Saturday June 15 2013

Daddy issues are real: How will you choose to impact your daughter’s life?

Daddyyyy! Isaac Rucci, a single father to two

Daddyyyy! Isaac Rucci, a single father to two daughters, is welcomed back home by his younger daughter. Rucci has dedicated himself to finding ways of making sure his girls Keza, 10, and Tona, 7, have parental love and parental presence. He says he ensures to play and talk to them , helps with their homework and has dinner with them. Whatever other work and social engagements are done after they are off to bed. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

By Christine W. Wanjala.

Every Mother’s Day we get women waxing lyrical about how the relationship with their mothers laid the path out for the women they were going to become. Every Father’s Day, you will get a few women saying “Thank you” to their fathers and that’s it.
In a way, I understand because when it comes to relationships, for example, my father’s adoration and few but firm words have more influence than my mother’s quiet wisdom?
Or that I probably function only in relationships where I feel completely loved and adored, thanks to my father? Ooops! Okay, I let out a secret but you get the point.

Daddy, a daughter’s significant other
Fathers inwfluence a lot of their daughters’ character whether you are aware of it or not, and a good chunk of the woman you are can be traced back to the way your father behaved around you. Don’t believe me? Then believe Roselyn Ngorok, a counselling psychologist and the director of training at the East African Professional counselling Institute in Bunga. She says, “Your father is your significant other.”

Forget your spouse or lover. Before you are old enough to say “my spouse” your significant ones are your mother and father. And since we have almost said all there possibly is about how our mothers impact our characters, we will focus on the fathers role. Besides, it is Father’s Day tomorrow.
So, how deep is this impact? The counsellor says from your self-esteem, what you want for yourself and what you perceive as a home, to the choices you make in spouses. Everything! Let us examine each separately.

She needs you to be the authority and provider
According to the counsellor, a girl-child develops a yearning to have her own home and own man from seeing her father fulfill his core roles. If you have slept better at night knowing daddy is home, then you already know one core role of a father: A security figure. The others are head of the house, and provider.

As one of the parents, he is also supposed to make the child feel loved. If he does well, a girl will likely grow into a woman who seeks out the same. “What you understand as a home starts from what your father provides,” says Ngorok. In other words, if you knew a home with daddy to be peaceful and secure, that stays. If you, however, thought a home with father to be a fearful place, for example, that also stays.

How she relates with a spouse
A father’s love impacts greatly what you interpret as love in future relationships. You cannot give what you do not have. If your father loved you, loving comes easily to you, you will love your spouse,” says Ngorok. More on this, you are likely to borrow relationship tips from your father and mothers relationships unconsciously.

As humans, we tend to copy and paste experiences. So if you grew up seeing your father and mother working together you are likely to emulate the same later in life,” says Ngorok. So, this is not the fathers sole responsibility but seeing as he is part of it and is seldom mentioned it had to come here.

Choice of a spouse
Edith Ochan, still single, swears the first thing she does when she meets a suitor is to compare him with her daddy. Not looks-wise, or even his financial standing, just his manners and character,” she says.
Call it the daddy’s girl syndrome, if you like. The counsellor says your relationship with your father as a little girl lays the foundation for the choices you will make in spouse. If your experience was positive, you will even unconsciously want a partner who treats you like your father did more or less,” she says.

It also impacts on your overall perception of men. You have heard some women say all men are like this or the other, that could be founded on what they saw back home.
Simply put, if you think your father was bad, or had a certain weakness, you are likely to think all men do. And if you think he is good, ditto. The picture of your father which has developed in your head becomes the magnifying glass through which you see all men.

Her sense of self worth
“A father’s love gives a girl strength, empowers her, makes her feel worth of a man’s love,” says the counselor. What she means is a father’s affirmation goes a long way into building a woman’s self esteem. Girls loved by their fathers tend to be very confident. “Even if they encounter partners who may try to abuse them or tear down this confidence, they are not easily demeaned,” she says.

