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Loving boundaries between a father and daughter- three part series- part 3

Clear cut boundary

A relationship between a father and daughter is built on love, trust and mutual respect for one another. A father is a daughters first love, the person that protects her, that she feels safe with. that is why establishing some clear cut boundaries between fathers and daughters is so important to their relationship. As little girls turn into teens and then into women the relationship between a father and daughter can change from daddy's little girl to; " I am unsure of how to adjust to my little girl growing up" When she is little it is important to establish boundaries with her as she grows, such as being affectionate to her, touching her, dressing her, and bathing her. What is appropriate and what is not? Obviously any touch that is done sexually on the part of the parent is inappropriate, as well as allowing a curious child to touch your genitals.

Grey area bounderies

What are the grey areas of boundaries and age appropriate boundaries...?

A fathers showering and bathing with his daughter

Obviously until a child reaches 5 years old or even 7 years old she is not going to know much about being embarrassed by nudity or daddy being nude (each child develops differently, so this is a judgement call) She may ask her father a question or two about his private parts or daddy what is that thing hanging between your legs, and a father should tell his daughter in proper terms or by the proper terminology not slang. This is a learning experience so teach your daughter proper names for body parts. Also don't say anything that is negative either or make her feel bad for asking.

If she asks to touch or reaches to pull and most children will …… You simply say that these are dad’s privates and it is only for daddy to touch not you, just as those are your privates.

How do you know when the showering and bathing needs to stop?

When a father feels uncomfortable with taking a bath or shower with his daughter or, when his daughter starts to feels uncomfortable with him it should stop! This typically will happen anywhere in-between the age of 7-9 years old, depending on the development of the child. there are exceptions as well for some cultures that bathe together, again it about feeling out the situation and both father and daughter being comfortable. One thing for certain is not to make the girl feel that she has done something wrong or she is bad in someway and can no longer take showers with dad. A simple explanation of, you have graduated to showers by yourself, but make sure to still give her hugs, kisses and affection so she does not think there is something wrong with her.

Washing daughter’s private parts:

When a girl can begin to wash her own private area ask her to do it herself, that goes for applying creams and such, 5 year old girls are capable of doing this maybe even younger, use your judgment or if she is still young and if having problems help her. (Just a side note, never put soap in a female private area it burns, just on the outside never on the inside)


Affection between a father and daughter

Hugging, kissing, and pinching the butt: Hug your daughter always her whole life if you want, kiss your daughters cheeks, forehead her whole life if you want to. Lips maybe when they are very young but not as they get older. Don’t pinch your daughter’s tush (butt), maybe as a small child.

Lastly children do not understand the same as adults that their private parts are sexual, and it is in the nature of children to want to touch their private parts in front of parents, or for them to want to touch yours. If a little girl wants to touch herself, it is just her body part, so do make her feel bad about it, just tell her that she needs to go to her room and do that by herself and not to do it in front of other people. Don’t yell at her or scold her or tell her in any way that she is dirty it will have a lasting effect on her; just tell her to leave the room. When a child touches their private area it means the same to them as a good scratch on the back or arm, it just feels good to them so they do it (human nature).

Children will naturally want to touch parents in their privates, tell them no nicely and say it is your privates and not for them to touch yours or anyone elses for that matter, if they try to kiss you like they see in the movies again explain that it is not appropriate. We are the adults they are children we know better, they are innocent, keep them that way!


Teenage girls

For teenage girls as they grow older and go through menstruation and such, If you are a single dad, try to do the best at getting good books and reading it together or having her ask you questions if she wants to. She most likely will be embarrassed, so if you have a good female friend ask her to help or an aunt, grandma. If you are married you can leave this one up to your wife.

Fathers do take the time to sit with your daughter and talk about boys and let your daughter know how they should be treated and how they should treat them. Be open to your daughter  asking questions about boys if she will talk about it with you.  Be honest with her all let her know what boys think, make sure she is properly prepared. 

