5 Things dads should teach their daughters
Father-daughter relationships are hugely important; this is what your daughter should be learning from you
Fathers play a vital role in their children’s lives—regardless of their sex, but the relationship of a father and daughter is especially pivotal. For better or for worse, dads set their daughters’ expectations of other men. Make sure that your influence on your daughter is a good one by teaching her these vital lessons.
1. “You are beautiful.”
Girls are bombarded with so many messages that tell them they aren’t good enough. As a dad, it is your job to affirm your daughter of her worth and help her become comfortable in her own skin.
2. “You are loved unconditionally.”
Yes, somewhere down the road, your daughter will mess up and disappoint you—and you’ll probably disappoint her too—but she should know that you will always love her. You can encourage her to do hard things to the best of her abilities, but make it clear that she does not have to earn your affections—you will be proud of her no matter what.
Physical affection is also important. Plenty of fathers take a step back and refrain from hugging their daughters once they start going through puberty. It’s important for you to show her that you aren’t uncomfortable with her growing up, and that she’ll always be your little girl.
For more lessons fathers should be teaching their daughters, click to the next page.
3. “Your body is yours and no one else’s.”
There’s nothing wrong with asking for a hug or a kiss, but fathers should instill in their daughters how to say “no”. Society will be telling her an opposing message that objectifies her body, so it’s important that she learns this early on.
4. “There are no ‘boy things’ or ‘girl things’.”
If you make assumptions about your daughter’s interests, you’ll be short-changing her by limiting her opportunities. Talk to her about the sports or video games you like to play, just as you would talk to a son. She might not end up liking the same things, but at the very least, talking to her about your hobbies and passions will allow her to get to know you better, enriching your relationship.
5. “This is what a healthy relationship looks like.”
As the old saying says, “One of the best things a man can do for his children is to love their mother.” By showing her what a good relationship looks like, she will be more likely to make good choices when she’s older.
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