I have spent the last few days reflecting on the profound impact my Dad has had on my life; these thoughts were spurred on by Father’s Day quickly approaching, and by the fact that my Dad is here this week visiting from Alberta. He has shaped the person I’ve become in innumerable ways, and many of these ways are quite unique to the Dad-Daughter bond. With my husband and I learning the ropes with our 3-month-old baby girl, I wanted to put my thoughts into words for him (my husband) and him (my Dad) to see.
To the ‘Dads-of-Daughters’ out there: here are ten of the life lessons that you will teach your daughters, whether you mean to or not…..
10. You will teach your daughter how to expect to be treated by the men in her life. Her boyfriends. Her husband. She will watch how you treat her mother, and that is what she will expect.
9. You will teach your daughter that she doesn’t need a man in her life, but she may want one.
8. You will teach your daughter that she’s smart when you praise her brains. You will teach your daughter that she’s pretty when you praise her beauty. You will teach your daughter that she’s funny when you praise her humour. So tell her she’s smart. Tell her she’s pretty. Tell her she’s funny.
7. You will teach your daughter how to throw a ball. And when you do, don’t teach her to ‘throw like a girl’. Play catch with your daughters. And teach them to ‘throw like a boy’.
6. You will teach your daugher that she is worth being listened to. Turn off the TV. Put down the newspaper. And listen to her.
5. You will teach your daughter that she is just as capable as your son. This will translate into her learning that she is just as capable as the men she will encounter in other avenues in her life, like her career. This is a big one.
4. You will teach your daughter that it’s okay to express her emotions; and that sometimes you need to be tough and sometimes you need to be soft.
3. You will teach your daughter to search for her passions. You will do this by exposing her to many different things to help her find these passions. This will serve her well in life, and help her to define who she is and what she values.
2. You will teach your daughter to be confident and to stand up for what she believes in. You will do this by being confident yourself and standing up for what you believe in.
1. You will teach your daughter that she is her own person and you are there to help guide her to become the best person she can be. And later, when she reflects on her Dad, she will be thankful for all that you’ve done.