Tribute to all fathers

This article is for all of the wonderful fathers out there that are being great role models to their daughters, good fathers, single dads, married fathers, step-parenting, grandparents………this is a guide for you, so that you can be the best father to your daughter. She will appreciate this when she is older, I can personally guarantee it.

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Pam on May 31, 2020:

Please do not tell dads that they can or should wash a girl's vagina.

Wrong and sick people.



Pam on May 12, 2020:

Sick men in this forum.

Muhammad Shaukat from Pakistan on December 05, 2017:

nice thoughts i strongly like that its very much need by the socity.

Anonymous on June 07, 2017:

Is it ok for a mom to litterally grab their daughter's butt while walking past them when the daughter is in her teenage years?

eric on August 29, 2015:

Me and my girlfriend were talking about her dad because she's almost 14 and he slapped her butt in a playful way I thought it was a little wierd because my sisters never played around with my dad like that in fact I don't even think my dad has ever slapped my but and im a guy... I'm not sure if it is wierd or that I just feel wierd because she's my girlfriend and I witnessed someone slap her butt.. And again it wasn't sexual at all it was just something they do when they play around but I might find it a little wierd because her butt is pretty big she didn't think much of it and I'm not saying her dads a wierdow I'm just curious if that's normal

Beryl Vinson on September 09, 2013:

To Alex and other fathers, 9-9-2013

My husband and I are the parents 0f a son 4 and three daughters (two teens and one 9 year old). We both spend time with our children, but remember boundaries. My girls have always covered up around my husband, but he does not get offended and make that about him. Everything is not always about dad, you know. And he does not give it a second thought. We have had the talk and dad leaves the room for bra and period talk. bHe should not be in the room for that. Why would a man feel sad because his daughter does not feel comfortable talking with dad or males about that.

My husband talks to them about how boys are and how they have to be careful around guys. This is normal family dynamics.

and as far as him tickling and roughhousing, we kind of feel that is not appropriate after a certain age, as girls at a certain age, develop breasts.

Girls are aware of their breasts and do not take kindly to being tickled by dad during those years.

But the sex discussions ,period talk, bra talk, we agreed is for me and I imagine that my husband will handle the talk with our son when it is time for that.

I read all the posts and felt a liitle concerned at your long post that seemed to be mostly about you grieving for closeness and physical contact with your daughter. Listen to your wife, she seems wise. You must be aware that all girls do not yearn for and need their dads being too close. Some girls may look for that, but girls usually begin to seek autonomy during girl times and girl talks.

Do not take this personal, it just gives you more time to spend with your wife, as you should be anyway. Her butt is the one you should be pinching anyway.

Alex on August 22, 2013:

I am greatly confused and somewhat horrified at the thought that Ive been a bad father. First, I have ZERO feelings of sexual interest in my daughters---they are my DAUGHTERS! Ive always been a cut up and I guess more 'friend' than dad, as Ive been reading that's a bad thing? My youngest, now almost 18, and I used to have tickle fights and then little arm punch type things and I used to hide once in a while around doorways and pich her (not hard) on the butt cheek to scare her. She used to hide and scare me too but she didn't pinch my butt. She was a cheerlaeadr from a young age and used to have me help her with certain moves and stretches but as she aged all this eased off and stopped. She is modest to an extreme level and wont even let her mother see her with a shirt off just out of the shower. Im kind of open minded and think that if people grew up around each other without the oldpuritan way of thinking, and saw each other naked from the get go that it wouldn't be a big deal to anyone. As it is, young guys do anything just to even glimpse a partial breast showing. Its taboo and consequently so appealing as forbidden fruit. That said, I understand her modisty but think it too bad that anyone has to be afraid/ashamed/whatever to just walk to their room from a bathroom and worry that their own family will see a portion of their skin.

