Picture this: A six year old girl who loves to act, sing, and day dream. She is casted into the role of Jesus
in a Sunday School skit on the Temptations of Jesus. She does such a great job that the whole church is
heartily clapping at her performance. This approval from the church boosts her energy and she skips all
the way home singing a song. When she gets home, her uncle calls her and says, “You have such a
beautiful voice. Can you sing that song again so I can record it?” She grins from cheek to cheek and
heartily sings her favorite song, “It’s a hard life to live without Jesus in your heart..”
As she is finishing the last verse, another male member of her family comes over and asks, “What are
you guys doing?” Proudly, Uncle says, “Oh, I was recording her singing. She has such a beautiful voice.”
The male family member kind of shrugs his shoulders with a “Oh.” And walks away. The joy that had
filled up the 6 year old girl suddenly disappears like a deflating balloon. And her eyes look down while
her shoulders go “slump” with disappointment.
Why was that male family member’s reaction to her singing such a damper on her spirits? Because that
male family member was the 6 year old’s daddy.
See, I will never forget that scene. I felt rejected and disregarded by my daddy when he did not
recognize my gift and talent. His reaction to my singing communicated the message that I was not good
enough. I internalized the message that I was not that important to him. Everyone else celebrated my
gift and talent, but he didn’t. Why did I put such importance on his approval and validation of my
abilities? Why was it so important for me to receive his approval?
From then on, I found myself always working hard to find approval from others. I made sure that I acted
right so that I did not disappoint anyone in my life. I avoided mistakes as much as I could to be perfect
and acceptable. However, I would fail numerous times and those times I would feel horrible about
The experience above is what I like to call “daddy issues.” I have met many individuals, both male and
female, who struggle so much with feelings of low self-worth and esteem because they did not receive
the kind of approval and acceptance they expected from their dads. Some of them are depressed,
unhappy with life, they push hard to achieve, they feel anxious and apprehensive about life, they
struggle with anger, and wonder how they can find true joy in their lives. They also struggle in intimate
relationships and tend to be very defensive and angry. A little sign of disapproval from their partners is
met with anger and frustration.
We were created to receive our sense of worth and value from our Fathers. That is what psychologists tell us.
I have a video on my Youtube channel where you can get to learn more about ‘Daddy issues’ for both men and women – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imGlCzTuWaU