More fathers need to realize the crucial role they play as a role-model for their daughter and encourage her to pursue her dreams by acquainting her with the world of possibilities which education entails. This can be made possible by opening the fat briefcase every once in a while and asking her to listen to what ‘work’ is all about instead of closing the door when work comes up.
Even as the glass ceiling stands tall, young girls are dropping out of schools and colleges early. While many are married off early, others opt out due to societal conditioning which disregards women from taking their dreams and career aspirations seriously. Women are often disillusioned by the lack of motivation and positive reinforcement from either parent, due to which they give in.
A father who lends his support and motivates his child to follow her dreams is more likely to believe in herself and her career aspirations than those who have experienced a protective upbringing. Kim Parker, a college student pursuing biotechnology in California, relates how her father helped her with her homework after work during weekends. “He used to simplify complex details to me with sketches and surrounding examples. I often looked through his papers and folders growing up and he never stopped me, instead he answered my stupid questions about them quite patiently”, says Kim. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. soon.
Maria Richmond is a child of divorce and spent all her life under the care and custody of her father since she was 8. While struggling to pay bills, her father could hardly spend time with her and her coursebooks. She dropped out of school early and works at a convenience store.”My father is a great man and I owe my life to him. I decided to skip college because I couldn’t handle studies well and often failed in tests so I asked him to save up instead of blowing it off on the fat college fee,” says Maria.
Child Psychologist Nyueng William says that daughters more often tend to seek approval from their father and take criticism more seriously than the opposite gender. This results in an inhibition from an early stage towards career aspirations as the stereotypical feminine traits of vanity and kindness are encouraged and appreciated over personal ambitions. “When the person she looks up to shares the incentives of his job and encourages her to step into the domain, she is more likely to take the initiative of pursuing higher education and following his footsteps,”says Nyueng.
While the presence of a working mother influences a girl’s career aspirations, fathers play an equally important role in fostering his daughters’ interests and dreams from a tender age. No father would want to open his tight dark briefcase of files and papers at home but if daughters are given a peek inside, their future may change it’s course.
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