Fathers and Daughters

                              Fathers and Daughters by Simone Leid

Fathers. Whether they’ve been a constant presence in our lives or they’ve been absent -by choice or circumstance – our fathers’ influence in our lives is manifest. For some women, he is the embodiment of what we expect a man to be. For others, he is our first lesson in heartbreak, the cautionary tale, the bitter medicine and the ill.

Our parents are the first ones who teach us how to navigate the world. Fathers and mothers, being our primary agents of socialization, influence the way we see ourselves,  how we interpret various situations and the values and codes to which we adhere.  And even though we may change our outlook as we grow up, our fathers, and our relationship with them, always serve as a point of reference.

For me, my father has been a loving parent: the provider, the protector. Yes, the stereotypical “man of the house” who worked hard to ensure his children were taken care of. I cannot deny the importance of these traits and roles that my father played in my life. I have never felt abandoned or concerned for my welfare. This ‘comfort’ has enabled me to pursue my ambitions without fear. Even when there have been failures that left me feeling broken, I always knew that my father, along with my mother, had created a home for me – physically and emotionally- that I could always turn to.

Unfortunately, in my youth this has sometimes meant that young men coming to visit have been on the receiving end of some serious ‘boof’. But, I’ve found that it’s a good way to test the mettle of a potential boyfriend; one who can withstand some fatherly threats, still be respectful and ‘come again’.

I can’t say though, that having a good role model in my father has meant that I always made the best choices with regard to men, but I can say that I do know what a good man looks like. And that’s not to say my father is perfect. Not at all. We are often on opposing ends on many issues. But, when it’s all said and done I know that he loves me and is there for me.

And so, considering the good, the bad and the sometimes ridiculous ways in which our dads impact our lives, I asked a few women on twitter to tell me a little something about their fathers.

How has your father influenced the woman you are today?  

One of biggest ways is my love of reading and learning, that geekgirl side comes straight from him 🙂

Uncle-in-Law I grew up with was a fantastic surrogate father. Full Chinese, he taught me to be strong & resilient! God Rest His Soul

The lack of influence translated to – Take care of yourself. Don’t depend on others. 

I’m his female version: moody, driven, an evil sense of humour 🙂

A great deal & not necessarily all in a good way.

By encouraging me to read and teaching me to think for myself 

I guess by always supporting me and loving me for who I am 🙂

What the Worst Advice your dad ever gave you?

Birth control was created to kill black women and their children (true). So don’t take any (not helpful at all!)

Marry the man who loves you, not necessarily the one you love. He’ll treat you better. Not sure I agreed.

Don’t date anyone whose car is older than yours (still not sure about that one)

 

What did your dad tell you about boys

My dad told me if I respected myself the boys will have no choice but to respect me.

LOL. My dad did not speak to me casually. I would get boof for not performing in tests as well as I should.

My dad is the typical macho West Indian man so he never spoke about them. But he did freak out when I got my first boyfriend though. lol.

Nothing. We did not get down like that….Wouldn’t want the same for my daughter though.

Best advice from dad

Suck it up. Never failed.

Make sure and get a profession, hang up your shingle (open your own business) and don’t wait on no man, including me, to mind you 😀

Despite the negative things we are surrounded by, GOOD things can always happen!

Be independent and it’s more important to be fair than popular. Actually his best advice came not from his words but his actions, or lack thereof.

To never let obstacles diminish my enthusiastic pursuit of my dreams, because enthusiasm changes the world.

Respect yourself. If you don’t, why should he? My dad ROCKS!

 

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