Dads Have More to Do With Daughters' Confidence Than Moms

Samantha Brick became famous last week when she revealed that she thinks she is more beautiful than other women and that it affects her ability to make friends. Now she is revealing the source of her incredibly high self-esteem: Her father.

Yes, Brick says she thinks her father's love was more important than her mother's and for once, I kind of agree with her. It is not that I discount maternal love. As a mom myself and a daughter who misses her own mom, I think moms are the foundation of their children's lives. But dads, especially for daughters, may matter even more.

We all know the daughters who had bad dads. They are obvious. But the women with good ones are the ones who wind up the strongest.


Dads build up a girl's self image and create the way she will relate to men for the rest of her life. My daughter is a particular daddy's girl and always has been (even as a baby, she preferred him), but there is no doubt that she derives so much of her sense of self from him.

When I tell her she is beautiful, it does not seem to sink in, but when he does, you can see the wheels turning. She FEELS it in a way she simply doesn't with me. When he takes the time to help her figure something out or teaches her a new skill, she eats it up. With me, she is more blase.

I am not jealous of this at all. In many ways, I think it is a great thing. I know she will look to me for all kinds of female things as she grows and I am ready and willing to help her and love her and guide her. I will teach her to be a woman and that is vitally important (take it from someone who did not have a mom to guide her). But her dad is a major part of shaping how she feels about herself.

That said, my husband knows this and as such, is careful not to create a new Samantha Brick. In fact, he does not tell her she is beautiful nearly as much as I do.

He says she is smart and capable. He praises her ability to climb and to lift things and to run fast. He builds her self-esteem and she takes it.

Brick is right that daddies build strong daughters, but strength is not in praising looks above all else. Strength comes from showing his daughter that she is beautiful, but she is more than that, too. She is strong, capable, kind, intelligent and plucky. These are all the things we want her to believe about herself.

Strong, confident women often had good dads. It is easy to see why.

Do you think your dad was more important than your mom?



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