Single Dads with Daughters
Single Dads Raising Girls
The first and most important thing that you have to remember is that she is a GIRL and as a man there is no possible way that you will be able to face each and every challenge alone. Girls are very different to boys and being a single dad will not be easy when raising a daughter.
Whether you are divorced, separated or a widower, the challenges of raising a daughter are the same and there will be many challenges for you to face as your daughter gets older and wiser.
Girls are the "apple of daddy's eye" and they know it, which means that they will be able to manipulate you when they can and they will also know how to get what they want by playing with your emotions, it's sounds crazy but it is true.
Children can sense when parents are at their weakest and that is when they will try to take advantage of a situation. They also know that if they play on your emotions, you will give in.
To raise a daughter as a single dad, you need to know that it will not be easy and that you will have to open your eyes and become aware of the manipualtion triggers or else you will be walked all over and this will not be good for her in the long run.
In saying that, girls are easier to communicate with then boys and if there is a problem or she needs something, you will soon know all about it, where boys tend to keep it in.
As a single dad your job is to care for her and to be a good father, whether there is a mother or not and she needs to live her life as normal as possible.
Children need a strong foundation and they learn about life through you. It is important for them to know what you stand for and believe in and it is vital for them to have structure and discipline.
Young children need rules and discipline as it gives them a sense of security and stability.
Everything that you do and all the actions you take, will reflect on your children and they will become a mirror image of you one day.
You also have to understand that it is a girl that you are raising and she cannot immitate what you do, which means that her hair needs a brush, her clothing has got to have some pink and you cannot walk around in your underwear.
Do not feel guilty for the life situation, it has happened and you need to move forward and continue with life as normal as possible, guilt will only lead to giving in and by doing this you will show her that there are no consequences for actions.
As there is no female presence around she will be watching everything that you do which could lead her to become a tomboy if you do not find a way to get some femininity into your household.
Raising a girl is far more complicated then raising a boy and with girls, you need to be in touch with emotions, try to spend time with her and also allow for some alone time when she needs it.
You also need to remember that she is not your wife, thst she is a separate person even if she looks like or resembles her mom in some way. Do not comapre her or try to turn her into her mother as she needs to establish an identity of her own.
Hugs are Free
Little Girls and their Fathers
When girls are little they need to learn the basics; brushing teeth, hair, bathing and going to the toilet.
It is easy to teach them to do these things when they are little as you cannot help them when they become a little older.
By age eight or nine, they need to be independent in the bathroom so by then they will have to know what to do as you can no longer be in there.
Little girls that are spoilt will grow up to appreciate nothing and if you keep on buying her love then that is what she will expect when she gets older.
Treat your kids once a week but instead of buying things because you feel guilty, give them lots of love and time. You do not have to spend an entire day with her but you do have to sit and play for at least an hour each day.
Ensure that she eats healthy foods and if you do not have time to cook then prepare meals the night before. Junk food is okay once a week but very day must consist of vegetables and healthy foods in order for her to be healthy.
You have to enforce rules when they are little because if you have none by the time she is eight years old, she will have you wrapped around her finger and it will be very difficult to teach her when she becomes a teen.
From the age of 3 to 9 little girls want to play and they also need routine.
It is important for them to get enough sleep which means that they should go to bed early, have a time to eat, bath and do homework.
Little kids need fresh air and you should ensure that your daughter gets to go and play outside for at least a half hour in the day.
Find playgroups for her to join so that she has girls of her own age to socialise with as this is important for her to be able to blend in with other girls and get used to peers.
Routine is what is needed for little girls and they need to have it in order to get a sense of structure.
You should also reward them when they are good and to do this create a chore chart with a few little tinhgs for her to do, to give some responsibility.
This will ensure that she knows the difference between right and wrong and it teaches them to be responsible and capable.
Don't teach her how to cook just yet, allow her to make a sandwich or something to give her a little independence and to make her self sufficient.
Little girls do not really know how to bath so when she is small this is when you need to teach her to do it correctly.
Avoid bubble bath and only let her use it every so often as this will cause itchiness and infections. If she does get an infection or tells you that she is burning in the lower region, just let her bath in vinegar and water, stay away from creams that will only make it worse.
You have to make sure that she uses toilet paper and that she baths correctly and rinses off the soap.
If you don't teach her this now, then it will be too late to do it when she is older and you can no longer go into the bathroom.
Nine to 11 years
A nine year old is very different to an eleven year old child and this will suddenly show in the blink of an eye.
Keep her little for as long as you can and allow her to play with dolls, dogs and do not make the mistake of letting her roam the internet, keep her away from playstation and avoid letting her watch the movies that you watch.
Keep it age restricted as there are restrictions for a reason!
Let your daughter watch cartoons and innocent movies that give them some imagination.
By 11 your daughter should know how to use the toilet, flush and wash her hands. These are things that are important once she grows up and men tend to forget that.
