Following up from my post, 10 Things Mothers can Teach Their Daughters, I thought it was high time it was Dad's turn.
Being a father to a daughter is indeed very challenging.....
There's the tantrums, the boys, the makeup, the hormones, the bitchiness, the fighting and yes....the periods...
So how does a father in a house full of girls deal with all that?
Build a man cave, spend your spare time in the garden, additional hours at work, what is the answer?
A Dad needs to get to know what makes his daughters tick. Don't leave everything up to Mum, just because they are girls.
There are certain things that only a Dad can teach his daughter. Mum could probably teach them just as well, but fathers can use these opportunities to build a strong relationship with his once tom boy little girl, who he is discovering has suddenly been possessed by the makeup and hair fairies.
Some Fathers at this time sometimes tend to let their little girls go and leave the hard girly parenting to Mum, but it doesn't necessarily have to be this way.
Maybe they feel more comfortable with boys and that's totally understandable. But continue to foster a strong relationship with your girls, no matter how awkward the topics of discussion may become and you will be rewarded in the long run.
My own Dad often said to me that he could remember exactly when it was that he lost that part of me. One minute I was helping him give the car a grease and oil change and the next I was hiding in my bedroom applying my latest blue eyed shadow and drooling over Wham and Michael J Fox.
Fathers need to think of this as not losing their little girl, but too see it as just a change in their relationship. As a result of this change, what she needs from you will change too.
What are some ways that Dads can keep that close relationship with their daughters?
- Teach her how to drive a car. My hubby is actually teaching Miss 16 to drive at the moment and let's just say I would rather him than me. He is a lot more patient...
- Teach her how to fix a car. Even if it's just a flat tire and basic maintenance. These are skills that are necessary for every driver. Having these skills will also mean she is safer when she is out on the road. It also means she will get to tinker with you on the car again!
- Teach her how a lady should be treated by treating her mother well. Even if you are no longer together, you should still treat each other with a mutual respect and honesty. She will then in turn expect the same from any potential partner in her future.
- Teach her that her dreams are valid. Find out what her hopes and dreams are for the future. Ask her about her day. Listen to her when she needs to talk, she needs to know that she can turn to both of you with any potential problem and not just Mum.
- Teach her that your relationship with her is important. Take the time to spend quality time with her. Whether it's a monthly camping trip, movie night, or a dinner date. Make the "date" and stick to it.
- Teach her that she is more than her appearance. You are going to be the first male in her life that is critical of her and the first one whose opinion she values. Make your opinions positive and offer constructive criticism should you think what she is wearing is inappropriate. Tell her she is beautiful, but be sure to tell her that she has other attributes other than just those that are visible.
- Teach her that Dad is just as capable as Mum. Learn how to do her hair. This may seem like an unimportant one, but let me tell you, you can always tell the little girls in the playground that have had Dad get them ready for school. Learning how to do a neat, quick ponytail can save a lot of embarrassment at play time when it all comes falling out.
- Teach her that you have a feminine side. Let her do your hair and paint your nails. I don't know how many times my Dad had clips and sparkly bands put in his hair, he loved it!
- Teach her not to accept second best. Meet her boyfriends and make sure that she is being treated and respected well. Let them know where you stand...a little fear never hurt anyone..
- Teach her how to manage her finances. Help her set up her bank account and encourage her to save and earn to be able to receive the finer things in life.
The relationship between a father and daughter is a very special thing indeed.
Once she starts approaching the adolescent years and adulthood, sure her priorities and interests change and yes, unfortunately some of those may not include you. But that's OK. Fathers need to learn how to change to avoid being left behind and left out of their daughters lives.
Maintain a constant presence and let her know that you have interest in her life and you won't get left behind....
What lessons do you think are important for Fathers to teach their Daughters?