10 Life Lessons Dads Should Teach Their Daughters

Posted on by admin | in babysitting

The concept of “daddy’s little girl” is one that’s so heavily ingrained into the cultural consciousness that it’s almost taken for granted. According to commonly-held wisdom, daddies are supposed to coddle their little girls and to treat them with reverence. What that societal image often leaves out is that fathers are just as responsible for teaching life lessons and shaping the people their daughters turn out to be as mothers. In fact, fathers are uniquely placed to instill values and ideals into their daughters that moms might struggle with. Of all the life lessons that today’s girl needs to learn, these are ten that fathers should teach their daughters.

  • How to Change a Tire – In an always-connected age of GPS navigation and roadside assistance, learning to change a tire without help is not a lesson that many kids learn. This especially holds true for girls, but technology is fallible. Help your daughter learn to change a tire and to complete various everyday repairs on her own so that she never has to rely on someone else to do them for her.
  • That It’s Okay to Be Assertive – When conflict rears its ugly head between a father and daughter, it’s easy to call Mom in as a mediator. It might momentarily make things easier to deal with, but it ultimately teaches your daughter that it’s not okay to be assertive with a man or to hold a difference of opinion without calling in reinforcements. Handle your conflicts with your daughter productively and in a healthy manner, but do it yourself.
  • How to Spot Healthy – and Unhealthy – Relationships – Your daughter will learn much of what she deems acceptable behavior from a male partner by watching the way that you interact with her mother. Modeling a healthy relationship will not only leave your own relationship stronger, but also helps to teach your daughter what a healthy relationship looks like. In turn, she’ll also learn how to spot one that isn’t so healthy.
  • To Be Self-Sufficient – Financial responsibility is a tricky lesson to teach a child of any gender, but it’s especially difficult for a man to teach his daughter sometimes. When your daughter learns not to rely on you for money, she also learns not to rely on any man financially. This is a lesson that will serve her well as she reaches adulthood, so make sure that it’s not one you let fall to the wayside.
  • That There’s No Such Thing as Perfection – Girls and boys alike are bombarded by today’s media with images of perfection, and are told that they’ll never be able to attain it. Let your daughter know that there’s no such thing as physical perfection, and that the women she compares herself so mercilessly to are the product of post-production editing rather than the natural standard. When she’s not undermining her own confidence with an unachievable goal of perfection, she’ll be able to focus on making a real difference.
  • That She’s Just as Smart and Capable as Her Brothers – All too often, boys are encouraged to pursue avenues that girls simply aren’t. While educators are making a concerted effort to get girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, the belief that she’s just as smart and as capable as her brothers or male classmates starts at home. Make sure that you’re encouraging your daughter’s intellectual pursuits as well as her other hobbies.
  • That She’s Interesting – In depth discussions about horses, her favorite song or the happenings in her social circle might not be the most entertaining subjects for you, but it’s still important that you listen with interest when your daughter tells you about them. When you change the subject or ignore the things that your daughter finds interesting, you’re indirectly telling her that she’s not interesting, which can severely damage her self-esteem.
  • To Follow Her Own Passion – If your daughter is more interested in art class than softball, or if she’s an athlete that has no time for dresses, make sure that you’re supportive. Your daughter needs affirmation from her father, so give her plenty of encouragement and support as she chases her dreams.
  • How to Play a Good Practical Joke – As long as no one gets hurt and no property is permanently damaged, there’s nothing quite as funny as a good practical joke. Teaching your daughter how to play a great prank will help to solidify your relationship and give her a bit of hands-on knowledge that may come in handy when she goes off to summer camp or even college.
  • To Stand Up for Her Beliefs – The old adage about standing for something to avoid falling for anything might be an old cliché, but there is some truth to the statement. Reinforcing your daughter’s right and responsibility to stand up for her convictions isn’t always easy, especially if those beliefs fly in the face of those held by school administrators or other authority figures. It’s still important that you do it, though. Remember that parenting isn’t always easy, but doing it well is one of the most rewarding jobs you’ll ever have.
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