assertive’ about her opinions and needs.

She also recommended teaching the daughter to ‘be herself’ and stand-by with what she values in life.

Nielsen emphasises on teaching the daughters to ‘communicate’ directly with the men in her life. The practise of allowing her to communicate with the father through the mother should be discouraged.

Coming back to the other Ms, Nielsen pointed out at the importance of teaching a daughter to value ‘money’ and become financially independent.

Don’t let her believe that her father, boyfriend and husband are the key to avoiding financial hardships in life, explains Nielson.

She suggested that it’s important to get the ‘mother’ out of the father-daughter relationship and that the father should spend some time alone with his girl.

Nielsen’s tip to all fathers is that they should encourage ‘meaningful, personal’ conversations with their daughters. She needs to be an ‘equal opportunity’ daughter who gives dad the same chance she gives her mom to form a deeper bond

And, finally, she tells fathers to teach their daughters to let go of the ‘myths and misconceptions’ about men.

Don’t let negative stereotypes limit your relationship. Talk with her about these sexist myths and misconceptions, said Nielsen.

For example, show her that men are willing to talk about personal issues, men can be empathetic and nurturing, men can communicate well, and men do love their children just as much as women.


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