Things A Father Should Know When Raising A Daughter
The Thing About Raising Daughters...
Raising children is something no one can really be prepared for until they experience it first hand. The thing about raising daughters, specifically for dads, is that they often require more mental preparation!
This article is dedicated to my husband and all the fathers out there who are a bit nervous about raising a daughter. You have been blessed! Who knows? Maybe you'll be like my dad and will have the opportunity to see another baby girl grow up. The fun (and maybe a few headaches) will start all over!
Put Your Little Girl On Top of the World
Butterfly Kisses Journal
She Will Always Be Daddy's Little Girl
Tips for Dads About Your Little Girls
- Dance with her. Pick a father-daughter song that you like and dance to it with her while she's young. Let her step on your feet. It'll be a nice memory for comparison later when you two share the father-daughter dance. Wouldn't it be sweet if she chooses that same song to dance with you on her wedding day?
- Learn to groom her hair, at least the basics, like brushing it and using hair accessories to pull the hair back from her eyes. Her mom, sister or aunt won't always be there when she needs her hair fixed. Whatever you do, don't listen to her if she's begging you to trim it "just a little bit" unless you're a hair stylist because she'll remember the horror you did to her bangs if she was old enough to cry about it (yes, Dad, I still remember my uneven jagged bangs that you sent me to school with in the second grade).
- Girls cry. Sometimes, they cry a lot. Comfort her when she does cry. She will remember that, too.
- Take lots of pictures with her as she grows. Put them in a photo album and write what you remember when each picture was taken. It will be nice for her to see the picture from your view.
- Don't just give her material presents that she can hold in her hands but ones that she can hold in her heart and mind. Teach her life lessons and share experiences together. I learned many things from my mom but some things my dad taught me. One of the lessons I'm grateful for is that he was the one who taught me to drive. He shared that experience with me and when I drove on my own for the first time, he left a note on the steering wheel which I still have. I saw it as a meaningful gift that I'll always remember.
- Have patience with her. My dad wasn't always a patient man but he was calm every time he took me to practice driving. I made a mistake during the test and scratched the car. My dad remained calm and didn't comment on it. I was shocked but relieved. One day, you may want her to have patience with you, too.
- Girls can be dramatic especially during arguments. You will have fights with her but try not to lose your temper. That may only fuel the fire and she may say hurtful things that can break your heart. She doesn't mean it. Refer back to number six..
- Girls typically like to talk more than boys. Don't ignore her. Sometimes, she just wants to know you are listening.
- Girls can be good listeners, too. Share what's on your mind every now and then. She may enjoy hearing it and you'll both develop a closer bond.
- Remember that girls can do what boys can do. Show her how to play sports or how to build something or use tools. Take her to sports games or car shows.
- If she doesn't find interest in anything you like, don't be disappointed. Discover what she likes and find a common interest for both of you; a new hobby to share or a different outdoor activity you both can enjoy.
- Girls can change their mind like they change clothes. She may share your interest one day and lose interest in it the next especially if she is growing and maturing. Don't take it too hard. The important thing is don't give up on her. Make an effort to find something else that you both can share.
- Play with her. Yes, even with the girly things like tea parties and dolls. She will appreciate it.
- Continue to go on father-daughter dates with her even as she gets older.
- Girls have the power of persuasion especially when they are your little girl. Sometimes, you have to say no. If you need to, practice in the mirror.
- Be alert when she's feeling down. Talk to her and encourage her to open up to you even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. She may remember if you don't and think you didn't care. You don't want her to shut you out later.
- Don't call her names, don't call her mother names and don't call other women names. You don't know how it can affect her.
- Love her mother and show it constantly. If you and her mother are not together, show that you at least respect her and try not to show negativity toward her.
- Try to like her boyfriends (unless you are positive they are a bad influence). Give them a chance and get to know them. Get to know his parents, too.
- Get to know her friends and their parents. You won't worry as much about who she is with and where she is if you become familiar with all of them.
- Watch Disney movies with her specifically ones with strong princesses who break the "damsel-in-distress" mold such as Mulan and Brave. Explain to her that she makes her own happily ever after with or without the prince charming.
- You are the first man she will know. Make a good impression. Be the example of the man you want your daughter to reach toward. There are decent and admirable men in the world. Show her they exist in her own world with you being the first one.
- Be honest and remind her that no man is perfect including yourself. Take time to talk about some of your own flaws.
- Compliment her, contribute in boosting her confidence and self-esteem.
- Personal appearance to many girls are a big deal. Don't tease her about her looks. You don't know what kind of negative impact that may have on her. Sadly, the media may cause her to question her appearance. Your job is to remind her that she is beautiful inside and out.
- Check in with her regularly and know what's going on in her life. Encourage her to do well in school and participate in extra-curricular activities. The more time she spends on positive activities, the less time she will have for negative ones. That means less time for you to worry about what she is up to!
- Girls tend to be more emotional and sensitive. Pay attention to what she is sensitive to and be alert when she feels emotional. When she reaches a certain age, hormones may be responsible for some of it but not all of it. Don't ignore it because there may be a deeper problem.