Ive expressed that idea as just a general view of the world as weve discussed human beings in general and the habits of people in other countries. Im getting off track. Ive read so many times that a father is responsible for a daughters body image so I, according to my wife, have gone overboard at times to tell her how beautiful she is , not just looks but mind too, and how great she looks in certain pants or tops. My wife says I did it too much and made her uncomfortable. Last year she started to do things like poke her head out of the bathroom door to see if I was looking, then run to her room with 4 towels wrapped all over her. In a store, if she walked in front of me, she would keep walking sideways and pretending she was looking for things but I could see she was uncomfortable with me behind her. This hurt me to a huge degree to think that she would be so worried about me looking at her---what could be on her mind about me! It got to the point where I sat her down with my wife there and just said "Look, this is out of hand. You act like Im some street bum or construction worker (sorry workers) who are lusting after young girls. Im hurt that Ive made you feel uncomfortable in any way and I have to tell you---you are my DAUGHTER! I don't want to have sex with you! When I look at you its with awe and love. Awe that I helped make you. Awe that you've become who you are from just a few cells. And love---I love you more than anything and would never think things about you as some unrelated guy would. My wife didn't care for the 'I don't want to have sex with you' thing but I felt the need to express it. After that she almost completely change and was comfortable around me. I still compliment her but not as much and Im careful about how I express it. Here is where I really need help. From the time she was born to about age 5, our lives were torn in many directions. I was always near death from a misdiagnosed medical condition and always in and out of the hospital. I lost my business and was fighting to make a living. We have another daughter, 5 years older, with extreme ADHD and that was a huge drain of our resources. It took almost all time from my poor younger daughter. My wife says, and I don't remember as I was depressed from the constant battle to stay alive, that our little one would come to me and Id push her away by saying I was too busy, etc. Because of all this, my wife believes that our relationship was started wrong and cant ever be fully mended. My daughter has never one time in the last 10 years said she loves me. She actually has only said it a few times to my wife. She doesn't like me to touch her in any way and I jokingly bribed her a few times for a hug, which I stopped doing. If I had to BUY it, it wasn't a good thing for either of us. My wife says she isn't a hugger or toucher in any way with anyone and that even her girlfriends notice how she doesn't want her personal space invaded. Im always torn upo that I cant even hug my daughter. I stopped saying 'I love you' because I know it would make her uncomfortable by having to say it back so I would not get all 'butt hurt' as my wife calls it!

Your no butt pinching thing has me worried though its probably just a small piece of a large puzzle. I wanted to have a relationship with my children that was 100% honest, pure, and with nothing that they would ever fel uncomfortable talking about. I have a high IQ and know a lot about many things. Ive wanted to tell me daughter things I feel she has to know about physical and emotional love but she shuts down very fast and wont let me near the subjects. Not that I try that all the time, only a few. Now I just don't try but feel bad that I cant give her all that I know so she will maybe be better equipped to take on life. I feel the LOSS of not being able to have an open relationship with no feelings of shame/embarrassment, etc. My wife says Im off track and that girls just cant handle the thoughts of anything sexual and their fathers in the same universe, so I shouldn't be the one who has 'the talk' with a girl anyway. I thinks that's sad, actually. Now, don't go reading that this whole thing is about sex just because Ive typed a lot about it. At least not on my end. Im not obsessed, just sad. Sad that she feels she cant talk to me. Sad that she doesn't want me to touch her, etc. My wife syas (wow Ive said that a lot) that its normal but I see so many daughters go up and smile and hug their dads! I almost cry when I see it.

So, if by not being there emotionally for her first 5 years then being more playfriend than regulation father by horsing around (and butt pinching) Ive destroyed the type of relationship that I wanted to have, Im horrified. I worry now about her future and her interraction with males. Have I done her great harm? How can I fix this? IS it fixable? Its a terrible way to loive to have to NOT look at her from time to time. She is like a great work of art. After you create it, you have to step back and look at it it. You admire it. I love her so much and like most fathers would rip out my own innards with a dull spoon if it meant saving her life. But have I destroyed my painting? Thrown black paint on it? The thought is almost too much to bear.

