Some of us have experienced a beautiful and loving relationship with our father. However, for others, their relationship with their fathers have been marred with difficulty, ultimately causing the relationship to break down completely.
If you are a daughter, what is your relationship with your father? If you are a father, what is your relationship with your daughter?
As a daughter myself and a mindfulness coach, I have learned of the difficulties one can face, within the complexity of the father-daughter relationship. My experience is both first hand, and in supporting clients to redesign their father/daughter relationships.
Whether you are a father or daughter stay with me. This is by no means an attack on either of you. However, you might gain some clarity and understanding that may help you forge a better way forward to redesign your relationships.
There is nothing wrong with you
Let us start at the beginning and let's be clear. There is nothing wrong with you! Please feel the love in your heart that I am projecting within this statement.
If you are a father and have become estranged from your daughter, there is always hope! The path back to each other can be re-discovered at any age, and you have the power to create the potential to walk that new path. It may require you to do some work in understanding both yourself and your daughter better. In this process of learning, you will need to learn new ways of working, consider other perspectives, and ultimately let go of control.
Your baby girl is all grown up now. I know you feel a never-ending need to protect her. However, she has grown her wings and is flying her own way now. Be ready to catch her if she falls, whilst allowing her to find her own way in the world. I know this is difficult for a father to do. However, it is essential to let go of the reigns, to potentially be successful in redesigning your relationship with your daughter.
If you are a daughter and are struggling with your relationship with your father, know that you are not alone. I struggled with an over-controlling and emotionally distant father throughout my entire adulthood.
There was nothing wrong with my father, and there is nothing wrong with your father either. Sometimes in father-daughter relationships, we simply do not understand each other's love language. Our love languages are not fixed in life. Our experiences change the way we wish to be loved, at different stages of life. This makes us all moving targets, and therefore it takes awareness to adjust our way of loving one another, throughout life.
When love languages change
In my experience as a child, as with many young women, my love language was touch. We love to be hugged and held by our parents. When we hit puberty and our body awareness changes, we become awkward about our appearance and often don't want our father to show us love the same way. Sometimes in this stage of life, we feel self-conscious and thrive in a world of words of affirmation, to boost our self-confidence.
If our fathers get this wrong, we can be left feeling unloved, even though he loves us with all his heart. The problem here is that when you are a child, your love language is a moving and changing target as you grow, yet your fathers is most likely fixed.
Trauma can also adjust your love language in the blink of an eye. It can be an important indicator to observe in your children's behaviour, as a parent, whether you are a mother or father. This is especially relevant when your child's behaviour has changed, yet you are not aware of the potential trauma that could have instigated the sudden change.
The path forward
Navigating the path forward to redesign your relationships can be tricky alone. Remember, help is always available to you. It is not a weakness to seek help and support, whether young or old, and it is available in many ways.
You can gain support from someone whom you respect and trust, or alternatively, you can work with a professional like me. You always have choices.
Is today the day to choose a better future?
Mindfulness to support relationship redesign
For me personally and professionally, mindfulness has helped to navigate the tricky spaces that relationships create.
It is possible to redesign any relationship in your life, including the father-daughter relationship. It just takes some new understanding, tools and skills to get you on your way.
If you would like to know more about how mindfulness can help redesign your father-daughter relationship, connect with me today, and I will show you how.
It is literally never too late! I redesigned my relationship with my father after he died. Your future is in your hands.