The influence a father has in a girl’s life is immeasurable. A father teaches his daughter about her imperishable worth and exemplifies the way a man should treat a woman. It is undeniable when a young woman receives validation from her father. It helps her become secure in herself. This deep self-confidence equips her to become a woman who could change the world in her home and in the business world.

I saw evidence of this important truth just last week.

Last Friday, my husband and I had the privilege of babysitting my two little sweet cousins. And let me tell you, these two girls are full of sass, love, and laughter. Their vibrant personalities made babysitting anything but a chore.

In the midst of giggles, chocolate chips, Kidz-Bop dancing, and blanket-fort making we had a few moments of calm. My husband took this opportunity to ask the girls about their lives, hobbies, and interests. We even talked about the dreams they have – one is to become a painter and the other, in-short, a philanthropist. Watching their excitement within these brief conversations helped me see the indisputable positive effects on a child when they have a father figure in their life.

What really caught my attention was when my husband asked about who their Valentine was this year. We were expecting an amusing answer about a boy they had a crush on in their class. Instead they both exclaimed with unrestrained smiles, “Daddy!” and continued to tell us all about the date their father had planned for the next evening.

This filled my heart with so much joy.

It was apparent the confidence they had in their father’s love and the excitement they had to spend quality time with him.

Subsequently, it made me think about the children who do not have this confidence. The children who do not even have the opportunity to spend this quality time with a parent.

My mind began to flood with questions:

What if, as a culture, we decided to be more involved emotionally in our children’s and other children’s lives?

Would instilling security and confidence in our youth change the fatherlessness epidemic?

If so, what can I do to help?

I believe this experience came at the perfect time. My husband and I have been searching and praying to have more first hand involvement in the lives of the fatherless. Specifically, with Project Hope Worldwide and their mission to start youth mentoring programs. Being able to witness how my little cousins have thrived because of their parent’s example put into perspective how important youth mentorship is in our community.

It is obvious the importance a father has on a young impressionable girl. Despite this fact, statistics show that there are way too many homes without fathers.

Fighting fatherlessness may be an overwhelming task but I believe the first step is to free our schedules and make ourselves available.

Who knows, you could be that positive role model in a young child life’s that changes them forever.

Remember, in order to see change, you must be the change.

Are you willing to take this first step?