For many Dads out there, their daughters are mysterious individuals who they love dearly but can also find confusing on a daily basis. Whether they’re sulking because someone left a boy band (you know, like when that Zayn guy quit One Direction) or asking for the new Barbie Dream House Unicorn Fluffball Companion Doll ten times a day after seeing an advert for it on the television, they are hard nuts to crack.
But never fear, Dads of the world, here’s a guide to raising daughters you can take away and apply every day:
- Tell your daughter she’s smart (and beautiful) every single day
Even if you’re not the overly emotional type it’s important that in some way you let your daughter (or daughters) know she is both clever and beautiful. As they get older, other girls, the media and gossip magazines will try to tell them otherwise.
- Let her choose what she wants to be
She could be a real girly girl, carrying dolls with her everywhere and only liking the colour pink or she could be a tomboy dressing in football kits and racing her bike down the street. Whatever she likes embrace and encourage it – unless she tortures kittens, then it’s time to have a word.
- Treat all women with respect
We know that relationships sometimes break down but it’s important for little girls to see positive male role models, if you show her mother or your current partner and other women in general affection and respect in front of your daughter she will only look for a man who does the same when she is older.
- Be involved
Take responsibility for a party or try to bake a cake on her birthday, she’ll remember no matter how badly it goes. You could cook dinner once a week, be the taxi to her dance class or just help her get dressed in the morning when she’s little just try to be involved in the mundane everyday things more.
- Share your interests with her
Play her your favourite band and tell her why you love them or take her camping if that’s how you enjoy spending your spare time – your interests could become hers too and strengthen your relationship.
- Say no, sometimes
Daughters can be demanding, but it’s important to say no sometimes even if there are great deals at LamaLoLi that weekend on Hello Kitty dresses. She’ll be reminded that she can’t get her own way all the time and when you’re next in a tough spot, things will go smoothly.
- Don’t be afraid to be silly
Let her use her imagination, play games with her when she’s small and if she wants
to dress you up don’t say no – even if you have to be the Disney princess and she gets to be Spider-Man. Dads are usually considered the ‘fun’ parent (and designated taxi driver) while Mums dish out the discipline, so embrace that trend.
- Take an interest in her life from an early age
If you ask questions early on she won’t be suspicious as a teenager when you suddenly take an interest – particularly in that boy who walks her home from school. Know who her best friends are, what she wants to be when she’s older, what her favourite colour is, the current band she likes and be open to everything she says.
Most importantly, love your daughters. They won’t stay small forever and one day you’ll be leading them down the aisle. After all, to quote Frenchie from Grease, ‘the only guy a girl can really depend on is her Daddy.’