A father figure is one of the most important roles in a young girl’s life. She looks up to him for advice on how to tie her shoes and counts on him to lift her onto his shoulders in a crowd. She trusts him to teach her how to ride a bike and takes comfort in his arms when she falls and skins her knee. Though their relationship will change as years pass, in her eyes, a father’s role never really alters. He is her supporter, her protector and her provider.

Though a father-daughter relationship may be difficult to manage throughout her teen years, his involvement in her life remains to be just as important as it was from the first time she tied her shoe. She looks up to him—respects him—whether she shows it, or not.

The changes in her mood and overall demeanor may be frustrating and often hard to navigate, but avoidance is not the answer. Every dad needs to remember that at the core of this sometimes sullen, eye-rolling teenager is the little girl who used to gaze up at him in adoration. She may be more difficult to relate to, and communication may take a lot more effort, but the foundation of love and affection you built in her childhood still exists.

Her teen years will be a time where she struggles with her self-identity and a father has the power to strongly impact his daughter through this transformational time. The most important thing a dad can do at this stage in her life is to establish trust, seek out one-on-one opportunities to engage with her, take a genuine interest in her life and be a good listener.

A father not only sets an example of what kind of person she should be, but also creates the template for his daughter’s future expectations in her own relationships with men—and most importantly, what she deserves.

We recognize that for whatever reason sometimes a father may not be able to be involved in a child’s life. We want to wish all of the fathers, men who mentor youth and male role models to kids a Happy Father’s Day! You play such an important role in the enriching the lives of young people and we celebrate you this Father’s Day weekend!