Having a daughter is one of the biggest joys in life. However, as a proud dad you feel responsible about so many things in her life! Sometimes you get overprotective. On other days you act too harsh or not harsh enough. You dread the day she becomes a teenager and hate to admit you’d love to spend less money on her clothes and makeup. Yet you love her unconditionally and will keep calling her “baby girl” even after she turns 30. Here are 15 more things fathers of daughters can understand and wholeheartedly relate to.
1. You are a huge influence on her future partner. Remember, you cause direct impact on who she chooses to marry some day. Your sweet girl is closely watching you and pays huge attention towards your attitude to her mom and other women around. You are responsible for her future ability to trust, enjoy and shape healthy relationships with the males in her life. Consciously or not, a lot of girls pick their partners based on some characteristics of their fathers.
2. You know how to do her hair and nails. You do realize that pleating a braid is harder than you’ve always thought. Maybe you are not a great stylist, but you can make killer pigtails. You also had to learn how to manage tangle-prone hair without making her squeal and cry. Also, a good dad knows how to paint girls nails and even allows (occasionally) to let her cover your nails with pinky sparkles.
3. You get hard on her at times. You can be her harshest critic and will always tell her about her mistakes. You only wish the best for your little girl and truly want her to succeed in life, but your methods and words can sometimes be rather tough. “Do you remember our dog? Well, it died because that vet who treated her was getting Cs at school and though it’s okay. But you see, he now can’t treat pets well. C is not good enough. You should have all As” is kind of a tough speech to a 7-year-old who just lost her favorite pet and got a few average grades at school. But you know, it did give me the right idea why I should study more and learn everything I may need in life.
4. You would love her to follow your career path. More and more girls these days do get under the dad’s influence on career path and start working in the same field. However, they are still a minority. While you wish you could pass her your job skills and work interests, share your lifelong experience and have her continue your work, do not impose your opinions too harshly!
A friend of mine who has a successful IT company wanted his daughter to work for him so badly that he made her start learning to code from high school, take sql online courses, major in Math and apply to Caltech as he graduated from it, to get a huge shock in a few months as she secretly sent an application to Columbia and got accepted to Media studies program. Needless to say, they never had great relationships and it took him years to admit he was wrong and pushed too hard.
5. You need to ask for forgiveness. Probably, more times that you would like to admit that. You may not realize you have unintentionally hurt your daughter’s feelings badly with what seemed to you like a witty pun about a boy she likes or because you’ve missed her school performance. Most of the time she’ll get over it, but when it is a big deal indeed, do ask for forgiveness. And I mean not just plain “sorry,” but a sincere plea for forgiveness. You should let her know that you may not be perfect and sometimes don’t have it all together, but you care about her feelings and love her. Don’t let her grow realizing you’d always be superior and her feelings do not count.
6. You always want the best for her. Yes, you can be hard on her and demand her to do things you think are right for her. You will always be upset if you see her living the life out of alignment from her potential. You will always want to make sure she takes advantages of the opportunities and achieves everything she’s capable of and more.
7. You have to be consistent. Your girl goes through numerous ups and downs, especially as she reaches adolescence. She needs a father’s steady guidance and objective presence. Your daughter needs to know you’ll be always there for her and she can always rely on you. Don’t let her grow with a false belief that men can not be trusted.
8. You need to teach her that appearance isn’t everything. Yes, it is your role as a dad to teach your girl that the what is inside will take her way further in life than just a pretty face. Raising girls in the modern sensual world is not easy, but you have to explain her that her character, her brains and her self-worth are way more important than a stylish haircut, a pair of good fitting jeans and her long lashes. You are to tell her than exposing too much skin or fitting into size zero is not what makes her really beautiful. Also, you’ll have to spill her out the truth that most models are Photoshopped, her favorite celebs don’t get up in the morning with that perfect makeup and getting a nose job will not make that boy fall in love with her.
9. You’ll need to tolerate her boyfriends. The harshest times are when people start staring at you when your daughter calls you daddy in public. She’s no longer a sweet little princes, but an attractive young women who now gets a lot of looks from other men on the street. The biggest struggle of all fathers is when she drags her first boyfriend to meet you or you find them making out on the couch when you come home earlier.
Don’t be way too overprotective. Don’t forbid her to date or promise to kill that bastard if you see him again sneaking in her window. You know boys—that can be cruel and try to offend her. But you need to trust her judgments and keep the distance from her love life.
10. You need to maintain status quo in mother/daughter disputes. Never ever take sides in disputes going between your daughter and your wife. Once you take someone’s side, you will offend the other one for a lifetime. Just stay neutral and clearly explain you will never be a judge in their disputes.
11. You teach her how to say “no.” It’s your role to explain her how to set physical boundaries and say “no” to things she does not like and she shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed of this. Teach her how to say no firmly and direct. Also, make sure she understands when someone else says no—she has to respect it.
12. You need to be a listener. When she comes to talk to you about her problems, it’s not always that she wants you to give her a solution. Sometimes, you just need to let her talk out, listen, give short encouragements or signs of compassion, instead of offering to fix everything.
13. You know how to avoid her manipulations. Yes, you love your girl and always want the best for her, but you learned to be tough enough to resist buying her another expensive doll when she gives out a few sobs. You feel bad for cutting down her monthly allowance due to bad grades, but will not change your mind because of some passionate pleads. You need to explain her that manipulations and playing on emotions is not the best strategy to succeed in life.
14. You share music with each other. Yes, you kind of hate One Direction, but sharing music with each other is a great way to bond. You play her good classy songs occasionally and explain why you like them. Also, you have taught her the wisdom of volume control and why and when it’s appropriate to wear headphones.
15. You are anxious about the day when you’ll lead her to the altar. That means your little girl has grown up and now another man becomes an integral part of your life. You are absolutely happy for her, but you kind of dread the time when you’ll need to let her go and admit she has grown up.