From another daddy’s girl, Milly Babirye, 37, “It is the best thing to know that you are valuable. If you grow up hearing positive things, knowing you are capable it makes you able to weather anything. No one can take that away from you.”
Explains why most of the confident women I know also boast of a very close relationship with their fathers, or at least did in cases where he is deceased.

How Daddy influenced my life with Carol Nambowa

Seanice Kacungira
I think my father has been my biggest influence in life after my mother. He raised me like a boy and told me that no job is too good for me implying that I could be anything I set my mind to. He taught me the importance of being honest. As an entrepreneur he always has so many projects going on but always makes time for us. He has taught me that I should come up with a creative solution to every problem.
this for me. He was very kind and took everyone at face value and not on basis of financial status. He was a friend to everyone. His ethics were also very good that even though he was in government, he could never embezzle money. I am very grateful for the values he had because they shaped me.

Maggie Kigozi
My father was the best possible father in the whole world. He wanted me to become a doctor and I did become a doctor. He built me a tennis court at home in Bweyogerere so that I would not have to go all the way to Lugogo. Though I did not get to use it because I had no partner there in the village, but it meant a lot to me. He also bought me my first car, a Volkswagen. He was not a very rich man so he was really stretching himself to do all this for me. He was very kind and took everyone at face value and not on basis of financial status. He was a friend to everyone. His ethics were also very good that even though he was in government, he could never embezzle money. I am very grateful for the values he had because they shaped me.

Miria Koburunga Matembe
Well, my father was exactly like me; fearless, bold and assertive. He loved education so much because he had not gotten an education himself, he wanted all his children to go to school. He always said he was buying English. Both of my parents brought me up to have integrity and never to desire what I could not afford. They let me know that they loved me so much more than anybody and wanted to give me all I wanted but that I had to do with the little they could offer me. Secondly, I grew up knowing that people are not equal and that you do not wake up one day from one level to another. It takes patience, hard work and it cannot be bought. Ethics, integrity and the fear of God is what I learnt from them.

Juliana Kanyomozi
My father and I were very close, he was my best friend. The fact that we had so much in common meant we always had a lot to talk about and share opinions. Most outstanding was our love for music. We would sit and talk for hours about different kinds of music and artistes while we listened to them. He also bought me my first music album; Emotions by Mariah Carey who turned out to be my biggest musical inspiration. He also taught me to respect myself, to express myself with confidence, to read a lot of books in order to be informed, and most of all he taught me to be strong, patient and resilient. He was also my biggest fan. I miss him terribly every single day..

Nancy Kacungira
My father taught me to be very independent and treated me like I could do anything. At 15 when he was teaching me how to drive, I was afraid to drive at night. So one day when we went to someone’s home together, he left without letting me know. When I called him, he told me to drive the car home. He trusted me and helped me believe in myself. Fathers have a way of treating their daughters like fine China but instead my father involved me in everything. He was a pilot so he would take us in the plane and let us or at least make us think we landed the plane. He also took us to his office and printery. He made us feel that as girls, we could do anything as long as we put our minds to it.

Robina Mulera a.k.a Bina Baby
He was very strict but handled women in a special way. My father was a very romantic man. He used to prepare my mother prepared breakfast in the morning and cut her pineapples then served her in bed. He picked her up from work and was always at her office by 5pm that her workmates even started to make fun of her. To date, I am still searching for a man with my father’s special treatment towards women. He was also very hard working and did not believe for things to come to him on a silver plate. My father made us work so hard giving us partitions of the garden to dig, sow in and ensure that the crops we had planted did not dry up. He woke us up at 6am and if you stayed in bed, he would pour water on you. However, he was highly educated and told us that where we were heading, one needed to be educated. He said we would not get jobs on basis of being someone’s relative. He further advised us not to count on his property because it was his and not ours. When I was going to Nkumba University, he told me that I had to ask the askari for permission when I was going out and I did. My friends laughed at me saying “This is campus” then I would reply “But my father told me to ask for permission”. It is because of his strict nature that it is hard for me to wear make up and drink alcohol. My father cautioned us against alcohol saying it is not good and only wastes people’s money. The curfews stuck with me and I would feel strange if I spent the whole night out clubbing.

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