18 Simple Rules for Dads to Avoid Mistakes When Raising a Daughter
Is there anything cuter than a father who admires his daughter? Maybe, a father who takes great care of his daughter. But often, fathers are less interested in raising daughters just because they have no idea how to do it and where to begin. So, here are 18 simple, but very effective rules collected by the authors of a magazine for young parents.
The Bright Side team is completely sure that fathers can do a great job of raising daughters. Especially if they have a guide on how to become a super parent.
Do the dishes on your own.
Cook, mop the floors, do the laundry — your daughter has to see that men can do all of these things. It is a normal thing for a man. The same goes for games: don’t be shy about playing tea party with your daughter or “marrying” her dolls. The happiness of your child is way more important than any stereotypes.
Spend time with her.
This is the best piece of advice for any father who wants to be there for his daughter. Start from the very first day of her life. Change diapers, carry her, walk with her, play with her. For example, the father of a big family in England regularly does blind food tests during meals in order to turn a family meal time into an adventure.
Answer all of her questions.
Forget the words, “Ask your mom.” A father should answer questions too. What can she possibly ask that you cannot answer? And if you can’t answer something, searching for an answer together is even better.
The more “child” responsibilities you take, the better.
A woman who gave birth to a child doesn’t learn everything she needs to know to be a mother in just one day. She learns. And so should you. So, don’t lose a chance to change a diaper or carry your child when they’re fussy. The more you do, the better.
Call the body parts what they are.
Studies show that the children who know the names of their body parts from early childhood have less awkwardness and communicate with doctors better. According to Laura Palumbo, a prevention specialist with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), using the correct terms for body parts helps children accept and understand their bodies better, improves their connection with parents, and prevents child abuse.
Teach your daughter to play football.
Or to bowl or anything else that you love doing. She will feel proud and feel as if she has an advantage over other girls. If her father has hobbies, if he loves his job, the daughter adopts these qualities and will also look for things that she’ll love doing.
Offer your wife help — don’t wait until she asks you herself.
Very often, young mothers don’t understand how to ask for help in the right way, and sometimes they don’t even understand that they need help. This is the moment you should act. Don’t ask if there is anything you can do: stay with the baby, give your wife time to take a shower, or go see a doctor. If you don’t start taking an active part in your daughter’s life right now, you will always remain a person who just stays with his daughter on weekends.
Dance with her before her wedding day.
A father is the first man in a girl’s life. And if her father takes good care of her, she will take good care of herself, and she, according to psychologists, will look for a man that can make her feel safe.
Be her father during the entire week and not just on the weekends.
Most likely, you go to work, and your wife stays home with the child. And in the evening, after a long and hard day, you often just don’t have any energy left to be a father. But the thing is, your wife is probably running on fumes too. So, yes, fatherhood, just like motherhood, is a 24/7 job.
If her mother goes to the swimming pool with her, go with them.
Don’t be shy, even if there are no other fathers. That’s their problem. It is really important for a father to take part in big events, like going to the swimming pool. Besides, knowing what your daughter’s foot size is, what her clothing size is, and other little things, will be really helpful.
Politely refuse if she asks you to marry her.
At some point between when she is 3 and 6 years old, she might ask you to marry her. Politely refuse. A father is the first man a girl demonstrates her femininity to. The older she becomes, the more often awkward situations happen. Fathers often feel shy, so they distance themselves and this can affect a girl’s self-esteem.
Teach her self-control and discipline.
This is what a father teaches. And according to psychologists, the games between fathers and daughters are very important moments in a child’s life. Fathers are obeyed more and their rules are respected more. Daughters give their fathers special treatment both because of the gender differences, and because a father’s attention is usually at a deficit (they spend a lot of time at work and they are at home way less often).
Don’t be shy to kiss her.
Don’t be afraid of looking too sentimental — expressing your feelings is good for psychological health. Both your daughter’s and yours. React to her successes the way your heart tells you to and not based on gender stereotypes. There is nothing wrong with smiling when your daughter draws a flower for you.
Do the things that don’t necessarily require physical power.
Fathers are usually treated as the people who can open something impossible, lift something extremely heavy, or the one to brave the night run to the pharmacy. But in fact, the range of father care is (or should be) much wider. You can comfort your baby in a hospital after a vaccine, help choose toys at a shop, and try to cool down a hot meal. There is no way that your daughter can do it without you!
Treat your daughter as an equal.
Listen to her when she has something to say (even if she still can’t talk). Don’t ignore her. Let your daughter demonstrate her love and affection. Don’t suppress her negative feelings, don’t give orders, and don’t threaten. In other words, just be a human being, rather than a strict overseer who just grumbles all the time.
Carry her on your shoulders.
Do it while she’s not too heavy yet and your back won’t hurt. And if your daughter is too little, don’t be shy about using a backpack or a sling. Experts have proven that the connection between a father and a child becomes stronger this way.
Learn to accept her refusals.
According to businessman and father Jia Jiang, you can watch his lecture at TEDx, we as parents are trying to do everything we can to make sure our child is happy with themselves, but in fact, we need to work on making our children understand certain things. If someone doesn’t want to do something with her it doesn’t mean that they are rejecting her, it just means that this person doesn’t like her idea.
Know your rights.
You can take paternity leave or sick leave if your child is ill. A Russian military man used his rights in order to take care of his daughter and now, he shares his secrets of parenthood in his own blog.
Which tips on raising a daughter would you give to men?