A Father’s Love is Not Just Love


A father’s love is not just love.  It’s an experience that will shape how a daughter sees her Self, feels about her Self, and values her Self.  Both in her eyes, and in the future eyes of others.

A father who smiles at his daughter, shows interest in his daughter, and takes time to express how his heart feels about his daughter, is giving his daughter the absolute greatest Gift of her life.  An early positive attachment experience of value and worth that will become internalized, as her core experience of Self.  

And, the experience she expects to have with others.  Especially the man who, one day, will become her Life partner.

If you are a father of a young child, look into her eyes, smile at her often, and hold her close with gratitude and excitement, so she feels loved ~ and lovable.

If you are a father of a tween daughter, play games with your daughter, take her out on special father-daughter ice cream or scooter dates, and treat her with value and respect, so she’ll learn without a doubt, that others should treat her with value and respect.

If your daughter is an adolescent, don’t back away from her.  She may seem like a woman, but her heart is often still an uncertain little girl.  Stay close and steady her.  Give her bedtime hugs when she reaches out her arms. And don’t be afraid to tell her that she looks beautiful.  As long as it’s mixed in also with how smart she is, kind she is, funny she is, and simply amazing she is.

When your daughter is a woman, know that whatever partner she has chosen to have in her life, will never and can never replace her father.  You will be the only male in that role, even when she rides off into the sunset with her new beloved spouse by her side.

When your daughter has her own kids, and you become grandpa.  Remember, your daughter still needs you to be HER dad.  She is never too old to need her daddy’s support, guidance, encouragement and gentle, approving love.

And when you are an old father and your daughter is a mature woman, let her nurture and care for you, the way you have always nurtured and cared for her.  For returning the favor of love within and across lifetimes is the greatest illustration of a father’s love that you can witness.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there.  Thank you for being your daughter’s FIRST Knight in Shining Armor.

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Julie T. Anné Zeig, Ph.D.

Dr Julie T. Anné Zeig is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Eating Disorder Specialist, Founder and Clinical Director of A New Beginning and Co-Founder and Clinical Director of TheHealthyWeighOut, both specialty eating disorder treatment facilities located in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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