I have to say that you made such a big deal out of butt pinching I don't really understand it. Do you harbor some feelings from having yours pinched? Was this conveyed to you by teen aged girls? I can understand it if a father had his hands on a dughters rear all the time or perhaps a method of pinching other than a HA I got you game once in a while. Please help me understand this.

pinapple123 on June 17, 2013:

I would not pinch or let anyone pinch my butt period. But people spank their kids on their bare bottom. Why is the pinching of the butt that makes you uncomfortable?

Pam on May 14, 2013:

That goes on to show you that some people in this country can't and don't read a comment before they jump into ignorance ville. nowhere in my commment did I ever write anything about

"man in the tub with his small child"

For your information, Mr. Al, I speak and earlier spoke against abuse and try to help women and girls to know how to protect their bodies from sickos like men who throw foul language and behavior around. I, at no time wrote or suggested such a thing, it was just the opposite. Go back and read my comment and read it again and try to understand the meaning, before you runneth over at the mouth. Also, Johanna, you need to slow yourself down a bit and read and get some clarity in what you read and who you agree with, before you support people who lie on others. If you all are unable to understand basic English passages on an elementary level, get someone to read and explain it to you, before you distort its meaning.

Pam on May 14, 2013:

Al , bring it on an just try to slap me acrosss the face, as if you ever could. Be careful with your threats, the law reads the internet too. You are the sick one. A hit dog will holler. Any man who gets that angry at something that a female says about men, must be guilty. My comment had nothing to do with you. What man writes such ugly vile talk like you did. And you don't know a thing about me and my father. I never spoke about you or your mother . If you want to get personal, I can attack you too, but I am not ignorant like you. You just showed the world that you are pathetic. Keep being ignorant. And to you Johanna, you and no other person will straighten me out. What kind of female attacks another female, except someone like you who probably is weak minded and has been rejected. Be careful with your threats. The law reads blogs on the internet.

FreeBalls on April 06, 2013:

Kaylena: The media your boyfriend, some sick homeless person on the street are all going to have an opinion. Look within yourself and ask yourself that question. No matter what the answer you come up with it will be the right one for you :)

Kaylena on June 20, 2012:

I'm sixteen, and my dad still pinches and slaps my butt, hes been doing it since i was little. I always thought that this was common with fathers, but my boyfriend told me that he has never heard of a father doing I'm beginning to think it isn't right/normal? I need some advice..

Johanna on June 01, 2012:

Thanks Al, I was hoping someone was going to straighten her out. I had a very private very strict family, we girls used the bathrooms at the same time as each other but I never bathed at the same time with my parents, only my twin sister and that stopped at a young age. I think different cultures see things differently depending on all of the laws and media, and it's a shame that something innocent can make anyone think of a vulgar act.

Al on May 07, 2012:

Pam, I think you have a sick ass mind, I am a single Father with a teenage daughter, she turns 14 this month, I have always had a super close bond with my daughter, One thing I don't agree with in the article is showering or bathing with your daughter until she's 8 or 10 years old, when my daughter was a BABY it was fun to get in the tub with her, And anyone you said to me that there was anything sexual to that would get a hot slap right across the face, because there wasn't anything sexual about it, now you saying that we shouldn't try and have father daughter tight bonds is total crap, And the way that you say something about a man in the tub with his small child is proof that a man just wants to see any naked woman at anytime is just god damn sick to me, You need help. And if you truly think that way I'd like to ask you what the hell kind of sick ass father did you have? oh and by the way, when my sons were baby's I threw them in the tub with me too, hell their mother would come and watch and it was fun for the whole family, watching the baby bouncing around in the water, anyway your sick comment doesn't even deserve this much outta me, but you piss me off.

Cris on April 23, 2012:

Pam, you are clueless and paranoid--you should see someone. That's quite a rant you managed to squeeze out of this article.

