While parents love all of their children, a special connection exists between fathers and daughters. The idea of "Daddy's Princess" – although stereotypical – speaks to the paternal instinct of dads to dote on, nurture and protect their little girls. However, this relationship can become strained when daughters grow up and fall in love for the first time. If you're worried about losing that special connection with your own child, here are a few tips to help cope with this new chapter in your lives.
Have an honest conversation
One of the biggest contributors to father-daughter awkwardness surrounding a new love interest is dads' tendencies to lapse into disapproving silence, which will only lead to more tension and resentment from "their little girls." Dads never seem to be ready for this inevitable change, and addressing these concerns and anxieties through an honest conversation with your daughter can help repair any damage while preparing her for adulthood.
Meet the man (or boy) in her life
While you may have the image of a man with slicked back hair and bomber jacket rolling up to your house on a motorcycle, chances are that your daughter is going out with a regular boy she met in school. Before you jump to any stereotypical conclusions, sit down and actually get to know him – that's what your wife's parents had to do with you.
Trust her… to a point
Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship, and as much as you would like to protect your little girl, you need to allow her the freedom to live and learn on her own terms. However, that doesn't mean you should completely abandon your paternal responsibilities – remaining an active and steady part of your daughter's life will allow you to offer guidance and support when she needs it.