You also need to let her know that when she is wearing a skirt or dress, not to flash and let her know how to sit properly. A girl that is raised by a dad always tends to be a little unaware of how girls behave and this is important for you to remember and instill in her.
At 11 hair starts to show in strange places and by this time it is a good idea for you to get a female friend involved as it could be awkward for the both of you down the line.
Talk to your daughter about hair and where it grows and stress that it is important to keep clean at all times.
Deodorant is also a good idea now but buy one that is alcohol free or get a roll on.
She might also need a training bra and this is something that you can get from a department store with the help of a female sales person.
They will know what to do and which one to get her without any strange and humilliating event occurring for either of you.
At 11 your daughter will adapt to what her friends at school are doing and she will want to go and sleep over at a friend or want the friend to come over to you.
You need to allow her to do this as it is important for her to have girlfriends and be able to hang out with people of her own age.
By the age of 9 she should not be sleeping in your bed anymore and this is because she needs to understand that boys and girls are different, that everyone needs privacy and it also shows that it is no longer appropriate.
You should also teach her to knock on the door if it is closed and allow her privacy to as this will teach her that there is such a thing as privacy and people need to respect that.
There will also be a time that she will not want to hold your hand or kiss you goodbye, don't feel neglected it is just a natural reaction as they get older and find this childish, especially at school or where people of her own age are.
A daughter needs a little space to grow but do not let her become a brat and be able to go out whenever she wants to and there are limits to where she is allowed to be.
At 11 girls should still not be going anywhere without a parent.
This is also the time where your sweet little angel will begin to like members of the opposite sex and you will find posters or little notes in her room or on her school bag.
Don't make a big deal out of it and keep your eyes and ears open at all times.
The right time to let her know about life and what to expect as a girl needs to be done before she turns 12.
They discuss things at school and someone would have already mentioned the "s" word and she would also know about menstruation but she has just got bits and pieces of information from friends and it is a good idea for her to get the correct information from a female relative.
If you do not have a female relative or a close friend and the mother is not present, then you will have to approach it in a very subtle way.
You can either get a book from the library or you can buy it online. Any book about what girls need to know will be useful and she can read it in the privacy of her room but let her know that if she has any questions, she is welcome to ask you.
At the age of 11 your daughter will be pressured into shaving by the one little "miss big for her boots" at school. Do not get pressured into allowing her to do thid just yet. Shaving is a serious business and the sooner you do it the thicker the hair gets.
If she has dark and thick hair under her arms and on her legs and face then you will need to let her shave. Well not shave, at this age some of them can't even use toilet paper correctly so a razor is not a good idea just yet.
Get hair removal cream and allow her to use that before she begins to shave or you can take her to the salon to have a wax.
Do this only if the hair is dark because if she does have light hair then it is not her time just yet.
Facial her on girls cannot be shaved!!!!
You need to make her feel comfortable and she will stop you from speaking if she is not happy with the conversation, if it is uncomfortable then get the book or a femal relative to speak to her. This does not make you a bad parent, somethings are just better left for girls to talk about.
Twelve and Tween
They are not yet teenagers and they are not little girls anymore dad.
You need to be careful here as girls can grow up a little too soon before their time and this could lead to many problems for you.
Avoid social networks and limit her access to internet, this should be screened by you and there is a way to block sites that are not suitable.
If she has a phone then it should have only enough credit to call you and it should be used for emergencies only. You do need to check her phone every so often to keep up with what is going on in her life.
At twelve your daughter is completely interested in boys and bra's and by now she will need more than a training bra. Again, this can be done st a department store so that it will fit her properly.
Boys are on her mind and by now she should know right from wrong.
You need to teach her self respect and this is done by ensuring that she is kept clean, that she knows how to sit and that she should respect her body.
By letting her have privacy and teaching her that her body is private, she will know not to walk around in her underwear and she will keep herself respectful, so that when she is older there won't be problems and your daughter won't rush into allowing a boy to touch her.
Between the age of twelve and thirteen girls will begin to get moody and once their chest has grown, then menstruation is on the way.
It is important for her to know about this by now and she also needs to know what to do when she gets it.
This can be a big shock for little girls and at this stage they want privacy and they need to know that hygiene is important.
Once this happens they will begin to have an attitude and this is because they now think that they are women but they are not.
Let your daughter know that you are there for her, allow her space but you also have to make it clear that there are rules and responsibilities.
Thirteen is a good time to shave or she can continue with the cream as it is safer than shaving and the hair does not grow back as fast and thick.
If she wants to wear makeup, the only thing that should be allowed now is mascara and lipgloss. Anything more than that will make her look older and attract the wrong kind of people.
Once your little girl gets to high school she will now have a bra, she will be shaving her legs and she will be wearing makeup, (mascara and lipgloss only.)
Boys will be on her mind continuously and her friends will want to go out and either hang out at the local mall or come over to each others homes.
Fourteen is the age where they want to have a boyfriend and this is a tough one because they are still so young and they also do not know where they fit in. One part is adult and the other is a confused teenager.
