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While I don’t have daughters of my own, I do have a father and can remember having many talks with him about his expectations for me.  I’ve always been incredibly strong-willed, stubborn and very much the tomboy. Before my brother came along, I was daddy’s boy.  I learned how to be tough and how to stand up for what I believed in.  I learned to never apologize for my intellect and I also learned to never do anything half-way.  These are traits I not only learned from him but these are also traits that he encouraged.  Not every girl is as lucky as I was and for those fathers who struggle with talking to their daughters, here is a list of six really important chats to have now!

1. Tell her she’s beautiful.  You should be the first and the most important man in her life for a very long time.  You’re the one who determines what type of guy she’ll gravitate to later on.  Teach her what expectations she should have and to not expect less than what she deserves.  Most women desire and need that verbal praise and adoration.  If you don’t give it to her, she’ll find it elsewhere and it may not be from a voice you’d choose.
(photo credit here)

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2. Do not negotiate with your daughter on things you view as important, but do be willing to have conversations about adjusting things every so often as your child gets older and more responsible.  I can still remember the first time I got my dad to change his mind about a decision he had made regarding a trip I wanted to take with some friends.  I was able to present him with a logical reasoning for why I should be allowed to go without getting upset and turning our discussion into an argument.  In the end he said yes and I learned a valuable lesson about how to present my stance in a way that people are more likely to “hear”.

3. Teach her how to change a tire, her car’s oil, hang a picture…you get the idea.  She should know how to do basic maintenance around her house, yet at the same time, allow the men in her life to do it for her. She should expect the men around her to do it; not because she can’t, but because she deserves it.
(photo credit here)

Father Daughter Dance

4. Teach her what she should expect on a date AND what a good date DOESN’T look like.  She deserves to be treated like a lady and she’ll know exactly how that feels if you set the example in the beginning.  I employ this idea in reverse with my boys.  When they were younger I chose where we went to eat, etc.  Now that they’re a bit older, I’ve taught them how to plan dates for mommy.  They also have a good example in their own father.  I’ve never felt like I wasn’t my husband’s first and only choice as a wife because he has always treated me like I’m Mrs. America. Every date is heart-felt and planned with me in mind.

5. Teach her how to stand up for what she believes in but teach her how to do it respectfully.  You can teach this by being confident, firm and consistent yourself.
(photo credit here)

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6. Teach your daughter to respect authority.  This one really is just an extension of number four and will help her one day deal with her future employer and anyone else placed in an authority position.

Most of all teach her to respect herself.  If she doesn’t respect herself first, no one else will either.