The tremendous impact we have, as fathers, over the minds of our children starts simply in the way we carry ourselves. From the time our children are born they are observing us and framing their idea of what a man is, based on what they see in us.
Laurel House, a Dating Coach for a group called Healthy Living told sheknows.com the following:
How you were treated by your father as you were growing up helps shape your view of men in general and what you expect from them. “It isn’t that a woman is necessarily choosing to date a man like her father, but instead she has learned to love that kind of man, because that was the first feeling of love that she has ever had for a man. It’s a standard that is set.”
Wow! …and Ms. House is coming at the subject from the opposite end of the moral compass than I am. Her views on dating and life in general are not ones that I necessarily agree with, but when I happened upon this quote the universal truth was reiterated that girls marry men like their father. Ms. House is an international celebrity dating and relationship coach explaining what she so readily sees while working with women who are seeking a relationship with a man. And from her perspective too, girls marry men like their father.
This reality can set up a daughter for wonderful success, or for massive failure. Do you want your daughter to marry a drunk? An addict? Or a monster that might physically hurt her? You are writing a pattern on your daughter’s heart, right now, for a man who expresses himself the same way you do. I tend to let my temper out from time to time in a loud boisterous way, that has scared my family in the past. The following was a sobering thought to me:
“If my daughter is attracted to a man who struggles with controlling his temper and yet doesn’t have the physical restraint that has been trained into me, he might beat my baby girl!”
Do you ever wonder why girls can be attracted to the “bad boy type” or stay with a man who is hitting them? It is not that their father was exactly the same, but it may often be that her father exhibited a small portion of such behavior (as I have) and the pattern written on her heart isn’t catching the differences.
The next time you recognize your children behaving like you – good or (more often) bad – keep in mind that imitation is the highest form of flattery. They are hard-wired to look up to you, and they are imitating your behavior because they think very highly of you, you’re their hero!
On the flip side, understanding that you are writing a pattern on your daughter’s heart, you can build-in a firm desire for a man who appropriately leads his family and takes care of his wife.