The fun but sometimes scary thing about raising a daughter is that every dad has the opportunity and responsibility to show her what a “real man” is and to give her confidence to face the world with happiness and strength.
The truth of the matter is that we aren’t always the kind to sit down, sip tea with teddy bears, and teach with words, but the following six things are ways that dads can make the message sink in. I’ll try to keep the mushy stuff to a minimum.
1. How to Change a Tire and Change the Oil
Teach her to be self-reliant, even with things that society says are “men’s jobs.” Teach her how to count on herself and to know that she has the power to be successful and confident. Teach her to be tough when she needs to and to be able to care for herself and others.
2. It’s OK to Wear Pink
No matter how tough and capable she is, encourage and appreciate her natural, feminine qualities.
3. She is Beautiful – No Matter What
Beauty is more than physical, but I have never met a girl that did not love to hear those words. The world can be cruel. When zits come, or if she gains a few pounds, she always needs to hear from her daddy that she is beautiful.
4. She is More than Just Beautiful
Teach her that she is not an object—she is your daughter! Show her how men should treat women by your example. The media objectifies women more than ever before, and dads are the greatest force against the barrage of body messages that are thrown at our daughters. Make sure you’re not only complementing her physical beauty, but her mind, her kindness, and her character. Show her that you value these traits in the women in your life, especially in her mother.
5. When to Open Her Mouth
Strength is not masculine or feminine; it has to do with character. Help her learn to say “no” to people and to stand up for what she deems right, even when it’s not comfortable or popular.
6. When to Keep Her Mouth Shut
Gossip and backbiting are common, especially in today’s technological society. Bullies don’t have to be 200-pound brutes any longer with Facebook and other social media; all it takes is cruel words, gossip, and rumors. Teach her to treat others with kindness and to seek to add value to others rather than to take it away.
So, be the “real man” in your daughter’s life that will give her trust and confidence in her future and the capability to face it.