Fathers generally set the standard for daughters of how men typically behave, so it is your responsibility to make a good impression for your daughter. Every father-daughter relationship is unique but every dad has something useful to teach their daughters that will make a lasting impact in their lives. There are a lot of things they can learn from their mother, but your wisdom and skills can also contribute to the woman your daughter will be. You can make your daughter one of the luckiest girls in the world, because there’s not a lot of fathers who are present for their daughters, let alone teach them anything.
With this laid out, these are the things dads need to teach their daughters:
1. Teach her that there is no limit to what she can do.
At a young age, it will be helpful for your daughter if she will learn that she must not be limited by her knowledge, skills, and even her sex as a female. Let her know that she can do “manly” things and manly jobs if she aspires to. Telling her that she can be anything when she grows up must be backed up by your belief in her abilities. As a father, be the first man to support her and believe in her. She will cherish that memory of you for her lifetime.
2. Teach her respect for men and women
As a dad, you want your daughter to end up with great relationships someday – people who will respect her and treat her right. While you cannot control your daughter’s life, you can do something to lead her to a good future. The best way to teach her about commanding honor and respect from other people is by being an example through your own marriage and other relationships. Respect your wife and treat her well. Respect other people around you. Respect your daughter by asking her permission about certain activities, by asking for her opinions instead of pushing for your idea, and by giving her choices rather than ultimatums. Allow her to make decisions rather than making it all for her.
3. Teach her self-defense
Teaching your daughter self-defense is not promoting violence – it’s helping her stand up for herself. You can enroll your daughter to a self-defense class, especially if you are living in a relatively unsafe neighborhood. But even if not, there are a lot of bad guys out there and you are not always there to protect her, so keeping her equipped will pay in the long run. The self-defense class also becomes a fun bonding activity for the two of you.
However, before you teach your daughter how to fight for herself, teach her how to prevent getting in that situation first. Avoiding conflicts and contacts in a physical altercation is better than teaching how to throw a punch. Teach her how to respond politely with words, and tell her the things she must simply ignore rather than pay attention to. Tell her when it is acceptable to use physical force to defend herself. In short, you should help her decipher between various hostile situations and be able to act properly. She can spare herself from future confrontations and battles, if she was raised properly as an agreeable person.
4. Teach her how to maintain a car
Maintaining a car shouldn’t be primarily a male thing. If your daughter has her own car and drives it, she must be able to take care of it properly. Most probably, you were her driving instructor, but the car lessons shouldn’t stop there. Teach your daughter how to inflate tires by taking her to a local gas station and teach her about tire pressure. Show her what the proper inflation level feels like, and demonstrate how to adjust air pressure if it’s not at the proper level. When you need to change a tire, ask your daughter to watch and take notes, and make it a learning opportunity for her.
Besides tire lessons, she must also be able to understand all dashboard warning indicators. Note where the oil, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluids are located, and teach her how to check and refill them. By being able to be in charge of the vehicle upkeep, she can take on a variety of responsibilities that will make her ready for anything. Nothing sucks more than being a damsel in distress in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal.
5. Teach her about consent
Your role as a father is to protect your daughter from anyone who wishes to harm her and do her wrong. You must teach her that her hugs and kisses belong to her and she must never feel obliged to give it. Your child may feel that it is her obligation to give affection to anyone who asks, and it may have serious consequences down the road. You must be unflinching in standing up to other adults who insist upon asking for a kiss or hug from your daughter. When you tell your daughter that she should give affection only to those she wants to, then you are teaching her crucial lessons about consent.
6. Let her know that perfection is a myth
Sometimes women are plagued with the feeling of “not being enough.” Because of social media where people show off the best versions of themselves, a girl can be vulnerable to feeling that she’s not as pretty or not as great as others, and she may think that her life is not as exciting as them. This causes self-esteem issues, with women striving to be “perfect.” Yes, the pressure to have the perfect body, perfect career, and perfect life may be real, but as a father, you can spare your daughter from this dangerous and destructive feeling.
While your daughter is still young, you can tell her stories of your own imperfections, the mistakes you made, and the things you were embarrassed by and let her know that she can make it, even if there are imperfections along the way. Also, talk to her outright about the pressure to be perfect in order to be loved by people. Tell her that she doesn’t have to feel that way by making her feel loved and valued for whoever she is. Avoid making her feel that she’s not special and she’s just like everyone else.
7. Teach her to accept responsibility when she’s wrong
This is a tough lesson, as people are more often inclined to putting blame on others than saying sorry and admitting fault. A great way to model this lesson is to practice what you preach. If you have done wrong to your wife, always man up and act with integrity by saying sorry, admitting regret, and correcting your actions. That’s one of the great lessons your children can learn from you, their dads. When your daughter comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately give solutions. Make her come up with her own resolution by helping her identify the root of it. Encourage her to fix her own wrongdoings and accept responsibility for mistakes, instead of swooping in and fixing it for her. This way she can figure out on her own the good and the bad things that will happen to her along her life journey.
8. Tell her to aim for success
One of the greatest challenges young people are facing today is figuring out what they really want and having enough courage to pursue it. As a father, you can help your daughter about this dilemma by giving her the tools she’ll need for it. First of all, help her develop her skills while she is still young. Help her find out what are her dreams and help her achieve it. Be her source of encouragement and confidence, but don’t let her settle for mediocrity. Use your tough love as a dad and provide appropriate challenges for your daughters. When they become able to overcome the right challenges themselves, they will develop a level of certainty in their ability to solve problems. Encourage her to take on challenges and teach her to set goals to have something to aim for. When your daughter achieves her reward for hard work, she will be more self-confident, which is important in facing real life.
9. Make her self-sufficient
It is every dad’s heart to provide for their family, and for those who can afford, they can make their daughters feel like a real princesses. As in a real, pampered princess who relies on Daddy for everything she wants. As much as possible, you have to teach her to become financially self-reliant. Don’t give in to her every request for toys when she’s young, and teach her the value of money. Stop acting like her ATM machine, and don’t give her access to your credit cards. What if (knock on wood), you suddenly passed away? Will your daughter be able to stand on her own? If the answer is no because she fully relies on you for everything, then you need to make adjustments. This way, when she grows older and be of proper age, she will know that she doesn’t need a man’s money to enhance her status, and she doesn’t need to pick a rich guy over a man that cares most about her.