Quote from a few years ago—"Dad came to speak at the school where I teach," says the 20-year-old history teacher (Daisy Turnbull Brown, married daughter of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
"I told him: 'Please don't run up and hug me in front of the students.' So what does he do? He calls out: 'Daizles!'—my family nickname—and gives me the biggest hug."
We spent 14 years in Moruya, a small coastal community on the NSW south coast, where our children attended high school. On those occasions I drove them to school, I had to drop them off 100 metres from the gate in case any of their friends saw me.
That might well have been justified as in the handsome stakes I'm well under 50% according to those magazines I see at the doctor's and dentist's waiting rooms. In the weight for age stakes, again I am well under 50% as I'm the larger man. In the communication stakes I stutter so I'm well behind there again.
But as I soon discovered that the high school drop off point when any father drove their darlings to high school, was 100 metres from the gate. Our cars all lined up at the 100 metre drop off point, eyes straight ahead under supervised instruction in order that none of us might glimpse at any other school student or indeed their fathers. We smile at such things.
Fathers and daughters
The site 'SheKnows Parenting' on Fathers and daughters claims that fathers have an inordinate influence upon their daughters self image. A dad's involvement in his daughter's life is a crucial ingredient in the development of a young woman's self-esteem.
Verbal encouragement, being consistently present in her life, being alert and sensitive to her feelings, taking time to listen to her thoughts and taking an active interest in her hobbies. Direct involvement and encouragement by her father will help diminish a girl's insecurity and increase her confidence in her own abilities. .
It kind of makes you weep for those daughters whose birth fathers are absent, or in re-made families after divorce or widowhood, daughters who have a number of in-house fathers over their developing years or indeed, whose birth fathers are indifferent.
Columnist Arzu Kaya Uranli in Today's Zaman writes this: Fathers and daughters have a unique bond. The father has to be a very good example of manhood. The role of a father in his daughter's life is fundamental: He is the first man in her life. When she learns what he—as a male—thinks of her, this knowledge shapes her sense of self-worth in the eyes of other men.
The way a young daughter observes her father behave will make a big difference in how she will see men later in life. The effect a father can have on a daughter's self-esteem, choice of men and her comfort with her sexuality is unquestionable.
Then there is the humours side as in: 50 Rules of Dad's and Daughters with funny photographs and cartoons to aid these lessons. Michael Mitchell writes: "She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely."
Selected quotes from the 50 Rules
"Tell her she's beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or "beauty" magazine will try to convince her otherwise."
"She's as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that."
"She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don't be late."
"Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won't remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren't there."
"Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father's hand. Never forget this."
"Let her know she can always come home. No matter what."
"When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to your life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how."
"Today she's walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she's going off to college. Don't blink."
Reverend Dr Rowland Croucher the Pastor's Pastor has numerous articles on fathers and daughters and one important point he makes is that 'dad' is the one trusted male with whom she feels safe in her God given female sexuality.
I have the privilege of being 'dad' to three adult daughters (and one son). Dad jokes are a mandatory part of the menu and one is that whenever they achieve or do good, I tell them mum will have to double stitch my shirt buttons .... after 36 years it gets a bit dry—unless I don't say it!!
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html