The father-daughter relationship is a unique dynamic that plays an integral role in how a woman grows into herself. For many women, their relationship with their father is strong, for others not so much, but when one user took to Reddit and posed the question “what’s something you wish all fathers of girls knew or could do?” the thread filled up with answers from both sides.
While I obviously cannot share all of the answers here, I did cherry-pick the ones I thought were pretty good conversation starters. As always, read these with an open mind, and give us your opinions in the comment section about the one thing you would tell your father if you could.
1. _manicpixie says,
Try and see if they have an interest in things not specifically generated towards girls. If you change your oil or are handy around the house/do any woodworking, etc ask if they want to help. My dad was very girls are girls growing up, and I’d have loved a head start in areas he was knowledgeable in, that I’m currently interested in… but having to start at the beginning
2. [deleted] says,
Realize that your daughter will have a different experience than you with the same people. “Nice” people may treat YOU with respect, but they may not treat a young girl like that. “He’s a good guy, you can trust him.” Yeah, your buddy has never ogled you because your an old guy, your daughter may see a different side to your buddy.
3. earthsick says
When I was a kid a lot of my friend’s dad’s either made a big deal out of announcing that they had “become a woman” in front of other family members, or just told the news to anyone with ears without consent from their daughter. It’s a difficult enough time and it’s embarrassing and personal enough as it is!
4. CainRafe says,
Show as much interest in your daughter as you would a son, I spent my whole childhood and teen years wondering what I was doing wrong, why my dad paid so much more attention to my brother than me, I felt like he wished I was a boy and I tried to be, from doing well in sports to taking computer science, but nothing worked. Recently my father expressed how much he liked raising me because it was so easy “it was being like a grandparent because dads don’t have to parent daughters the way they do sons”. My dad left my raising to my mom. Don’t leave raising your daughter to just your spouse. Learn about your daughter’s interests and treat them as being just as important as you would if you had a son. Also don’t become distant after puberty, my dad drifted even farther after I really became a “girl” he used to read me stories before bed but that stopped and he would never pop by my room to say hi, of course the dynamic changes, but I still wanted my dad to be there for me.
5. BlabBehavior says,
Teach the girls how to take care of a car and simple maintenance around the house… Girls will grow up to live in a house and drive too, and should be aware how to take care of cars and houses as well.
Also educate yourself on periods. Learn how to help their daughter through cramps and period care and don’t be grossed out by it or she’ll end up ashamed of her own body.
6. gothbunnybitch01 says,
Please do not call your daughters names like stupid or bitch. It really haunts me to this day, and I’m 23 now. Being called “stupid,” “bitch,” “retarded,” and “slut” at the middle school age really hurt my self-esteem and affects who I am today. Just be kind. Seriously.
7. SweetPea_Reddit says,
Don’t just tell your daughter she’s beautiful, tell her she’s smart, funny, strong, capable and brave too.
Make her used to hearing positive things from the men she cares about in her life. If you don’t, she will grow up into the type of young woman that falls easily into the hands of men who take advantage of low self-worth and insecurities.
Not enough young girls hear positive things from men outside of the looks department, make sure you tell her how much she matters and how great she is, can and will be.
8. Stictcharoni says,
Dont fixate on my body more than I do. My dad is massively supportive of a lot of aspects of my life, but has always been vocal in terms of my body, bringing up exercise not for health reasons but to look better. I went through a massively stressful period a while back where I ended up getting an autoimmune illness that caused me to lose a quarter of my body weight and took me out of the overweight category I had been in for years. I was sick, I felt like shit, I was getting a lot of this from other people who didn’t know all of this, but it hurt like hell to have my dad constantly mentioning how great I was looking and how skinny and fit I was when I was in unbelievable pain.
9. MuppetManiac says,
Honestly I just wish my dad had done sone housework every once in a blue moon instead of treating my mom like a maid.
10. [deleted] says,
As someone whose fathers verbal abuse still haunts them, I’d say be kind and thoughtful with your words.
Don’t be quick to anger, know that certain words like bitch will imprint on a child’s brain. Cruelty sticks.