As women, I believe many would agree that the relationship we have with our father is different than with our mother. A father’s presence and active role in a daughter’s life is invaluable. I see the admiration our daughter has towards my husband and the bond they have as father and daughter quite like my relationship with my own father. So, for all the dads out there, here are 10 things every father should know about her daughter.
Show affection, especially to her mother.
It is easy to lose sight of sharing affection between work deadlines and the kid’s schedule. However, those nano seconds of a kiss, embrace, or simply holding the door or helping with household chores speak volumes on the love, honor, and respect you have for one another that she will seek one day. It is a sign of a healthy relationship that she will aspire to have one day.
A true gentleman respects others through their actions and words. And, he is willing to serve and help others. Your actions will teach her that gentlemen do exist in this world and that she deserves respect from all men. She will want to surround herself with others that respect her, as well as emulate similar characteristics as she becomes a young lady.
Be her biggest cheerleader.
Carve out every weekend between Halloween and New Years, and again from May through mid June. It’s dance recital and school function season and, trust me on this, you’ll want to be there cheering and present during every single event. You’ve got the easiest seat in the house, well, beyond affording the tutus and tuition. All you have to do is sit and watch while she twirls up on stage recalling every part of her routine. And guess what, she is doing it for you so you can be proud of her latest accomplishment; it’s ok to DVR that upcoming game because it’ll be there when you get back. In regards to her classroom Halloween party, how can you complain, you can have your fill of pretzel spider cookies while watching her smile and play along her friends. She will forever cherish those memories. But the most important part is to be present in the moment.
She will idolize you.
Do you recall the moment when you first held your little girl? Well, that is how she will feel about you the rest of your life. She will look to you for constant approval, so think twice about your actions and choice of words – she is listening. She is, and will always be, your little girl.
Make eye contact.
Providing eye contact while you ask her about her day or discipline her is important. She will know that you care beyond your words.
Make her breakfast.
You have probably figured it out already, but girls, just like their mamas, love to be spoiled with their favorite breakfast. What better way to show your love and admiration than whisking her favorite batch of pancakes? Trust me, she will not care if they are perfectly golden, but more so that you took the time to make her feel special and spend time with her.
Highlight her strengths.
Women love compliments, and the same goes with little girls. You will be amazed how acknowledging how pretty and happy she looks, along with her new hair bow or dress has an impact on their growing self esteem. The fact that you noticed means you are paying attention to a decision she perhaps made on her own, but above all, that she is pretty, no matter what. And, if she hears it from you whether she’s 5, 10, or 15, she will have a healthier reflection of herself and not seek attention from just anyone, especially in this ever more sensual world little girls are growing up in today.
Play outside with her…and teach her to change a tire.
Girls like to play outside too, believe it or not. It doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around a football, but consider flying a kite or teaching her to swim. Good outdoor fun while spending time with one another is the key…and teach her to change a tire. You will be amazed how it will happen when you are not near and at the oddest times and places.
Be there when you say you’ll be there.
She will ask when you will be home from work at least a zillion times during the course of the day. And when she hears the back door or the car in the driveway, she will stop everything she is doing and bolt for the door or window. Trust me, she’s been thinking of this moment most of the day.
Comfort her when she wakes up in the middle of night.
Nightmares are not a fun occurrence, no matter what age. She will want your arms to comfort her and put her safety back in bed.