- Girls can be catty and usually, more judgmental than boys. Don't encourage it especially if she is the one being mean toward other girls.
- Don't encourage double standards. Don't influence your son to do something you wouldn't approve of your daughter doing specifically in relationships.
- For girls, tantrums don't always end at their toddler years, they still scream, yell and shriek in high-pitched volumes as they grow so beware and be prepared! The same rule still applies as when she was a toddler: let her calm down before you talk to her, stay calm yourself and try not to yell back. You won't win the shrieking contest. Save your ears and your sanity!
- Girls are stronger than you think not just physically but mentally and emotionally. Don't underestimate her. You'll be amazed and surprised at how she may handle some situations. Don't show her that you doubted her for a second.
- Girls are smarter than you think. She may have already been one step ahead of you the day she was born. Try to keep up.
- Unlike boys, most girls don't mind hugs and kisses from their moms and dads as they grow. Give them out whenever you can.
- Learn to trust her. Be honest with her, too so she will learn to trust you.
- Little girls grow up. Learn to accept that fact as soon as you can and maybe (I repeat, maybe) it will be easier to let her go.
- Don't worry, she'll always be "Daddy's little girl" but she needs to fly on her own some day and that day will be here in a blink of an eye. Your job is to not hold her back but to give her the tools she needs to step into the world and make you proud to call her your daughter.
- Groom her to be a smart, confident, well-rounded person and you won't feel as stressed about her leaving the house. She should know how to groom her own hair now and chances are she will be telling you how to groom yours!
- Listen to her fashion advice and let her pick out outfits for you every now and then (especially if your wife has given up on you).
- Ask how she is doing every now and then, particularly at the biggest events in her life. It will show that you do care especially if you aren't comfortable with sharing feelings or being open. I'm closer to my mom but that's why it means so much more to me when my dad inquires about my feelings. On my wedding day, he was the only one who asked, "Are you happy?" He's not a man who puts much emphasis on emotions so that meant the world to me.
- Cherish your time together. Make sure she knows you care about her and she will be proud to call you Dad!
Here are some daughter quotes from Brainy Quote:
- "I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back. -Imelda Marcos
- "To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter." -Euripides
- "I think a dad has to make his daughter feel that he's genuinely interested in what she's going through." -Harry Connick, Jr.
- "Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla." -Jim Bishop
Here are some daughter quotes from Quote Garden:
- "A son is a son til he takes him a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life." -Irish saying
- "A daughter may outgrow your lap but she will never outgrow your heart." -Author Unknown
- "Many a man wishes he were strong enough to tear a telephone book in half - especially if he has a teenage daughter." -Guy Lombardo
- "A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again." -Enid Bagnold
- "We've begun to raise our daughters more like sons, but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters." -Gloria Steinem
Go On Daddy-Daughter Dates
Take Your Daughter to Father-Daughter Dances
Boys Vs. Girls
Which one do you believe is easier to raise?
Dads, Be Patient With Your Daughters
Raising Girls Compared to Boys
There was a woman who after having three boys wanted a daughter. She had three heart-breaking miscarriages before it happened. When she went to her appointment to find out the sex of the baby, she decided to leave it as a surprise until the baby was born. When the ultrasound tech asked what sex she would prefer the baby to be, she said girl. She saw the tech smile and a few months later, her wish came true - a baby girl was born. I always feel special when I hear that story because that baby girl was me.
Fast forward two decades later: I was pregnant for the second time. I wanted a boy with my first pregnancy and my son was born. This time, I strongly yearned to have a daughter. I prayed hard for one. Unlike my mom, I chose to find out the baby's sex when the time came. The ultrasound tech typed a big capital "G" on the screen to reveal the baby's gender. I was ecstatic and so was my husband until he realized he would be raising a daughter. He never even had any sisters!
It was odd because my dad felt the same way. He told me he hoped for another boy. I was confused because he had already raised two girls, my sister and myself. Then, I realized that's why he preferred for us to have another boy; he's been there and done that. I guess we traumatized him that bad! He was always more worried with raising us girls compared to raising our brother.
Now, he has another chance to see another little girl grow. He is probably still nervous for us (especially for my husband) about raising our daughter but he may also find it amusing, knowing that on some days, she may test our patience and he will be able to laugh to himself and say, "I told you so!"
How do you feel about raising a daughter? Any tips or special memories unique to raising a girl? Share your comments below!
Check out my blog for posts you may enjoy:
- B is for...
Baby talk, raising Brody and Brielle, B's thoughts on family life and all the Bumps along the way
Here are some of my other hubs that may interest you:
- How To Stay Happy, Sane and Connected to the World As A Stay-At-Home Mom or Parent
Caring for your children full-time as a stay-at-home parent can be rewarding but has its downfalls, too. You can feel isolated and disconnected from others. Here are suggestions to help.
- 5 Tips for New Parents or Parents-to-Be That You May Have Not Been Told
Here are some helpful insights that new parents may not think about until later or that they have never been told but are worth knowing.
- A Poem for Mothers
This is a poem about what it means to be a mother.