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Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day

Today is the official “celebrate your dad” day.  Hopefully, the dads in your life already know how much you appreciate them besides just the third Sunday in June.

Dads do so much for their kids over their whole lifetimes.  A lot of times, they don’t share the same kind of limelight that moms get when it comes to parenting.  Dads do some very important, unique things for both boys and girls.

Wonder how a dad’s influence is different for boys and girls?  Here’s a quick list of the differences.

For Boys:

Doing guy stuff together: Boys need someone to teach them how to become a man.  Male role models are good for boys to have, but the most important one is their dad.  These mentoring moments form the foundation of a boy’s identity.

Rough and tumble: Boys need the rough and tumble affection that dads give.  Mom’s hugs and kisses are sweet, but being a guy is different.  Boys get closeness while learning how to be masculine about it.

Dad’s opinion matters: Boys want to know that their dad values them for who they are.  They need to hear the words straight from their dad’s mouth, too.  This gives them a self worth boost like nothing else, closely connected with their identity.

For Girls:

Getting love from all the right places: Girls who have good connections with their dads are less likely to seek male approval in sexual ways.  That doesn’t mean they won’t want to date boys.  It means they won’t find such a need to give up their sexual boundaries to get attention and affection from a male.

Solid foundation: When girls’ lives get turbulent, dad’s presence and interactions give them a sense of security and stability.  He’ll be there for her no matter how bumpy it gets and she can count on him.  That helps a girl’s confidence build and stay solid.

Good relationship modeling: Girls learn a lot about handling romantic relationships from how their dad interacts with them.  Dads set the bar for what girls will expect and look for in a boyfriend or husband, for better or for worse.

This list just scratches the surface.  Readers, what ways do you see dads affecting boys and girls differently?

Creative Commons License photo credit: TheTruthAbout…

Happy Father's Day

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Happy Father's Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 13, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Jun 2010
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