“Neither too close nor too far”, the delicate problems in the father-daughter relationship

Rose, 10, already knows what to give her dad for his birthday in a few weeks. “I want to make him a pocket for his papers with a beautiful design”, she said in a timid voice. The little girl finds her father “friendly”. It’s straight “World’s best Dad”. She’s charmed. And he’s doing well. “He’s crazy about his daughter, says the mother. They really have a very strong relationship. » Yves, 50, was also happy to have a daughter: “As a man, I did not know the female universe very well, and I said that to myself her, I want to get to know women better. »

While every parent-child relationship is unique, the father-daughter relationship is unique in many ways. This is the first time the little girl has one meaningful and lasting emotional relationship with one of the opposite sex, notes psychoanalyst Didier Lauru, author of Father daughter. A look story (Albin Michel, 2020). It is this man who will serve as a reference throughout his life, not only as a father but also as a male figure. »

Very early, around the age of two or three, the little girl turns away from her mother to take an interest in her father, whom she will try to seduce. This is what Sigmund Freud called the Oedipus complex more than a century ago. Marco, the father of two children, clearly recognizes the behavior of his 3-year-old daughter. “She’s trying to charm me”says this 43-year-old former postman, who recently graduated in psychology.

A model or countermodel

Therefore, what is at stake in the father-daughter relationship, “it’s becoming a woman, the success of love and even the professional lifeanalysis Véronique Moraldi, psychotherapist and author of Her father’s daughter. The father-daughter relationship: A user guide (Les Éditions de l’homme, 2011). The way he looks at her is extremely important. It is he who will give him confidence and open the doors to the male world. »

If later, if the teenager is heterosexual, “The father will serve as a model or counter-model for his romantic choices, notes Didier Lauru. The partner will look like him or will be very different ”. Béatrice, 66, is aware of having chosen a man “opposite” of a father she admired but with whom she had a conflict-ridden relationship.

The father’s gaze, but also the way he reacts to his daughter’s attempts to seduce will be crucial, insists that “shrink”. “If the little girl says she wants to marry her father and he makes her think it’s possible, it’s obviously not a good thing.confirms Didier Lauru. On the other hand, if he says to him:TYou’re my dear little girl, but you know we can not get married. One day you will grow up and you will find someone you will love ”, he will give him permission to have other relationships with a man other than himself. »

Even absent, he is sublimated

The father’s attitude and the compliments he gives his daughter will also leave a lasting mark on her. If he only insists on her beauty and her feminine grace, he risks locking her inside this register, whereas if he also values ​​her intelligence and her ability to succeed, “it will give him the keys to the professional world that is still dominated by menemphasizes Véronique Moraldi. Lack of recognition from the father will often force the daughter to seek recognition from men, sometimes by wanting to submit to them..

Whether near or far, the father plays a significant role in the little girl’s mental construction. “ If he fails, she will dream of an imaginary father, sublimatedthe therapist continues, which will also have significant consequences for her love life as she risks remaining in a position where she is waiting for an absent and inaccessible man. »

Cécile, 48, admits she has always been more lenient with her father when he was away. “He worked all the time and did not show much interest in me.she says. Still, I idealized him. Our relationship was very conflicting, but I admired her more than my mother. »

When the father is present, it does not prevent the daughter from fantasizing about “an even better father”notes Didier Lauru. “Children like to imagine that they belong to another family, but an idealized father figure can lead to the expectation of Prince Charming. »

A relationship that has evolved a lot

A loving father, benevolent and curious about the feminine universe “will strengthen her daughter’s sense of self – confidence and enable her to become a free beingassures Véronique Moraldi. But being close does not mean being a “loving” father who says yes to everything,because the girlrisk of beingforever attached to him and not to find a partner who can match him “, warns the specialist.

If fathers used to be often distant, the father-daughter relationship has changed a lot since the 1970s. Now fathers are close to their daughters and sometimes even live close relationships with them, notes Valérie Colin-Simard, a former journalist who became a psychologist. . , author of The fathers of today, the daughters of tomorrow (Anne Carriere, 2003). “Some are a little too protective, she analyzes. Others, unfortunate in love, transfer their love to their daughter. However, these fusion conditions can create an incest climate, in all unconsciousness, and have harmful consequences. »

A father must not stand “Too close, not too far” of his daughter, also says Didier Lauru. “If the relationship is too close, it is up to the mother to set boundaries that the father must do in the mother-son relationship, reminiscent of her of Véronique Moraldi. But if everyone plays their part, all goes wellshe adds. A present and invested father is a chance for a daughter and a good example for the choice of his romantic partner. »


Paternity leave extended by one year

Page 1eh July 2021the paternity and childcare leave is 25 divided days compared to the previous 11 consecutive days.

For a single birth, the duration is set at 25 calendar days divided into two phases: a period of 4 days taken immediately after maternity leave and another of 21 days. In the case of multiple births, the duration of the leave is 32 days.

Beneficial, you must be the father of the child and be employed on a CDI, CDD or temporary contract. If the mother lives as a couple (marriage, PACS or cohabitation) with another official who is not the father of the child, he or she can also benefit from it.

Paternity leave is compensated of social security on the same terms as maternity leave.



Father daughter, a story of gaze, by Didier Lauru, Albin Michel, 2020, 240 pp., € 7.90.

Based on stories of women who were listened to in his psychoanalyst practice, Didier Lauru sheds light on the problems of the father-daughter relationship.

Her father’s daughter. Father-daughter relationship instructions, by Véronique Moraldi and Michèle Gaubert, Les Éditions de l’homme, 2011, 272 pp., € 22.

The authors address all facets of the father-daughter bond and offer advice to ease an often complicated relationship.

The fathers of today, the daughters of tomorrow, by Valérie Colin-Simard, Anne Carrière, 2003, € 4.86.

A former journalist, Valérie Colin-Simard, collected testimonies from fathers and their daughters separately.

A year with my father, by Geneviève Brisac, Editions de l’Olivier, 2010, 180 pp., € 16.

The author accompanied her father, who was seriously injured in a car accident that cost her mother her life. A shining testimony to the grief and father-daughter relationship.


As a father as a daughter, by Olivier de Plas (2006)

Bruno, an immature thirty, discovers that he is the father of 13-year-old Nancy. After a rejection of his paternity, he decides to start from scratch and listen to his daughter, in the midst of a teenage crisis.

Most promising actress, by Gerard Jugnot (2000)

Yvon Rance, a hairdresser in Brittany, wants his beloved daughter to become a hairdresser in a large salon. But Laetitia, she dreams of cinema.

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