Fathers raising a daughter
I am lucky as I have been blessed (some days I will not say this out load) with 4 children. I am also lucky as I have both sexes and therefore get to experience the joys, challenges and emotions of dealing with both boys and girls. So far in my 15 years of parenting, I have noticed that girls and boys are very different. I found my girls were easier when they were little but becoming more challenging as we have hit the teenage years. My boys may have more energy and often cannot and will not sit still, but they also get over things much quicker.
As a mother, I read and watch and learn better ways to parent my children. I have noticed that most of the parenting tips out there are directed at the mother’s of the world. My hubby has 2 daughters but needs a few tips of bringing up daughters as opposed to sons. Over the next few weeks, we have written tips on raising both boys and girls but from all perspectives. Today we will focus on tips for dads on raising a daughter.
- You are the first man in her life and the most influential. She will compare every man in her life to you, her father. The way you treat women, the way you speak to women and your attitude towards women is how your daughter will allow herself to be treated. Raising a daughter to respect herself and see herself as important, begins with her father so show her, don’t tell her.
- Tell her how beautiful she is but also tell her how smart she is. Girls want to feel pretty and it is not wrong to compliment her but it is important to focus on other aspects. make sure she knows she is smart, she is creative, she is funny and she is capable of being anything she wants.
- Be her hero but let her see that you can be vulnerable too. If something happens and tears are shed, let your daughter see that softer side to you. She will understand that men can hurt too and not have an unrealistic idea that men are always strong.
- Share in her moments. This is especially important when your daughter is little as it is this time a bond is created and you will be an active participant in her life. She will always remember her father being there for her dance concert or her first basketball game or listening to her play the piano.
- Love what she loves. If you are a man’s man and never had any interest in scrapbooking or netball or baking but your daughter loves it, learn to love it too. By sharing her hobbies and passions, it will only solidify the bond between father and daughter.
- Girls are tough too. The old-fashioned way of thinking that girls are breakable and weaker than boys is all a myth. If you teach your daughter to be a strong, independent woman, then she will be. Don’t wrap her up in cotton wool because eventually she will leave the home and that is when she may find herself in trouble.
- Encourage her to achieve her dreams – and makes those dreams together. Little girls dreams turn into big girls dreams and nothing should be out of reach. If you encourage and support her dreams, she will reach higher and higher and succeed (and imagine how proud you will be then).
- Your daughter will be emotional – get use to it. Girls live more emotionally and love to discuss their feelings. If she trusts you, she will share these emotions with you, good and bad, so get ready for it. Sometimes girls cry for no reason, don’t try to analyse it too much, just be understanding.
- Problems don’t always need a solution. Men are naturally fix-it people, desperate to find the solution to every problem. Your daughter may come to you with a problem, but all she really wants is someone to listen to her. You don’t have to understand, just learn to be a good listener.
- Teach her what you would teach a boy. If you are changing a light bulb, get your daughter to help. If you are using your tools to make something, show her how it is done. If you are changing the oil in your car, let her help out and get dirty.
Some other greats day tips can be found on Love Play Learn, especially when your daughter is still little.
My dad is someone who I love and admire very much. He puts up with my erratic morning moods and has always been able to make me laugh. Here are three tips for raising a daughter in ways to be as good a dad as mine is.
- Try to avoid always commenting on our fashion sense. This wouldn’t be annoying if you just added a harmless opinion here and there. My dad, like most dads I know, aren’t that great when it comes to fashion. How can I possibly take fashion advice from a guy who has a) never been a teenage girl and b) wears runners with holes in them everywhere.
- Give us nicknames. As cheesy as it sounds, I love it when my dad uses cute names like ‘Princess’ or ‘Angel’ when talking about my sister and I. It’s the sort of thing that makes me really happy that he is my dad. Try not to make them sound little girly, that would be just embarrassing. I’ve always loved the nicknames my dad has given me, even when I was really little.
- Make us laugh. This one is quite obvious to me. I know some people aren’t naturally funny, but all dads seemed to be very good at making dad jokes. My dad is no exception and I would even go as far to say he has come up with a fair few that top the list of lame jokes. But, Dad does make all four of us kids laugh all the time and it’s a really important thing for bonding with all your kids, not just daughter.