Pam on April 10, 2012:

Robert, did you or did you not read my comment? Again, I say that we need to get dads to spend time with his son and teach him how to be a gentleman. The man should also spend more time with his wife. Why do we stress so much for the man to hang around with his daughter? Sounds a little one-dided to me. Also, Robert you don't have to worry, someof us women are strong and don't allow this male dominance thing to brainwash us. We recognize this subtle movement among some men to throw mom's importance with her daughter to make it seem like dad is the only parent in a daughter's life. Our eyes are open. Men do not have the right to control his daughter. she is not his property. Remember the mom is the one who conceived, carried and gave birth to the daughter. Don't throw away mom. It is wrong in so many ways. Wake up women of the world and see what is going on. Watch your husband, grandfather, uncles, etc, as they interacts with your daughters and nieces.

robert on March 30, 2012:

Pamela M- CAN you REALLY spend enough time promoting father/daughter relationships?! i believe that any child growing up needs the care and love from both parents. to say, promoting a daughter/father relationship is "kinda weird and sick" and we need to "stop it" is absurd. the article is called "loving boundaries between a father and daughter", not creating a world in which men dominate the outcome of their daughters life. You said, "If we would spend at least half of the time teaching boys and men how to treat a woman, then our girls wouldn't need to be boosted all the time." Isn't that the absolute opposite of your initial statement of spending too much time promoting daughter-father relationships?

Try re-evaluating you're stance on this issue and stick to it. I think we all are sick of a nation with male dominance. Thankfully this is beginning to change. How you can see anything negative about forming a healthy father-daughter relationship and bond, is really beyond me.

-this is coming from a male point of view so i hope you're not letting me try and brainwash you.

Eugene on November 11, 2011:

I guess you could call my daughter a late bloomer, we showered together until she was 14 and started seeing other people.

zia on October 30, 2011:

positive informative plus excellent for making a good society and develop a future generation

Pamela M 223 on October 26, 2011:

Sometimes I think we spend too much time on trying to promote daughter-father relationships.We really need to stop it. It is kinda weird and sick. What a girl needs is a loving mother AND father. What a boy needs is a loving father AND mother. Stop making it seem like a girl only needs a close relationship with dad. If we would spend at least half of the time teaching boys and men how to treat a woman, then our girls wouldn't need to be boosted all the time. Spend the time training boys !!!! Does anyone else understand this concept or are all of you brainwashed into beliveing a man controls everything in a girl's life? We are a sick nation with sick male dominance ideas.

abida on July 13, 2011:

Very useful guidance about relationships especially between fathers and daughters.There are fine lines highlighting how beautiful a healthy father - daughter relationship should be.Good effort....

Pamela M.223 on May 28, 2011:

How sad we are, that we actually would consider communal bathing as a time for a family to come together. This just shows how men want to see any female ude anytime and they brainwash women into believing this is the kay thing to do. Then you read articles where women are egging this on . This shows how stupid we as women are that we would condone this for men to do. We know that this is wrong for our daughters. It is sick and wrong.

Mike on April 27, 2011:

You had a number of good points and your three rules at the start were great. I will however take exception with the bathing together/nudity thing. You were definitely stretching it there. I am a father of two grown daughters and there is no way in our society with television and movies that you can find innocence that last that long. Additionally I can hear the authorities knocking at the door once it got out and a school conselor alerts the powers that be that their 1st or 2nd grade student is showering with her father.

I could go further but it would take a loooong time to cover this topic.

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on January 29, 2011:

Thank-you Kim for the comment that was very kind of you. This was a very personal series that I put out from my heart and a tribute to my father!

Kim Harris on January 29, 2011:

Informative hub, and I like your writing style; especially your short comments after a sentence such as (human nature). You did a good job of highlighting how beautiful a healthy father - daughter relationship can be; and how terribly wrong it can become. You addressed the "gray areas" and some difficult issues nicely. Mostly, what an amazing tribute to your Dad. Sorry for your loss....and happy he is still with you in so many ways, dawn!

