Fathers, be good to your daughters
It’s not easy being a parent.
Just when you thought it was a lot of responsibility to take care of yourself and act like an adult, next thing you know, someone special walks into your life (traditionally speaking, at least), and suddenly you’re caring for their health and happiness, too.
Now multiply all that by a million and more when a child comes along. Aside from the fact that you are now responsible for a whole other human being’s life, you may find yourself even more challenged if you end up raising a child of the opposite gender. From stepping outside of your comfort zone to doing things you’d never think you’d do, learning to raise a child might be the biggest lesson of all.
Daughters of Reddit were asked to share all the tips they wish their fathers knew about them while they were still young girls growing up, and their answers are both powerful and insightful.
You & Me
That it is best to have a personal bond with your father, a hobby or activity that’s the two of you -no matter how small, and not him just be there when the whole family is together.
When our outdoor cats would get ticks I quickly alerted my father and we removed them. For him a chore and for me the one thing that was us doing something together. (beroemd)
I See You
This is more general to parents but I think it applies a lot to girls and fathers. Her feelings are real and valid. The problem she’s sobbing about, whether its a boy or a fight with a friend or whatever, may seem trivial or silly to you but she those feelings are so important to her right now. In ten years you can tease her about Jimmy from science class who she thought liked her but ended up asking her friend Alice to the dance. Now is not the time. Don’t belittle her about it. Listen to her, ask her questions, learn about her life. It may seem boring to you but my dad listened to me, he remembered my friends names and would ask me about them. He asked me seriously about what I wanted form the future. And you know what, I’m 25 now and I still confide in my father. He calls me just to chat and I tell him about my feelings and I ask him about his. It only takes one mean joke to put that wall up and it is hella hard to take down. (missluluh)
Guess I kind of consider myself a daddy’s girl, so here are all the things I’d probably tell him now.
-All those times you just accepted things that were girly without ever attracting any kind of attention to it really went a long way towards helping me build a healthy perception of guys. You never expressed any kind of disdain or machismo when I asked for your help untangling my Barbie’s hair or prodding you with magic fairy wands.
-You never hesitated to teach me practical skills – and you never attributed gender to them. It was always, “Come over here and let me show you how to snake the drain, because you’re going to need to do this.” BTW dad, I snaked my first drain all on my own last month! I’m so glad you taught me.
-Thank you for bailing me out when I was in a pinch, no questions asked. No guilting, no attempts at squeezing out information. I felt like I could come to you with any dilemma. This took a load of my shoulders because Mom is so reactive and “freak out first, maybe resolve later.”
-You respect me, which makes me respect you even more. When I call you out on BS, you actually repent and reflect. You don’t deflect back on me and pull the, “I’m the parent and know better than you” spiel. [….]
-All those times you went shopping for groceries and picked up ladies sanitary supplies without any hesitation, even if you did affectionately rename the long super maxi pads, “low-salt maxis.” [….]
-You take great pride in “embarrassing me” – but you know exactly where to draw the line so it’s endearingly goofy, not genuinely embarrassing. You know your audience and play to it. I feel no shame when my friends (or now-fiance) are around you.
-It’s okay if your hands were too callused to properly tie my ballet skirt before classes. I could tie it myself. But I didn’t tell you at the time because I knew it made you happy to help me. So don’t be embarrassed because the fabric kept snagging on your calluses. (spunky-omelette)