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Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Father-Daughter Relationships - Apr 2, 2006

Father-Daughter Relationships

April 2, 2006

CBS 11 News

A woman's relationship with her father is a training ground for all future relationships. Now psychologists say that the father-daughter relationship has far more to do with adult adjustment than was thought. Here to discuss this issue is CBS psychology expert, Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: Past psychological theories have focused on the mother child bond. Why is the father more important now?

Dr. Sylvia: Currently, we have over two and a half million men who stay home with their daughters. In young couples, men are shouldering a larger share than ever of child rearing responsibilities. Now we are actively studying father-child interactions to give us more insight into the skills of an excellent father.

Q: So why focus on father-daughter relationships?

Dr. Sylvia: A study in the 1960's reported that the lowest level of paternal involvement occurred in families with all female children. We are now seeing new trends from dads with daughters. They are coaching their sports teams, driving them to dance lessons and cooking dinner while mom works. It is a whole new kind of relationship that men have with their daughters.

Q: How important is a girl's relationship with her father?

Dr. Sylvia: It is vital. Little girls gain their first reflection of their femininity in this relationship. Psychologists report that fathers are the first to impact girls in the following areas:

Self-Respect: A daughter often learns self-respect and respect of men in the relationship with her dad. It is an excellent training ground for girls to learn self-pride and respect for others. If the father is fair and listens to his daughter's thoughts, she will gain self confidence and assurance that her beliefs are correct.

Assertiveness: When daughters have a solid communication pattern with their dads and feel heard, they develop assertiveness with others. Combativeness in women often comes from a belief that they are powerless. They learn to exercise strength without unkindness through their dads.

Affection: Girls develop clear ideas about what is right or wrong in physical touching. They learn that they can be safe with certain males and that they are regarded as people with boundaries. They will set appropriate boundaries with other males.

Expectations of Men: Based on how her father acted, a daughter will often determine what fair expectations are of men. A father who is protective of his daughter's interests--physical and emotional--will help her to believe that she is worth honoring.

Q: How about the effects of a dad long term?

Dr. Sylvia: We find that girls with nurturing relationships with their dad make better grades, are more likely to attain a graduate education, and even make more money over the lifecycle. They have an internal picture of men as benevolent and helpful and bond beautifully with male mentors in the workplace.