L Izett from The Great Northwest on December 28, 2010:

Really well written detailed advice.

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on October 22, 2010:

Hi Purposefull life, thank-you for the wonderful comment. I can see how the communal bathing could be a great time for dads and kids. It sounds like a nice custom, although quite different from a bath in a bathroom and we are talking about kids. Just wondering when the girls hit puberty what happens, just curious. I love to hear about others customs it is wonderful! Fathers spending time with their daughter is precious and something the girls will remember for a life time.

purposefullife on October 21, 2010:

Wow, this article was really great! I read it with my husband, and we agreed on pretty much all of it. We want to raise our future children in a very information rich, honest environment. I was heavily sheltered as a child, and learned a lot about the world when I got married. I mean, my husband had to teach me how to drive!

He grew up in South Korea, and we are thinking of moving to Japan in a few years. As you probably know, the culture of communal bathing is still very alive there.

I think that;s the only thing we will be doing differently. Family baths will be like dinnertime for us. A chance to unwind, and talk about each other's day.

I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Totoro?

(My Neighbor Totoro)It's animated.

There is a scene where the father and his two daughters are taking a bath together. His daughters are 4 and 8 respectively.

They use this time to tell him how they are scared of the dustbunnies in the house, and that they're afraid that the wind is going to make the house fall down. (It's a very old house.) He uses this moment to cheer them up by splashing around, and laughing, saying, "C'mon! You have to laugh really hard if you want to scare the dustbunnies away!"

They start to fake laugh, and it soon becomes real laughter as they are splashing around. The dustbunnies can be seen escaping into the night.

I just thought that this was a perfect example of how bathtime should be with Mom or Dad.

I first saw that movie when I was 6 or 7, and have been in love with the idea of communal bathing ever since! ^_^

Again, fantastic Hub! :D

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on October 17, 2010:

Thanks dallas, yes I was blessed with that and thankyou for the comment.

hairfeeling on October 11, 2010:

yes great thanks a lot


Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on October 08, 2010:

Great hub. Great advice. Glad you had a great father - daughter relationship to duplicate and build on...

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on October 08, 2010:

Hi sweetsuesig, thank-you for your comment and yes i do hope to help give dads guidance, because a girl needs a good role model to grow up with.

thanks Carole (mom) yes as you know lossing dad has been hard on all of us, but he lives on in my writing and in the beautiful family that you and he created, with all the grandchildren and the wonderful memories that we all have had over the years......

Carole on October 07, 2010:

Beautiful hub. filled me with sadness for your profound lose. Lots of great advice for father and daughter relationships.. Keep writing, you have been given a gift of communicating some of lifes most important issues.

Sweetsusieg from Michigan on October 07, 2010:

Awesome Hub, nicely put. There are fine lines between fathers and daughters and you have made it very clear of when not to cross that line. Being a good father is so important to the well being of a healthy happy daughter.

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on October 07, 2010:

Hi CrazyGata thanks for saying that and reading my hub!

Hi 2bsure, not sure exactly what you were getting at, but If I do understand what you are saying, a person who feels this way about children maybe should not have them, if they feel like they cant be safe around them, if that what you were saying?

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on October 07, 2010:

I don't think a father should not shower of bathe with a daughter at all! It the dad has any issues, this could lead to problems.

Mara Clemente from Borinken, Loíza on October 07, 2010:

Many good dads among the stars up there watching their little girls down here... Thanks for sharing dawnM :)

Dawn Michael (author) from THOUSAND OAKS on October 06, 2010:

thank-you again ahorseback you are so kind to say that. Yes I believe that he does watch over me

thank-you amberrisme for reading and commenting on my hub!!

amberrisme on October 06, 2010:

Very useful guide, especially for dad's who need some guidance. Thank you!

ahorseback on October 06, 2010:

All great advice my dear lady, I'm so sorry about your "dad" , In a perfect word we would all stay together till the ends of time , and you know that he watches over you like he always has and always will. You got this dads vote!

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