All you have to do here is let her know that she can talk to you about anything.
Avoid letting her go out after hours and if she does go with friends then be sure that you drop her off and pick her up. A good time to collect is at 7 as this is still a safe time.
As a father you need to be able to communicate with your daughter and she needs to know the dangers of drugs, alcohol and intimacy.
Give her the freedom to make her own friends and at fourteen there is not too much to worry about as school will take up a lot of her time. Make sure she is active and has a few extra mural activities along with a healthy eating plan because this is the age where weight gain or loss happens suddenly.
Acne and spots are also at this stage because of the hormone imbalance and all you need to do is ensure that she is active, eats healthy foods (home cooked meals) and drinks lots of water and gets enough sleep.
A great product to buy is a moisturising soap for her skin as it is not too harsh and it works well.
Teens and their Mood Swings
How do you deal with your teenagers mood swings?
Teenagers 15 to 19
Oh yes! This is the time that you will see whether you have taught her right from wrong, responsibility and moral values.
By the time your daughter is fifteen she will be wanting to spend time with her friends, she might want to have a boyfriend.....a serious one and she will also want to wear more makeup, dye her hair and wear the trendiest outfits to impress and keep up with the peers.
Your daughter will want to rebel now too. She will tell you that you don't understand her, you are not fair and she hates her life! This is all part of being a teenager so don't let it get to you.
You also need to be firm with her and she must understand that there are limits and rules.
When there is a sleep over you will need to make it clear to her that she needs to tell you where she is at all times if they decide to go out.
Sleeping at a boyfriend is out of the question at this age and even when you feel like caving in just to avoid arguments or you feel bad.....don't do it!
At sixteen she will be at an age where she thinks that she can do whatever she wants because now the mindset is that she is an adult and a woman.
You will find that if you have told her to do something, she will do the complete opposite because your child wants to prove that she is an adult and not your baby anymore.
Give her responsibility at home and allow her to cook and clean up after herself as well as a few other chores that must be completed.
Curfews should be in place and a good time for a 16 year old is eleven, some say twelve but always keep her the respectable one.
This is the age where she will be spending all her time on the phone, the internet and your bills are going to get high.
You do need to monitor what is going on with social networks, phone calls and the internet as some girls crave attention from guys and will be mesmorised by anyone, even online.
If she does have a boyfriend now make sure that she knows that pregnancy is not an option and that diseases are real.
You cannot prevent her from doing anything but she should know that intimacy is not something that is given to anyone and you need to tell her about guys and what they get up to. Let her be aware that guys will try their luck and emphasise how important it is to wait for the right person to come along, unfortunately chastity belts cannot be found!
A seventeen year old girl is growing up and she will be a little more at peace now, with some direction and an idea of what she wants to do after school.
At this stage she will have moral values or she won't that depends on how you have raised her.
The direspect and rebelling will end and she will either be doing great at school or better socially.
All you can do now is listen and give sound advice.
Eighteen is the final year of high school and hopefully she has a direction in which to go. If she has a boyfriend it will probably be a serious one until she leaves school or her environment.
Going out will be on her schedule every weekend and a curfew for girls in school should be 12, no later.
Clubs and dangerous places should have warnings from you as well as not getting into a car with a drunk driver, unlicensed driver or getting lifts with strangers.
You need to know where she is at all times and she should know that there are limits.
Once your little girl is finished high school, it does not end there for you. She needs guidance on career, boys and finance.
If you do not teach her to be good with money, to look for the right guy and to find a career that she will be happy with, then by the time she is in her twenties you will still be supporting her and her boyfriend.
Give her the right advice, allow her to make mistakes and when there is heartache, just be there to comfort her and make her feel better.
She Will Always Be Daddy's Little Girl
Even when your daughter grows up and has a family of her own, she will always be your little girl and if you have done a good job, she will be in your life forever.
Marriage will be a sore point if she does not have a mother or female presence as this is a good time for girls to bond, find the dress, plan the wedding and it is such a feminine thing that she will miss her mom or female presence.
Allow her time to be upset but also to know that her day will be special and that she would not be expected to be anything other than happy.
As she will not know what to expect with pregnancy, again a femal presence is required or alternatively a visit to a female doctor that will explain exactly what her body will be going through and what is normal or not.
That is that......try your best, don't give in and be a present father.
Give her your time and allow her to be little for as long as you can because when you blink, suddenly she is all grown up.
Spend quality time with her when you have the chance because once your little girl goes out into the big world, you might not get that chance for sometime.
Quality time is time set aside to help her with homework, to play ball or a board game, to lisen to her stories and to dress her dolls, it does not mean going to buy her things and letting her dictate what she wants as this is not quality time, it is guilt and get on with it mode which will do neither of you any good.
Be a responsible parent as you have a little life in your hands, you need to guide her into the right direction and this is done by teaching her responsibility, consequence, love, respect and loyalty.
Love her, listen to her stories and always let her know that you will be there to support her in every way.