Disclosure: This is a guest post.
What does a little girl need from her father?
I’m a grown woman now and I’ve often thought about this. At the time, you can’t appreciate what a father can do for you. Now I’m an adult I can look back on my childhood and remember all the things my dad did for me.
These are the eight things I think every little girl learn from their fathers.
Consistency in Everything
My dad was my rock. When my boyfriend dumped me a couple of days before my high school prom, my world fell apart, but daddy stepped in and told me it was all going to be okay.
Of course, he’d never gone through an experience like that. But he was strict and forgiving at the same time. He knew when I needed a kick in the pants and a shoulder to cry on. He taught me to be calm and how to deal with life’s ups and downs.
Fathers love their daughters unconditionally. I was my dad’s little princess, and I still am today. I think that meant more than I could fathom at the time.
We all know about the girls who go out with bad boys and people say they have ‘daddy issues’. Only now can I fully understand what that means. My father sometimes shouted at me. We fought all the time growing up. But never did I think he didn’t love me.
That unconditional love meant I was an independent woman. I never needed to seek comfort from the first guy who came along. I could be picky. If I was single, that was fine. I always knew one man who loved me more than anything, and that was my dad.
Watch the movies and you’ll see how important dads are to their sons in giving encouragement. It’s the same for little girls. I learned how to both take encouragement and give it to my own kids. I put down my healthy self-image growing up to my dad.
When I was too scared to try out for the lacrosse team, it was my dad who stepped in and practically dragged me to the practice. I screamed at him at the time, but I couldn’t have been happier when I made the team.
He knew how strong I was inside and his encouragement (albeit unappreciated at the time) helped build the person I am today.
Respect is so important in the society of today. I want my kids to respect me and I want my family to respect me. It was my dad who taught me what respect is. I obeyed him because I respected him as a man. It wasn’t out of fear and it wasn’t because he was a natural authority figure. It was all based on respect.
Telling the Truth
Dads have an innate ability to tell us what we don’t want to hear. They tell the truth. And we as little girls learn to tell the truth to our own offspring in the future. Sometimes the truth hurts. We want to listen to the advertisements telling us we need this or that.
It was only my father who stopped me from buying that makeup or thinking about surgery. I can be proud of who I am, and I think that’s what every little girl needs. When we learn the truth we grow stronger.
We as women need to admit that we have a problem with exercise. Whether it’s being afraid of seeing a few extra pounds in the mirror or we don’t want to get hot and sweaty, we have problems. I’m happy that I was able to enjoy exercise from the beginning because my father included me.
My brother and my dad always played ball together in the park. Unlike some families, my father wanted me to get involved. I could see how much it meant to him, even if my brother always laughed at my lack of hand-eye coordination.
These afternoons of fun meant I stayed slim and healthy as I grew up. I never had an unhealthy relationship with food and body image.
I know a lot of my friends had dads who were never wrong. They were, of course, but they would never admit it. I also know this damaged their relationships with men. Some of them got into bad relationships and some of them turned away from them completely.
My dad could admit when he was wrong. He wasn’t wrong often, but when he was he owned up to those mistakes. I felt real pride for him. It made me respect him, and I’ve learned to love, trust, and respect men ever since.
I think little girls need this sort of experience when they’re growing up.
This isn’t the 1940s anymore. I’m proud to say my father was a modern man who understood the value of a girl striking out on her own. He didn’t keep me in the house. He didn’t try to force me to find a boyfriend. Anything I wanted to do he supported me in.
He gave me his advice, but ultimately it was always my decision. When I was growing up this was invaluable for my confidence.
Today I can go out and be that independent woman. I’m not afraid to try new things. I don’t care what other people think of me. I have that confidence to live my life the way I want to.
I’m eternally grateful that I had the dad I did. He made me who I am today, and I think these eight lessons are the most important of all.
What big lessons did your dad teach you?