Thanks to Kobe Bryant and his wonderful relationship with his daughter Gianna, the term “Girl Dad” has recently become popular on social media and beyond.
More and more fathers are now embracing their relationships with their daughters. While every parent-child relationship is certainly special, there is something very touching about seeing caring fathers raise strong and independent girls.
Having a good relationship with your daughter is a beautiful thing but it’s not exactly easy – it’s like one long rollercoaster ride.
Here are some words of wisdom that can help you know more about what it’s like to be a girl dad and why it is so important:
- Treat her mother like a queen
How you treat her mother is going to be her standard on how men should treat her in the future. The kind of relationship you have with your mother is the kind of relationship she will aspire for in adulthood.
Treat her mother with love and respect. Show her how a healthy relationship looks like. After all, you wouldn’t want want your daughter to end up with a bad guy someday, right?
- Show her you emotions
This silly belief that men don’t cry? Let’s put a stop to that.
Yes, men need to be strong but it’s important to show girls that we can be vulnerable too. Show her that you can also feel sad or hurt or worried or even scared. Show her all your soft spots. This teaches her the value of moving forward and trying to stay strong in spite of difficulties and challenges.
- Make her feel safe
When your daughter gets in trouble, you’d want her to feel confident that she can run to you for help. Yes, lay down your rules and discipline her. But you also need to let her know that you are on her side and you will protect her at all times. When something bad happens to her, you want her to ask you for help instead of fear you.
- Show her your hobbies and learn about her hobbies
Who says that a girl can’t be interested in martial arts and baseball? Spend time with her by showing her things you genuinely enjoy doing. Go out of your way to find opportunities to include her in your activities. This way, she will feel like she’s a part of your world.
Also try to show your interest in things she likes. Learn the names of the characters of her favorite show. Ask about her interests in school. Basically, just try to show her that you value your relationship and you want to form a deeper connection with her by learning more about her life.
- Make her feel good about herself
Yes, your daughter might be cute but you need to teach her that her value is not attached to her looks. Make her feel good about her efforts, about her passion, about her commitment. Boost her self-esteem by teaching her that she is capable of learning and doing a lot of things.
- Teach her self-defense
Much as you want to be with your daughter 24/7, we all know it’s not possible, especially when she turns into a teenager. You need to teach her how to be prepared for any harm that might come her way in the future. Enroll her in judo or jiu-jitsu classes so she’ll have the basic knowledge of how to handle dangerous situations. Teach her what to do when she’s alone, so she won’t be an easy prey. Give her pepper spray and other tools that she might need in case she finds herself in a dangerous situation. Of course, you need to to teach her how to use these tools too.
She’ll be safer and more confident if she knows she can defend herself. You will also be able to sleep more peacefully knowing that your daughter is not completely helpless.
- Encourage her to speak her mind
Empower your daughter so she won’t be afraid to speak her mind and share what she thinks. Let her ask questions. Don’t always expect her to say yes to everything and follow whatever you say.
In your own home, let her voice be heard. Ask for opinions and value her thoughts. Let her speak her mind, even if she thinks differently from you. Think of this as preparing her for the real world.
If you’re a dad, it’s easy to focus too much on providing for your family and making sure everyone is comfortable. That’s a very honorable thing to do.
But it is also important to make sure that you spend time with your daughter in spite of how busy you may be. Enjoy all the simple things that you can do together. Cherish all the wonderful moments, especially now that they are still small. Always make her feel like she is your number one priority. If you plan the seeds now, you will likely have a happy and healthy relationship with her even when she’s already an adult.